Will Small Businesses Be Ready When Support for Windows XP Expires?

Will Small Businesses Be Ready When Support for Windows XP Expires?

Many small businesses can very easily fall into the trap of not regularly updating their software (or even hardware) on a regular basis, and those that are still running a popular but old operating system might soon find out the problems that can arise from not doing so.

There is now less than one month until Microsoft permanently discontinues support of its Windows XP operating system, which it first rolled out nearly 12 years ago, the company recently announced. After April 8, it will no longer allow security updates or technical support from that OS, meaning that the many small businesses nationwide still relying on computers running Windows XP will be at a critical crossroads.

On the one hand, it might be simple enough for the companies to just purchase a more current operating system — Microsoft suggests its newest, Windows 8, to ensure the longest amount of service and support possible, among other reasons — and install it on their current computers, the report said. However, many companies might be using computers that are simply not powerful enough to support Windows 8, and therefore it might be necessary to simply buy new equipment after all these years.

The risks of sticking with the old OS
Of course, some small business owners, who are understandably conscious about the costs of buying numerous copies of a new operating system, or simply buying more computers, may not want to take on the added expense, the report said. However, if they don’t update, they could be putting themselves, their companies, and even their customers and clients at risk. Some companies, which are subject to federal regulation, might be in violation if they fail to keep up. Likewise, even those that aren’t could be significantly increasing their chances of being hit by a hacking attack or virus simply because Microsoft will not issue any security updates to match evolving threats down the road.

For this reason, owners who remain concerned about the ways in which additional purchases might end up affecting their companies’ bottom lines might want to simply find a little more wiggle room in their budgets. They might be able to do so by seeking out more affordable small business insurance, including policies for coverage like tech insurance to shore up potential security cost concerns, which could end up helping them save thousands of dollars per year.