Windows XP to end technical support, but Victoria native offers solution

Jessica  Rodrigo By Jessica Rodrigo

March 31, 2014 at 8:02 p.m.
Updated March 31, 2014 at 11:01 p.m.

Running Windows XP after April 8 could bring some unexpected headaches and problems.

To continue technological growth Microsoft will end support of its 13-year-old Windows XP program as well as Office 2003.

For those who aren't fit or financially able to transition to Microsoft's new systems, there are solutions, said one Victoria High School graduate.

Trey Lykes, who lives in Austin, came up with a solution to extend the life of Windows XP by creating updates that he said will keep a person or business protected after technical support has ceased.

"It's the exact same thing Microsoft would be doing; it's for the core operating system itself and standard office files," Lykes, 26, said of his service. "It's currently no different from what they've been doing for decades."

Through his service, XpExtend, which is not backed or supported by Microsoft, he said users of the dated system have protection against potential security threats, including viruses or other users.

As of February, Lykes developed a service through his company, Darsana Information Systems, to provide support where Microsoft won't.

He proposes a plug-and-play solution to fill the holes that the discontinued updates will leave open.

"You don't have to change any of your environment, any network settings, buy any servers or network products," Lykes said. "You just install it and run it. It doesn't change any of your data settings."

He said his background working with the Pentagon and Department of Defense as a malware analyst for almost 15 months and running his own business, where he produces software for different entities, provides security and engineering solutions for industrial companies, makes him a good candidate for the job.

"I'm confident in saying this will keep all the bad guys out of your system," he said. "We will keep your computer up-to-date and running."

Microsoft's solution is to move to the new systems, something Lykes believes is forcing people to upgrade and buy their new products.

"It's not really a viable solution for anyone, it just doesn't make any economic sense at all," Lykes said.

He expects the Microsoft upgrade to be costly for people who are still using Windows XP. Upgrading to a new system can mean upgrading hardware and equipment, too, Lykes said.

Tom Murphy, director of communications for Windows at Microsoft Corporation, said the move was necessary to advance the way people use their systems.

"Windows XP and Office 2003 were great software releases more than a decade ago, but technology has evolved along with the needs, and more importantly, the expectations of customers and partners that have already adopted modern platforms and devices," he said.

The new products meet the needs of a technologically advanced workforce, he said. Both products will be operable on different platforms, including desktops, tablets and smartphones.

Unfortunately, most individual users don't know that April 8 is Microsoft's end of support date, Mario Chavana, assistant manager of Best Buy, said. He believes most business owners are running an operating system that can be updated to Windows 8.1.

"People always want the latest and greatest technology," he said. "But if you don't have pockets of money, it can be hard to keep up."

Chavana is one of many users who will need to update to the new system. He agreed with Lykes in that it can be expensive.

Lykes plans to run XpExtend as a solo endeavor.

But as the system grows in popularity, he plans to bring on other people to help contribute to the business' website and marketing.

Murphy said it's important to note, although there are businesses and services that offer a way to extend support for Windows XP, they may not be as affective as updating to the newer versions.

"Third parties may provide ongoing support, but it's important to recognize that support will not address fixes and security patches in the core Windows kernel," Murphy said.



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