Microsoft has urged small businesses still running Windows XP to take immediate action to move from the platform, as the firm's support for the 13-year-old operating system ends in less than two months.
In a blog post on the Windows for your Business blog, Microsoft's director of Windows small business marketing Jay Paulus reiterated the company's warning that continuing to run XP presented numerous risks.
"After Windows XP reaches end of support on 8 April, 2014, businesses still running the old operating system face increased security risks, increased costs and lack of technical support," he said.
As such, Paulus suggested firms look into new hardware purchases, by researching new form factors that arrived along with Windows 8, including tablet/laptop hybrids and convertible devices.
Paulus also suggested that businesses map out their migration strategy, recommending cloud backups to ensure all important data is retained.
"It's common to feel a bit nervous when it comes time to move years of sensitive company data across devices, but advances in cloud technology make it easier than ever to backup, store and transfer files," he said.
He added that an important step would be to discover which business-critical applications would be rendered obsolete in the upgrade, noting that both web-based services and software installed on devices should be checked.
Microsoft revealed in January that it would continue to support Windows XP's Security Essentials until July 2015, but did not extend the deadline for other technical support. Despite this, the market share for Windows XP rose in January, with 29.23 percent of web users still running the outdated software.
PC makers are hoping the XP cut-off deadline, as well as Windows 9, will increase device sales as worldwide PC shipments fell by 10 percent in 2013.
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