Microsoft announced that it will stop distributing updates and security fixes for computers running Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2). As related to a more recent post here on the T2R blog, Microsoft has begun actively phasing out Windows XP – this is just one more step in the eventual end of support for the Windows XP operating system.
Users who are currently running Windows XP at a Service Pack 2 level are now a target for hackers. These installations will no longer receive updates through the Automatic update utility and Microsoft will no longer release updates for pre-service pack 3 Windows XP installations.
Microsoft typically issues security fixes, called patches, for freshly discovered flaws on the second Tuesday of the month. The quickest and easiest solution is to install the Windows SP 3 update available through Automatic Updates or via the Microsoft Download website by clicking here.
Security studies conducted by various groups across various markets have found that 8 out of 10 businesses still run Windows XP at SP2 even though the Windows OS life-cycle is already two generations ahead. This is particularly disturbing as these companies are taking a big risk in exposing their data, or their customer’s data, to hackers, virus’s and malware that will quite easily exploit out-dated OS vulnerabilities.
Typically, Technology2Reality recommends that all Windows operating system users perform regular maintenance and updating of their OS which includes Service Pack updating. In light of this recent news from Microsoft, we are urging our customers and all Windows XP users to check their machines to ensure that they are at the current minimum patch level of SP2. If not, download and install it today!
To learn if Windows XP SP3 is already installed:
- Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties
If Service Pack 3 is listed in the System section, SP3 is already installed on your computer and you don’t need to install the update