1. Microsoft to Cease Windows XP Support in 2014

    If you use Window XP, it might just be the time for you to upgrade (or at least start planning to upgrade) as Microsoft has announced plans to pull the plug on Windows XP support in 2014. While that may be a couple of years away, it never hurts to start assessing your options so the eventual move to newer Microsoft OS will be as smooth and efficient as possible. Part of using any sort of software is the inevitable need to upgrade. Most if not all software needs to either be replaced and upgraded as the demands of the market entail more efficient processing of the various data and information a business handles. Such is the case with Windows XP. While many continue to use this proven straightforward operating system, Microsoft has decided to stop support by the year 2014. Microsoft further recommends upgrading to its latest OS, Windows 7, in order for users to continue to receive OS support. While there are some lines of business applications that have not been upgraded to work with Windows 7, most have — and there are alternative approaches. Also, your business needs the security and protection that only a current, up-to-date operating system can provide. We understand that changing your OS will entail some expense, including new licenses, hardware, and some training. Fortunately, these things are designed to help you operate more efficiently and increase your productivity in the long run. But such change will take time, and if you are interested in starting to plan for an upgrade now, we’ll be happy to sit down with you and develop an upgrade process that meets your specific needs.
  2. Finally, a Goodbye Salute to Windows XP

    Microsoft recommends transferring to Windows 7 as Microsoft XP ceased sales on October 22, 2010, with support available only until April 2014. If you’ve been using Microsoft XP for a long time – with good reason, XP being one of the most stable operating systems in the Windows line – it might be time to finally migrate over to the new Windows 7. Microsoft has recently ceased sales for the popular OS – the last day to purchase XP was October 22, 2010. The software giant is now dedicating most of its resources and efforts to its latest OS, Windows 7. While XP support will continue until April 2014, that’s less than four years from now, and Microsoft is recommending users switch to Windows 7. As for compatibility issues, Microsoft assures users that most programs that work with XP also work on Windows 7. “Windows 7 is designed to be compatible with the most popular hardware and software products you use every day. Thousands of these will work just fine,” reads a FAQ entry on their website. There is also the Windows 7 Compatibility Center, where you can check programs to ensure they will work on the new Microsoft OS. If you are thinking of switching to Windows 7, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’ll be happy to discuss a customized plan for your business’s smooth transition to Microsoft’s latest OS.
  3. Windows XP Users Targeted by Zero-Day Exploit

    Barely a month after a Google engineer disclosed a critical vulnerability in Windows XP, hackers have taken launched an attack on vulnerable machines. On June 10, a Google engineer disclosed a security flaw in Windows XP’s Help Center, which can potentially allow hackers to search and retrieve sensitive information from vulnerable PCs, and even turn them into “zombies:”machines that follow the commands of a remote master to perhaps download more malware or send out spam. Recently, reports have come out that the first real exploit has emerged, with Microsoft reporting that over 10,000 Windows XP systems have already been subjected to attack . The systems attacked are based not only in the US, but also in Russia, Portugal, Germany, and Brazil. A patch from Microsoft was released on July 13, and workarounds also exist to contain the threat, such as disabling the HCP protocol. Customers of our Managed Security services running Windows XP are assured of immediate support once the patch is rolled out, but in the meantime can take advantage of our assistance to secure systems through other means. If you’re on one of our Managed Services plans don’t worry – you’re protected. If you’re not sure contact us to find out how we can protect your systems and network from this and other dangerous attacks.
  4. Dangerous Vulnerability in Windows XP Help Center

    A critical vulnerability in Windows XP has been revealed that involves the Windows and Help support center, a Web-based feature providing technical support information to end users. The vulnerability can potentially allow a remote hacker to take complete control of a victim’s machine. Systems running Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 using many major browsers, including Internet Explorer 8, are affected. A few days after the advisory, security firm Sophos warned users of a website using the vulnerability to install malicious software on victims’ machines, and of possibly more exploits coming out soon. Users of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 are advised to disable features within Help Center that allow administrators to remotely log onto their machines. For individual users, Microsoft has released a patch for the flaw. Don’t know how to install the patch? Need help? Let us know! Of course our customers with Managed Services are automatically advised of these vulnerabilities, and patches are applied as soon as they are available. Contact us today to find our more.


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