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Irish firms exposed by Windows XP exit

Tuesday, February 04 12:28:50

Despite news that Microsoft will discontinue support in April this year for Windows XP, it remains the second most popular operating system worldwide in terms of internet usage, according to StatCounter, the independent website analytics company.

The company's research arm, StatCounter Global Stats, finds that in January 2014 Windows 7 was the global leader on 54.3pc while XP took 19.2pc on a worldwide basis.

In Ireland XP is the third most popular OS in terms of internet usage on 10.6pc.

"In Ireland and other mature markets such as North America and the UK, XP remains ahead of Windows 8, 8.1 and Vista," said Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "This has serious implications for users, especially businesses, as lack of support may leave their data and systems at risk of exposure to security and virus issues."

Microsoft has long advised that it will end support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. In April 2013 it said: "This means that XP customers and partners will no longer receive security updates or be able to take advantage of tech support from Microsoft." Updates for Microsoft Security Essentials, however, will be available until July 2015. Despite the risks, XP remains the second most popular OS in terms of internet usage in Europe (16.9pc); South America (18.6pc); Asia (26.4pc) and Africa (32.0pc). It is the third most popular in North America (12.5pc); US (12.4pc) and UK (9.5pc).