According to Jupiter Research the outdated Windows versions 98 and ME are still used to a considerable extent on second and third computers, in particular by small and medium-sized companies. Microsoft, however, announced that for these versions security updates will only be available until July 2006. Thus, any use beyond that date will result in an incalculable security risk, which according to the provisions of Basel II will be interpreted as a risk raising the costs of loans (see our news item “Inadequate IT security leads to more expensive loans”).
In plain language this means: Once the support by Microsoft (⇒ Wikipedia) has come to an end, the lending rates to be paid by the companies might possibly cause financial damage even if the company is not hit by a computer virus. In contrast to the security risks involved with supported software, in the case of non-supported software banks will hardly have any scope for interpretation once the support has officially expired. Therefore the updating to an operating system which is supported has to start early enough as to ensure its completion before the expiration date of the support given for Windows 98 and ME.