Well, it's almost here! Windows XP and Office 2003 have almost reached end-of-life. It's now less than 3 weeks away. It's hard to believe, but as of November 2013 more than 30 percent of all PCs are still running it! So, Microsoft has kept it on life support. So, we've put together a list of questions that you may be asking yourself:
1. What does this mean to me?
Support for Windows XP (and Office 2003) ends April 8, 2014. Microsoft will stop providing technical assistance for any XP system, and will no longer issue updates that help protect your XP computer, including service packs, security patches or bug fixes.
If you're still running Windows XP at that time, you will be extremely vulnerable to security threats. In the IT world, the bad guys are always ahead of the good guys. When vulnerabilities are found by hackers and criminal organizations, they are exploited quickly. Software companies like Microsoft rush to patch their systems, and companies like ESET and Symantec rush to release updates to their endpoint security products.
On April 9, 2014, Microsoft will no longer react to such exploits, and the endpoint security companies will stop updating their products as well. If you still have XP then, your computer will be a bullseye for the bad guys.
2. Will my applications still run on XP? Will they be supported?
If your applications are running fine now on XP, they will continue to run fine. The problem is most software vendors will stop supporting them when run under XP. This is an easy out for the vendors to say, "sorry - it's on XP, we're not able to troubleshoot the problem for you." So, this could become a long-term problem for you for these specific applications.
3. What should I do?
If you are a client of FPA and have XP machines, we have already informed you. As always, we will help you make the best choices for your situation.
If you are not one of our managed service clients, you should identify which systems you own have XP. In almost every case we would recommend you replace your XP computer with a new machine running Windows 7 Professional.
Some organizations have critical line of business applications that will only run on XP, and it’s just not feasible for them to migrate to a new program or pdated version in the next four months. There may be workaround possibilities with server virtualization and/or cloud computing, but this can only be considered a stopgap measure to buy you a few months’ time. If this is your situation, talk to us right away.
4. Should I upgrade the OS on my old computer or buy a new one?
There is no cost-effective way to do an in-place upgrade or rebuild of your existing PC. It is almost always more cost-effective to buy a new computer with Windows 7 pre-loaded on it.
5. Should I move to Windows 7 or Windows 8? Can I even get Windows 7?
Unless you are a mobile user with a tablet, or touch screen capability is important to you, Windows 7 is probably your best choice. If you’ve been using XP, Windows 7 will be a much easier change for you.
You may have heard a myth claiming Windows 8 is the only operating system available on new computers. However, you can purchase machines licensed for Windows 8 but you can downgrade them to Windows 7 and still be in compliance.