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Local businesses eye impending technology changes





After today, an estimated 27 percent of PCs worldwide are vulnerable to viruses and other problems.

Microsoft is ending support for its XP operating system and Office 2003 with a final release of patches to fix problems. Although the tech giant has delayed the step a few times in recent years, today is the death knell for the 13-year-old operating system.

“It’s not that your machine is going to stop working on April 8, it’s just going to become a lightning rod, if you will, for malware and exploits,” said Lance Bickle, co-owner of Sicoir Computer Technologies.

The situation will worsen as time passes and XP’s weakness are revealed.

“The best analogy I’ve heard time and time again is the expired milk analogy. Would you drink expired milk if it was a day or two days old? Yeah,” said Dallas Haselhorst, Sicoir co-owner. “After about a week, all of a sudden, it starts getting a little funny, and then about a month or two later, no. Absolutely not.”

There might be local restaurants using XP in their point-of-sale software, Bickle said.

XP users might consider buying a new computer or tablet because costs add up when installing a new operating system on an old machine, he said. Many older devices cannot handle running newer programs.

Jarrod Jones, co-owner of Cedar Lodge Dental Group LLC, said his office upgraded 15 computers with Sicoir because of the discontinued support for XP.

“Next to providing high-quality oral health care, one of our highest priorities is to protect our patients’ sensitive information,” Jones said. “We felt that this was a security risk we were unwilling to take.”

More information can be found at www.windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help.