• Thu
  • Aug 21, 2014
  • Updated: 11:29pm

16pc in Hong Kong at risk as plug pulled on Windows XP

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 January, 2014, 4:14am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 January, 2014, 4:14am

Microsoft has warned that one in every six personal computers in Hong Kong faces potential security risks because they still run on Windows XP, the company's 12-year-old operating system.

The software giant, along with other industry experts, said yesterday that Windows XP was neither capable of defending against sophisticated cyberattacks nor adequately providing privacy and productivity.

Alan Chan, the national technology officer at Microsoft Hong Kong, said there were about 90 days left before Windows XP, which was released in October 2001, is officially retired worldwide on April 8, following a few extensions made by the company. Many other computer hardware and software companies will end support on the same date.

But data from Web analytics firm StatCounter show that Windows XP is still running on 16 per cent of the personal computers in Hong Kong.

Microsoft estimates that about 1.53 million personal computers run Windows XP out of a total of 9.32 million calculated by research firm IDC.

"Clearly, there's a lack of urgency in some organisations in Hong Kong to make migration to a newer operating system - either Windows 7 or Windows 8 - a priority," Chan said. "We are really worried that these organisations are cutting it too close to the end of service date."

From April 8, Microsoft will no longer provide automatic fixes or online technical assistance for Windows XP. This means that users will no longer receive security updates that help protect their personal computers from harmful viruses, spyware and other malicious software that steal personal information.

Leung Siu-cheung, a senior consultant at the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Co-ordination Centre, said: "Continued use of Windows XP poses additional threats because old software is more vulnerable to attacks.

"Windows XP was a state-of-the-art system designed to protect against various malware and online attacks when it was introduced 12 years ago, but hackers have become smarter."

Chan pointed out that Microsoft and its partners, including distributors, aim to step up education campaigns on upgrading from Windows XP. Free upgrade training is available for consumers at designated PCCW-HKT shops and Suning stores. Microsoft has also formed an "XP Free Upgrade Donation" programme for qualified non-profit and non-governmental organisations.

"The majority of those who have lagged behind in Hong Kong in terms of upgrading from XP are small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well individual consumers," Chan said.

Government estimates put the number of SMEs in the city at 308,761 as of June last year.



For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

If you use PC, why don't you enjoy the free samples of "Hong Kong (Trails by MTR)" published on Amazon.com last October by a Korean to introduced the breathtaking views on the trails in Hong Kong where I've lived for 3 years. Several stages of Maclehose Trail, Wilson Trail, Lantau Trail and Hong Kong Trail, are introduced through the books. Explanations in detail with relevant photos at every corner, how to get the starting point through MTR or buses or ferries, which exit you have to take for the buses bound for the starting point, many photos on each courses and easy accessible cheap Chinese traditional restaurants. For a free sample on your mobile phone, please use the URL below. Have a beautiful experience of trails in Hong Kong with e-books in your mobile phone.^^
I suppose if lagging behind means (I like what i am using) then so be it!!
Remember, it is also possible to migrate to other newer operating systems... Linux or Mac OSX.
Hello, nobody uses computers anymore. Even in the workplace, people are typing and making presentations on iPads and transitioning from email to WhatsApp and Yammer for business correspondence.
"Hello, nobody uses computers anymore."


SCMP.com Account