'Windows XP' and 'Microsoft Office 2003' Meets Service and Updates End of Support: Staying with Older Programs Expose Potential Risks to Computers

By @twitter.com/djcgoldsurfer on
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The Microsoft logo is seen at their offices in Bucharest March 20, 2013. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

Microsoft's Windows XP announced its Service Support has ended and users will no longer receive updates for the operating system. Microsoft Office 2003 shares the same fate.

Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003's end of support was made effective last April 8, 2014. It means they won't have security updates, assisted support, online content updates, software updates, and protection updates from viruses, malware, and such.

According to Microsoft's official statement, as reported from Mashable, "Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But now the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences."

When Windows XP first came out, it received a lot of positive feedback. Users favored XP's quick performance, user-friendly interface, and expanded multimedia tools. Windows XP proved to be popularly used as it had an estimated 1 billion copy sales even until 2014.

Microsoft Office 2003 is a collection of productivity programs that contains the widely used Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more. Office 2003 is a suite distributed by Windows operating system and was released October 21, 2003. Microsoft Office 2003 is the last version of the program compatible with Windows 2000 OS.

With Microsoft's announcement, the company doesn't discourage users to keep their current XP operating systems and Office 2003 suites. Microsoft warns though that there are potential risks in keeping the older programs.

Security updates play a big role in protecting computers against harmful viruses, spyware, and hacking programs that may damage important information and data. Now that Windows XP and its components won't get updates, anti-virus programs won't be able to fully protect PCs. Anti-virus software need to be supported by the latest operating systems that have continuous updates.

Compliance is an important factor in businesses as they are governed by regulatory obligations. More information on security requirements for information systems can be viewed here.

Software vendors soon will no longer support their products running on Windows XP as they won't be receiving XP updates. 

Lastly, PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP because the operating system will soon become outdated. 

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