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3/24/2014
11:41 AM
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Windows XP: Feds Brace For End Of Support

Roughly one in 10 U.S. government PCs still use Windows XP. They will be more vulnerable to attacks when XP support ends on April 8

As Microsoft's April 8 deadline approaches for ending support of its Windows XP operating system, one of its largest group of users, the federal government, appears behind schedule in making the transition to new operating systems, leaving an estimated 10% of federal desktop computers more vulnerable to attacks. After that date, government computers using the operating system will continue to function, but they will become "five times more vulnerable to security risks and viruses," even if anti-virus software is in place, Microsoft said on its website.

Since 2007, when Microsoft announced its intentions to stop supporting XP, the company has worked with the federal government to check its progress, eventually on a monthly basis, and identify issues that may cause a delay in deployments of newer operating systems. Most agencies have moved from XP to the latest versions of Windows, and more than 90% of them are expected to have made the transition by April, Susie Adams, chief technology officer for Microsoft Federal, said in an email to InformationWeek. That's better than the market at large: As of last month, more than 29% of the desktop market, or roughly a half-a-billion active users worldwide, still use XP, according to Web-tracking firm Net Applications.

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