The Windows XP countdown clock is ticking, with businesses still using the 13-year-old operating system having just 21 days until Microsoft pulls the plug on essential security updates.

The penultimate Patch Tuesday, Microsoft’s monthly release of security updates, served as a timely reminder to those determined to stick with the OS of the importance of Microsoft support by providing a raft of XP fixes.

For instance, MS14-012 covers 18 remote execution flaws in XP systems running Internet Explorer. Microsoft pointed out that those who have enabled automatic updates will not need to take action, but automatic updates are one of the services the company will stop providing for XP on 8th April 2014.

Businesses have been warned that without support, in three weeks’ time Windows XP will become more vulnerable and may potentially become a greater target for hackers. Those who choose to run XP could see a rise in drive-by downloads and zero-day exploits, among other things.

As a result, businesses are likely to have to deal with rising support costs from the IT department, and lost productivity from the users whose PC and laptops require manual fixes.

If your business is looking to upgrade XP systems, the Windows XP Migration Zone is here to help. With advice on the security support you can expect to receive for XP machines going forward, alongside reviews of Windows 8 laptops that could be fit for your business, the XP Migration Zone provides a one-stop-shop for your needs.