Microsoft's decision to end support for its longest running and most successful operating systems (OS), Windows XP, from April 8 will have a big impact globally. The continued use of the old OS will expose enterprises to security risks and vulnerabilities, the technology giant has warned. The new threat has already spawned a new stream of revenue for the scores of small-time vendors in markets such as New Delhi's Nehru Place that thrive on pirated software. Operating from makeshift shops or even out of a bag full of software CDs, the informal sector in Nehru Place has taken to offering an addition to its existing array of services which includes selling patches for XP. For a paltry sum of Rs 300 - which can be further negotiated down to Rs 200 - furtive figures under a staircase promise to make the dying OS, launched 12 years ago, robust enough to fight virus attacks and deadly malware that can steal sensitive financial data or can expose machines to hacking.
Upgrades of Windows 7 and Windows 8 also come at the same price - Rs 300. Then why would anybody get patches for XP when he or she can simply upgrade to the latest software even if pirated? Pat comes the reply: "XP is the most successful OS from Microsoft because almost all software can run on it compared to newer versions which do not support all programs." Point taken.
Text: Surabhi Agarwal, Business Standard
Image Courtesy: Microsoft