Cape Town - Microsoft has a problem - and it's called Windows XP.
Despite announcing that it will end support for Windows XP, the
operating system retains its position as the second most popular OS
globally, commanding a 21.7% market share.
That makes it more
popular than MacOSX, Windows 8 and Windows Vista - combined. The
dominant OS is Windows 7 which has a market share of 55.4%.
However, the fact that many computers still run an operating system more
than a decade old, first going on sale in 2001, is problematic for the
"Even in mature markets like North America and
the UK, XP remains ahead of Windows 8, 8.1 and Vista," said Aodhan
Cullen, CEO of StatCounter.
StatCounter is an independent industry
tracker and Cullen said that the continued use of an old OS may leave
users vulnerable to cybercrime.
In Africa, Windows XP commands of market share 35.7% though in SA, the OS is at 17.2%, well behind Windows 7 at 63%.
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," said Cullen.
In late 2013, security firm Trustwave discovered a zero day
vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer that could give hackers
access to a computer.
A zero day refers to the discovery of a
software vulnerability for which no patch yet exists. Criminals actively
pay for the discovery of zero days on platforms such as TOR.
It implies that hackers can use the flaw to exploit a computer with the application without the user's consent or knowledge.
"This Internet Explorer zero day is currently used
only on a small number of websites, and the attack was limited by its
programmer to Japanese and Korean users. However, based on past
experience, new drive-by exploits are quickly copied to other malicious
sites because they can work against large number of users," said
Trustwave director of Security Research Ziv Mador of the vulnerability
which was reported to Microsoft.
this was patched, the lack of continued support for an old operating
system could mean that criminals could exploit software holes at will.
lack of support for the OS will mean that by April this year, Microsoft
will no longer provide security updates for the software, even though
it holds a commanding market position.
Windows 8 and 8.1, widely
touted by the company as an OS for the mobile age has not seen the wide
adoption expected, in part because many traditional Windows users have
been turned off by the tile interface.
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