Microsoft prompts XP users to upgrade
Microsoft is prodding Windows XP users to consider upgrading to one its newer operating systems now its support for XP is due to end in one year.
IDC Research estimated XP was still running on 500,000 - or one in seven - New Zealand personal computers in February, making it the second-most popular operating system behind Windows 7.
Microsoft warned again today that it would stop supporting the operating system on April 8, 2014, which it said would leave those computers "open to potential vulnerabilities and security risks".
Many consumers and businesses have been reluctant to upgrade from XP because it is relatively reliable and "does the job".
But Microsoft New Zealand managing director Paul Muckleston claimed it was "not designed to handle today's computing environment or cope with advanced cyber-attacks and the challenges of maintaining data privacy".
There were big risks in continuing to use XP once Microsoft ended support, he said.
Users would then no longer receive security updates that helped protect computers from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal personal information.
The risks were real and the only way businesses and consumers could protect themselves was to upgrade, Microsoft said.
It is a year since the company first announced the date for ending XP support and it has since consistently maintained there will be no reprieve.
TOP OPERATING SYSTEMS IN NEW ZEALAND, FEBRUARY 2013
Windows 7: 49.9%
Windows XP: 14.3%
Windows Vista: 7.6%
iOS: 7% Windows 8: 4.3%