As we started discussing with customers last year, tomorrow—April 8, 2014—Microsoft will discontinue support for the Windows XP operating system. This means that future versions of most software applications, including SpeedLine POS, will not be compatible with XP. Like most software vendors, SpeedLine will also end technical support for issues involving XP.
Why Upgrade Your XP Computers?
Why make the investment in a new operating system? There are several reasons:
Reliability. If you are still running Windows XP on your POS stations, your computers are aging, and it’s time to start preparing to upgrade or replace them, or face the real possibility of system downtime and lost sales.
Liability. Continuing to use Windows XP after April 8, 2014 could be a significant security risk: as a merchant who accepts payment cards, you will need to upgrade to maintain PCI compliance.
Security. Computers running Windows XP are highly susceptible to security threats. According to the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, "Newer operating system versions are not vulnerable to several common exploits that are widely used against older versions, and include a number of security features and mitigations that older versions of Windows lack."
"We truly want people to understand the risks of running Windows XP after support ends," stated Tim Rains, director of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing in an associated news release, "and to recognize the security benefits of upgrading to a more modern operating system—one that includes the latest in security innovations, provides ongoing support, and can, in turn, better protect them."
Malware Infection Rates by Operating System:
Microsoft Security Intelligence Report Volume 15 Key Findings
The report notes that in the first quarter of 2013, Windows XP computers "encountered about 31 percent more malware worldwide than computers running Windows 8, but their infection rate was more than 5 times as high."
A System Refresh Action Plan
Safeguard your point of sale system, with new, more efficient hardware. Upgrade your XP computers as soon as possible:
- If your computers are less than 3 years old, you may consider having a local service provider upgrade them—but be aware the operating system alone can retail for more than $250, and memory upgrades and service costs will be on top of that.
- If your computers are older, they will probably not support the upgrade to a new operating system. Your first step is to see what requires updating. If you decide to upgrade to Windows 8.1 (recommended) visit Microsoft to get information and download the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant. This free utility will tell you whether your computer is capable of running Windows 8.
- Does your XP computer have a Windows 7 License sticker? If so, you can upgrade the operating system at no cost.
- Check existing printers, cash drawers, and other equipment that may be due for an upgrade.
- If you need help replacing your computers, schedule a local service provider to assist you.
- If you’re buying new equipment or software, look into potential Section 179 tax savings.
Updating your computers is critical to keep your system secure and PCI compliant. But new hardware may also improve efficiency and service levels. Consider new options for reliable performance, space savings, and faster response.
Posted by Tricia Hoy| Author's website