If your business is still using Windows XP, there’s a very big reason why you really need to upgrade to at least Windows 7 urgently.

Security. And it really is scary

Windows 7 and 8 are already more secure than Windows XP, but when Microsoft stops supporting XP in April 2014, PCs running it will be extremely vulnerable.

Microsoft has already released a warning about security threats that will come into play when they stop supporting the operating system.

Cybercriminals could be building a database of flaws in Windows XP and developing software to exploit those flaws when Microsoft’s support expires. Once this happens, an infection could easily allow intruders complete access to all of your files, folders and applications. There will be no more patches from Microsoft fixing security issues. Cyber criminals will also be able to deduce which currently undetected Windows 7 and 8 flaws also exist in Windows XP by reverse engineering any future Windows 7 and 8 patches. The patches will of course not be released for Windows XP, rendering the OS too risky to use for anyone, let alone businesses.

And if that’s not enough to prompt you to upgrade, there are more reasons!

You’re stuck in the stone age!

Windows XP came out in 2001. Can you imagine still using a mobile phone from 2001? That seems ridiculous now when almost everyone has a smart phone.

If you are still using a relic mobile phone from 2001, the worst you can expect is a bit of public embarrassment, and perhaps some ridicule as you miss out on all the amazing features everyone else enjoys on their smart phones.

If you use Windows 7 or 8, you’ll know about easy minimising and maximising of windows with Aero Snap, and File History has probably saved your life at some point if you’re prone to closing unsaved files, or accidentally overwriting/deleting things. You’ll also know about Automatic Maintenance, which will keep your PC finely tuned with scheduled de-frags, installing updates and carrying out diagnostic tests.

You’ll be missing out on the ability to use cool new stuff with your PC!

New technologies such as hardware and peripherals will be developed with only newer versions of Windows in mind. One example of this is USB 3.0, which transfers data at 10 times the speed of USB 2.0. The new USB devices will work with Windows XP, but only at 2.0 speeds.

USB 3.0 isn’t the only thing you’ll miss out. It will be difficult or impossible to get new technologies like wireless keyboards, wireless printers and 4K screens to work with Windows XP. This list is only going to grow longer with every new technology release.

Have we emphasised it enough? If your business is still running Windows XP on its machines, you really need to upgrade!