How old is the software you rely on to run your business?

By Chris Dawson August 14, 2017 - 6:46 pm

I saw a notice late on Friday that Skype had issues with logins on Windows XP devices. The issue was resolved late evening but it got me thinking – are people seriously still using Windows XP?

There have been a number of cyber attacks recently which didn’t affect anyone using the latest versions of Windows but made use of bugs in old software. The most serious of these was Wannacry in May which impacted large sections of the NHS amongst other institutions and that was followed by a second somewhat similar attack in June.

Frankly, one of the simplest and easiest way to protect yourself is to keep your software up to date – both operating system and programs as well as making sure you’ve got antivirus software installed with up to date virus signatures installed.

Out of interest I took a quick look at the traffic that comes to Tamebay. 60.55% of our readers visited Tamebay from Windows devices (iOS, Android and Macintosh covered most of the remaining visits). Out of the visits from users running a Windows operating system less than half were using the latest Windows 10 operating system.

6.39% of the Windows users were on Windows 8 or 8.1 (most would likely have taken advantage of the automatic update to Windows 10) but an astonishing 39.65% of Windows users visiting TameBay are still on Windows 7.

Older operating systems still in use by Tamebay visitors using Windows are XP (2.53%) and Vista (2.48%).

There may be good reasons for using older operating systems, but the price of technology is so low these days that if you’re not on Windows 10 (and don’t have legacy programs reliant on older Windows versions) I’d encourage you to upgrade to a new computer or laptop as soon as possible.

Windows 10 isn’t perfect, but it’s a darn sight better than some of the previous Windows incantations. Plus just about any computer you can buy today will be significantly more powerful than those running Vista or XP and all your applications will open faster and run faster.

Most of all, if there’s another cyber attack making use of vulnerabilities in software for which Microsoft no longer supplies security updates you’re wide open to losing your data. A modern computer isn’t a guarantee that you’ll never have a problem but if you stay running 10 year old operating system you’re wide open to attack.

  • 4 years ago

    I’m one of the “astonishing” 40% still using Windows 7. I’m sure it would cost me a lot to upgrade to Win 10. For a start I would almost certainly need to buy a new scanner, mine is old but it does the job I need it to do perfectly, it took a while to get it to work with Win 7, it probably won’t work on 10.

    And I’m sure some of the software I use will be too old for Win 10, which would mean a paid for updates, or with one piece of software more usefully switching to a different piece of software which will take a long time to learn how to use. (Yes, I know I need to make this change at some point, but now is not the right time.)

    And of course I’m fairly happy with Win 7, it is stable, does everything I need it to do.

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