More than 5.7 million personal computers in Thailand are still at risk with just six months left before Microsoft ends support for the Windows XP operating system (OS).
Microsoft has reminded business users and consumers with PCs still running on Windows XP that it will officially retire service and support for the operating system next April 8, said Rachod Isarankura Na Ayuthaya, of Microsoft (Thailand)'s Windows Client Business Group.
With half a year left to this crucial milestone, there are more than 5.7 million PCs in Thailand - or nearly three in every 10 computers - that are still running on Windows XP, an 11-year-old operating system no longer capable of handling sophisticated cyber-attacks and demands for more data privacy and productivity, he said.
StatCounter figures for last month show that the Kingdom has one of the highest Windows XP installed bases in the Asia-Pacific region, at about 28 per cent of all PCs in the country. That is equivalent to an "alarming" figure of 5.7 million computers, which is higher than the population of Singapore, he said.
On the bright side, as of last month, consumers and businesses have been slowly upgrading to newer versions of the operating system, and at least 57 per cent of PCs are now on Windows 7 and 8 operating systems.
After April 8, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates and non-security-related fixes, and there will not be a number to call for technical assistance - or online technical content updates for Windows XP, Rachod said.
This means that users will no longer receive the updates that help protect PCs from harmful viruses, spyware and other malicious software, which may result in downtime and software-compatibility issues.
He added that while no one liked change, consumers and businesses needed to consider newer operating systems like Windows 7 or 8 to modernise their computing devices and stay safe from cyber-attacks and data loss.