On June 23, 2010, Greg Shultz asked a very direct question: Are you or your organization still using Windows XP SP2? The poll was part of his blog post:
The gist of Greg's query and the concepts he examines regarding what it means when we say that SP2 is no longer supported can be summarized in a couple of paragraphs from that post:
Well, it actually means two things. First, it means that on July 13. Microsoft will cease providing security updates and patches designed specifically for Windows XP SP2. Second, it means that hackers and evildoers worldwide will begin releasing an inordinate amount of malware aimed directly at computers running Windows XP SP2. And, there will be no defense whatsoever.
Those malevolent folks know, without a doubt, that there will be thousands of vulnerable Windows XP SP2 systems out there just ripe for the picking. In fact, they are counting on it, because they know that people and organizations who have held on to SP2 for this long are definitely procrastinators.
So are you one of the procrastinators? Are your peers procrastinators? Have you recently updated to Windows XP SP3 because of the lack of support you are now getting from Microsoft. If you are still using SP2, why are you taking the risk?
The poll results show there is still a large installed base of Windows XP SP2 PCs out there — as an information technology professional responsible for making sure your organization's systems are secure, does that make you a little nervous?
Stay on top of the latest Microsoft Windows tips and tricks with TechRepublic's Windows Desktop newsletter, delivered every Monday and Thursday. Automatically sign up today!
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.