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Many small businesses still rely on Microsoft Windows XP to run their computers. Microsoft will discontinue support for this aging operating system soon, and while there will be no immediate impact, without security updates, those computers will become increasingly vulnerable to viruses and hacker attacks.


On April 8, Microsoft will end all support for its much-loved but aging Windows XP operating system. Businesses still depending on XP face a significant challenge in migrating to a newer OS, but the risks are too great to ignore. Microsoft has created an informational page on the issue to answer the most essential questions.

Petronella Technology Group, a trusted IT support service headquartered in North Carolina's Research Triangle, has been aware of this looming deadline for some time, and is ready and able to help businesses manage their transition. More information, including a free report for small business owners, is available here: http://www.petronellacomputer.com/windows-xp-support-deadline/.

"In the Raleigh-Durham area, we know that many small businesses still run Windows XP; they have invested heavily in their hardware and software platforms, and change of this magnitude is certainly alarming," remarked Craig Petronella, founder of Petronella Technology Group. "That's why we've authored an action plan to smooth this transition, with manageable steps and cost-effective solutions to what might otherwise be a daunting task."

Office 2003 and Server 2003 will also see an end to security updates and bug fixes, effectively freezing them in time. Some business owners may be asking why any of this should this matter to them. The answer is simple: because cyber criminals know these legacy systems will become sitting ducks after the April 8 deadline.

Failure to act is simply not an option, nor is the "wait and see" approach. On top of the security risks, there is the likelihood that a business relying on XP after April 8 will eventually run afoul of third-party auditors and certification bodies. When the general public learns that a business has continued to run a legacy, unsupported OS, customers will avoid it like the plague.

The security professionals at Petronella Technology Group have two pieces of advice for any small business facing this transition period. First, don't listen to anyone who says that the end of Microsoft support for XP is a non-issue: they are not a security expert, no matter what they claim. Second, it's best to work with an IT support services provider that has experience with large-scale technology refresh projects. Petronella Technology Group is just such a provider. Last modified on Wednesday, 29 January 2014
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