Microsoft ends support for Windows XP - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Microsoft ends support for Windows XP

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Computer owners across the nation are faced with a decision. On Tuesday, April 8, Microsoft will stop supporting machines that use its popular XP operating system, which could leave millions of people vulnerable to hacker attacks.

Windows XP was released in 2001. Since then, Microsoft has offered several new operating systems, but millions of Americans never upgraded.

"Even though Windows XP is really old, still 25 to 30 percent of computers are still running it," explains Dan Ackerman, Senior Editor for CNET.  "A lot of government agencies, a lot of companies."

And that could soon be a problem. Starting April 8, Microsoft will no  longer support or update the XP system.

"There really is an XP perfect storm," said Evolve Chief Technology Officer Scott Kinka. 

Imagine a wall of defense around your computer. When hackers found a weakness in XP, Microsoft used to send out an update to seal those security holes. But those defense measures are going away, giving hackers a way in to grab personal information.

"Their passwords, their social security numbers, their credit card information," Kinka adds.

It's not just computers, most ATM's use the XP operating system. But several banks say they have a plan in place to keep personal information protected.

Bank of America and Chase say their ATM's will continue to receive Microsoft support after the April 8th cut off. Wells Fargo tells CBS news it is also working with Microsoft to upgrade its ATM's. As for home computers, CNETs Dan Ackerman  has some advice.

"If you are still running Windows XP I would seriously start thinking about getting a new computer."

He says people who continue to use XP are putting themselves at risk. If you want to keep your computer, Microsoft recommends upgrading to the latest version of Windows 8. The update costs about $120 dollars.
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