Windows XP came out at the end of 2001. If you get a new computer today, it will come with the Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system. There comes a point when Microsoft no longer offers support or updates for software. It’s called the “end of life”. Windows XP will no longer be supported after April 2014.
That means no more software updates, including security updates to protect your computer from harmful viruses, spyware or other malicious software. Software updates also include new drivers for hardware.
Office 2003 will also go out of support April 2014. So, what do you do if you are still relying on these programs to run your business? It can take time to transition from one form of software to another. All computers will need to be updated and compatibility of all electronic devices will need to be tested. Employees may need some time to get used to the new interface. It’s best to start long before Windows XP and Office 2003 go out of date.
Here are some steps you can take:
- Now’s the time to assess your technology situation and see how it meets your needs. This will take time, but before you invest in a new version of Windows or Office, it’s good to have a needs assessment for your office. Take some time and re-think your strategy.
- We’ve already discussed Windows Virtual PC. You might want to read that blog entry again. The summary is: if you are still using your XP software, and want a newer operating system, Windows Pro 7 or Windows Ultimate 7 will provide an update that will still allow you to use your older programs.
- If you haven’t migrated to a new OS in the 12 years since XP came out, you may need to get IT assistance to make your transition run smooth.
Internet usage statistics indicate that 40% of computers worldwide are using Windows XP. But, in North America, the percentage is 14. Some people may not want to put their business through the cost and hassle of migrating to a new operating system, but Microsoft warns on their security blog that using XP after its end-of-support date will leave you open to “malicious activity” and “cybercrime”.