Business / Gadgets

XP shutdown opens up information security market

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-15 11:26

XP shutdown opens up information security market
Photo taken on April 7, 2014 shows the shutdown interface of Windows XP, in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province. (Xinhua/Yang Qing)

BEIJING -- Microsoft has stopped providing technical assistance for Windows XP, a 13-year-old PC operating system, opening up prolific opportunities in the information security market.

Computers can still run XP, but it will become more insecure and vulnerable to viruses as there will be no security updates.

XP shutdown opens up information security market

XP shutdown opens up information security market

Latest data from Chinese Internet analytics company CNZZ shows that Windows XP consistently ranks as the most popular operating system in China. As of last month, its market share was over 50 percent, followed by Windows 7 at nearly 30 percent; while the newest Windows 8 can barely be found at Internet cafes, businesses and schools.

Why the shutdown

Since more software and hardware manufactures make their upgraded products compatible to the latest Windows operating systems, a plenty of applications cannot be used in XP, making it fall far short of users' demands.

Statistics from over one billion computers in more than 100 countries and regions showed that, without update, XP's odds for virus infection are six times that of Windows 8, according to the latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report. Therefore, the company advised users to upgrade to its Windows 7 or Windows 8 systems.

As for the security concern, the technology of XP is up to the mark and will not be "cracked in one minute," said An Yang, a security adviser with Qihoo 360, a major Chinese antivirus software developer.

The upgraded Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems, with more security features, can lower the risks of getting attacked by Trojan viruses, but that does not mean they are absolute secure.

An Yang also explained Windows XP shutdown from the point of Microsoft's strategic demands. As XP, which has been dominating the market with a lion's share, eclipses the sales of Microsoft's follow-up systems, the company's overall performance is overshadowed.

Zhang Yi, the CEO of iiMedia Research, a leading mobile Internet data analysis institution, said that the retirement of XP will bring prolific business opportunities to Microsoft itself, as "Microsoft can make a profit by focusing on enterprise-level market."

Microsoft's CFO also disclosed that as of the second fiscal quarter of 2014, the overall licensing of Windows systems goes up, with a 10-percent rise attributable to the demise of XP and upgrade of enterprise editions.

Prolific information security market

The phasing out of XP gave the main chance for various security providers vying to provide defense solutions for XP users until they upgrade their systems, according to Zhang Yi.

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