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Guest View: Businesses in Asia at risk of cyber attack and reduced competitiveness

Vincent Wong | Jan. 6, 2014
There are two significant issues business owners need to be aware of: security and productivity.

With Microsoft officially retiring support for Windows XP and Office 2003 on April 8, 2014, the risks will be exacerbated because users will be more susceptible.  Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report, Volume 14, which was released in April 2013, highlighted that PCs running Windows XP with Office 2003 are 2.5 times more vulnerable than Windows 7, and 14 times more vulnerable than Windows 8[1]. In addition to the severe security issues, more than 60 per cent[2] of independent software vendors and modern browsers no longer support XP, which is also creating compatibility issues.

In a webcast hosted by Microsoft in Asia Pacific on 14 May 2013, entitled 'Goodbye XP', Michael Barnes, Vice President and Research Director of Forrester Research, said: "it is all the unknowns about security threats, lack of software and hardware support, and performance degradation that XP users should be concerned about come April 8, 2014."

Quite simply, newer operating systems - such as Windows 7 and 8 - are enhanced with robust security and privacy features that suit the modern threat environment.

New Operating Systems offer:

  • Secure business environments, including enhanced security features like built-in firewall, anti-virus, rootkit malware protection, and Rights Management for emails and attachments. Plus, BitLocker and BitLocker To Go data encryption helps protect data on hard drives and USBs
  • The latest software and support from Microsoft and its partners
  • Support when challenges arise - online and phone-based technical support that keeps your business moving
  • The experience of 10 years of technology innovation behind you


Beyond robust security and privacy, upgrading to a newer operating system makes a big difference in terms of speed and efficiency of employees. In fact, the latest version of any software will always come with brand new productivity features.

Likewise, since Office 2003, Microsoft has invested heavily to add hundreds of new features to its premier productivity software - features that are aimed at helping information workers accomplish tasks and collaborate more effectively, across borders. The results are clear - upgrading delivers performance improvements and multi-tasking capabilities that mean greater productivity capabilities for your organization.

For example, an operations director at a local steel company recently told us that the powerful new functions in Excel 2013 have helped him become more efficient in managing international projects, saving him hours in the process. This means he can now give more focus to business development and customer engagement.

In short, considerable advancements have been made in software design and functionality, enabling organizations to be more productive than ever before.  These advancements include enhanced security and control, including mobility and cloud support, introduction of functions that increase end-user productivity, and overall, creating more streamlined PC management that reduces overall IT costs.


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