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Microsoft tells organisations to ditch XP or suffer the consequences

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Microsoft has sounded a warning to organisations still stuck on its aging Windows XP platform.

Companies now have less than six months to upgrade until Microsoft pulls the plug on XP (and Office 2003) support on April 8.

In a company blog post, Microsoft has issued the reminder that the end of support will open up businesses to "security and compliance risks".

It wrote: "Technology has changed beyond recognition since Windows XP was launch, but for many businesses, amazingly, it is still a central part of their IT structure. XP worked superbly for so many organisations it pretty much created a cult following. Numerous updates over the years made it stable and reliable enough to last this long.

"You're demanding technology that fits the way you work inside and outside of the workplace, as well as the capability to hand the security and compliance challenges of today. XP and Office 2003, which have been around for more than a decade, simply aren't up to the task any longer."

On point

The reminder comes the same week that Windows 8.1, the free upgrade to Windows 8, becomes available for download at midnight on October 17.

Microsoft says that the latest version of Windows 8 was created "with the future in mind" for both consumers and businesses.

It features a new Start Screen to launch apps and find the desktop, includes a new 'Windows To Go' feature that lets you put Windows on a USB stick and comes with a set of in-built apps for email, calendaring, social network and photos.

According to a recent report by IDC, a number of businesses are delaying upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 or other platforms due to a focus on migrating desktops to virtual environments in a bid to support the increasing number of mobile devices being brought into the work place.

Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.