We knew this day would come – when Windows XP, the twelve-year-old operating system for Windows, stops receiving technical support from Microsoft. While the transition does not mark the death of Windows XP necessarily, as you can still choose to use whatever operating system you want, it does mean that Microsoft will no longer provide security patches for XP to address new vulnerabilities.
For some, this cessation of service may not seem so important. If your personal computer is less than ten years old, there is a good chance that your device does not use XP. If you prefer Macbooks and iMacs to notebooks and PCs, this trivial transition may not even seem worth discussion.
But most Americans encounter Windows XP way more often than they think. It has been estimated that 95% of ATMs in the United States rely on XP, and CNN reports that many major hospitals still use XP. While the transition may not have consequences for your personal computer, the change may expose financial and medical systems.
However for many banks, simultaneously upgrading thousands of ATMs is not a viable decision, and several are making special deals with Microsoft to extend their coverage. While the banks have bought themselves some time, this change is inevitable. Ultimately, this transition is a large technological step forward – it just may come with a few growing pains.