Microsoft has revealed the number of Kiwi PCs still running its Windows XP operating system, which is now 13 years old. It estimates 377,000 machines are running XP, including a quarter of all types of PCs used by Kiwi businesses and 18.8 percent of those used at home.
Support for the operating system will end on 8 April next year, meaning no more security updates or patches, no technical assistance or content updates.
Microsoft is calling for users to upgrade their operating systems before the cutoff to avoid malware attacks and viruses.
"We’re well and truly at the stage where businesses and personal computer users need to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 — both to protect against risk and to get the benefits of running a modern operating system," says Dean Edwards, Microsoft's Windows business group manager.
"For businesses, upgrading an operating system takes time. Depending on complexity, small businesses could take three to six months to upgrade, and larger businesses can take six months or more. We are really worried that some New Zealand companies are cutting it too close to the end of support date," says Edwards.
Aside from security concerns, Microsoft is warning users about lack of availability of drivers for their hardware and the growing list of sofware that can't be installed on XP. That includes Photoshop and Office 2013.
Customers can upgrade using the Microsoft Windows Upgrade Centre website.