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Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Goodbye Windows XP

Here’s an item for your 2014 calendar: April 1—Confirm we have no computers using Windows XP in operation at home or work. Now April Fool’s Day may seem like a long time off as you read this, but running Windows XP after Microsoft ceases Windows XP support means that you are behaving like a fool. Be aware that Windows XP’s “end of life” is coming in April. (OK, it is really April 8, but you might have trouble getting any IT help that week and isn’t April 1 really easier to remember?)

So, for those of you who have used XP all these years, avoiding the pain of Vista and the first release of Windows 8, why would I call you a fool for staying the course? Because the end of support means no security upgrades and many of us, including Microsoft, are predicting a huge malware spike in the days following April 8. It really makes sense, doesn’t it?

No law firm today can afford to have its PCs gummed up by malware. Law firms run on their computer systems. Downtime is lost revenue and lost data is even more serious. Protecting the client’s confidential information held on the firm’s computers is extremely important, as well as is protecting the lawyer’s personal credit card info. It will be quite a change to go from XP to Windows 7 or 8.1 for the user and some old “legacy” software may no longer work. But that is just how it is. I still prefer Windows 7 and note that most law offices do not have the touch screen monitors to easily make full use of Windows 8.

But this is a “drop dead’ deadline. April 1 = No XP. If you are reading this post on an XP machine, make a note on your calendar—or just buy that new computer today.

Jim Calloway

Oklahoma Bar Association

Oklahoma City, OK

jimc@okbar.org

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