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Windows XP end of life. It's not the end of the world

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On April 9, 2014, support for Microsoft Windows XP officially ended.

However, it’s important to understand that there are system issues you may face in the future if you don’t upgrade from Windows XP.If you heard the rumblings, you would realise by now that that the sky didn’t fall in, and that if you are running Windows XP, your operating system still works. 

In this post, we make easy sense of the issues and recommend the steps you can take to ensure that your business continues operating smoothly, as you would expect.

What exactly has happened?

Windows XP was released in 2001. Since then, Microsoft has released three new major versions of Windows- Vista, 7, and 8- and they are currently at work on the next major version, Windows 9.

With so many releases dating back so many years, Microsoft has a hard time keeping up with the maintenance for each, which is why they finally pulled the plug on XP.

That means that any computer running XP will no longer receive security updates. Without those updates, computers still running XP are becoming increasingly exposed to any number of viruses and other malicious software. In short, they are quickly becoming completely unprotected.

Security risks are the biggest but not the only concern. Because Microsoft  has ended official support for XP, so too have software manufacturers. That means that the programs you use every day may or may not continue to work on Windows XP.

Lastly, XP is simply old. To put its age in perspective, the iPhone didn't exist until six years after the release of XP, and it along with most modern phones today, have more processing power than a computer that came pre-installed with Windows XP.

What can you do?

We recommend that you commence a migration plan. Though the clock is ticking — Microsoft's own press release warns that, if you haven't begun the upgrade yet, "you are late." — there is still time to migrate and avoid unnecessary risk.

We are asking our customers to call us in the first instance so that we can review their existing setup for them – identifying which computers are affected, which computers are capable of an upgrade, and then plan a transition to either Windows 7 or 8 for them.

If there are any computers that are not capable of a system upgrade, we may recommend a hardware upgrade as part of our review.

It’s also imperative that we investigate the compatibility of the software packages our customers use ongoing to run their businesses.

We spend time reviewing & identifying those which will run seamlessly after the system transition, and those which may be incompatible. In the case of incompatible software, we will recommend a new software alternative.

What's next?

If you want to learn more about the end of XP's support cycle, you can do so here.

If you would like us to review your current system and help with your transition straight away, you can call us on 02 4254 5444 weekdays between 8.00am – 5.30pm.

Or you can email us with any questions or to arrange a time that suits you to discuss your transition needs.

Technology years are something like dog years, which means that Windows XP is upwards of 90 years old. It's served you well, but it's time to find out what the next generation of Windows can do for your business.

Additional resources

https://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy

http://www.thebmsgroup.com.au/blog/admin/windows-xp-office-2003-support-ending-time-upgrade

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/realworld/385723/the-end-of-windows-xp-support-what-it-really-means-for-businesses

http://www.informationweek.com/software/operating-systems/windows-xps-end-of-life-readers-respond/d/d-id/1110912

 

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