Microsoft has confirmed that its support for the XP operating system will end next April.

On April 8th 2014, all technical assistance for the platform will no longer be available, meaning automatic updates will no longer run and Security Essentials will not be useable.

If Windows XP is still in use after support ends, the computer will still run, but it will be more vulnerable to viruses and spyware, of which there are many across the web.

Therefore, organisations should guarantee they have moved from Windows XP before April 8th, or they could encounter unwanted security issues and resultant reputational damage.

As well as the security risks of using XP after the date, software and hardware manufacturers are likely to stop developing products for the operating system, meaning you could miss out on important new applications that would bring significant benefits to your business.

This news is particularly important for organisations that have old computers running on their network. If a PC is especially old, it may not be able to operate the latest versions of Windows.

With this in mind, consider auditing the PCs in your office and remove those that are out-of-date.