Putin doesn’t seem to care whether Windows XP officially expired in April 2014, because that’s the Operating System he’s using in December 2019.

This is according to a report posted by Open Media on December 17. The article claims that Windows XP is running on two of Putin’s machines: one in the Kremlin office complex and the other in his official residence.

Open Media obtained proof from official photos of the 67-year-old president during a videoconference with World Skills participants. Admittedly, the photos do seem to showcase the desktop view of Microsoft’s 18-year old operating system.

But can’t Putin use his Windows XP in peace? Well, thing is Microsoft discontinued extended support for Windows XP in 2014, meaning this longstanding operating system has not received any security updates since then.

In Microsoft’s viewpoint, users like Putin can still appreciate the features of Windows XP. However, the security of their files is greatly compromised. Windows XP PCs are especially vulnerable to viruses and cyber-attacks when connected to the internet.

Another off-putting factor is that software programmers are constantly optimizing applications for more recent versions of Windows, such as Windows 10.  This means you’re likely to encounter more software incompatibility issues as the years elapse.

Before you call Putin a technophobe, Windows XP is the last Microsoft operating system that he can use at present, as it was the final windows operating system to be certified for use in Russia’s government agencies. Windows 10 may have received certification, but not for computers that hold state secrets.

It seems like Putin has a valid reason to use XP after all. But still, one might wonder why the leader of an influential power like Russia would resort to an outdated operating system that’s old enough to be termed a teenager. Apparently, the nation had planned to replace Windows and Apple software with its own operating system before the plan stalled.

Whether Putin uses XP in compliance with governmental code or by preference is a mystery. What we know is Russia is increasingly setting itself apart from the west by enacting laws that restrict its consumption of technology.

A recent Russian policy allows its internet segment to be disconnected from the rest of the world as part of a cyber defense agenda. The country has also banned the sale of smartphones without Russian-made apps beginning July 2020.

Are you running Windows XP on your laptop?

It’s highly unlikely that you are. But if you still have a Windows XP laptop lying around, try to use it offline or secure it with antivirus software. If you’re tech-savvy, consider replacing XP with another light operating system such as Lubuntu , which has very low hardware requirements. XP is very outdated and the odds of encountering a software or driver incompatibility are extremely high.

Author: Victor WachangaWriter, 3D artist, and thinker. Tech is fascinating. Tech is scary

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