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Estonian Information System’s Authority recommends one of each three users to upgrade their operating system

On 8 April 2014 Microsoft will cease to address security issues in its Windows XP operating system and will not be able to guarantee trouble-free operation of programs and computer equipment. In Estonia, approximately one third of all computer users still use this operating system.

Estonian Information System’s Authority (RIA) recommends all users of Windows XP to update it during the coming year in order to avoid security risks and technical problems. Users should consider downloading a newer version of Windows or moving to another system – Linux (e.g.Estobuntu or Ubuntu Desktop) or even to Apple Mac OS.

“Certainly, Windows XP can still be used after 8 April 2014, but a computer with security vulnerabilities and with no recent updates is a tempting target for cybercriminals. Besides, various issues may occur in operation of software and computer equipment, since developers are unable to guarantee unimpeded work of their products in operating systems for which no updates and security protection are available,” says Kalle Arula, the Deputy Director General of RIA. “For instance, a user of Windows XP should take into account possible problems with browsers, new computer accessories and ID-cards,” adds Arula.

Transition to a new operating system will result in additional costs for users and businesses. Besides the cost of operating system proper, updates and deployment can create additional expenses. In particular, with regard to Windows XP, it concerns tailored solutions – they may have to be replaced. “It is good that today there is much more free applications than, say, ten years ago. Free solutions are available not only for office environments, but also for more specific and narrow areas, such as bookkeeping and CAD,” explains Arula.

Just like any other software, operating systems have their specific lifespan. To ensure safety and reliability, all operating systems must be regularly updated, and after their lifecycle has expired the software should be replaced.

RIA recommends IT managers to think what specifically the end of Windows XP lifecycle will bring to their organizations. After that, together with the organization’s management they should decide how to prevent possible dangers and avoid inconveniences.

For home users the best way to update or replace their operating systems is to turn to professionals. The following instructions may also prove handy:

In Estonia Windows XP is used by approximately one third of all computer users. During the first months of 2013 32% of visitors of the state portal eesti.ee were using this operating system. According to the Certification Center, digidoc client under Windows XP was used by 29.7% of all users. The biggest banks report that about one third of Internet banking users also use Windows XP.

Topic: RIA

Added 10.04.2013

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