If you still have Windows XP computers running in your office, time is running out until they become a security risk. Microsoft has decided Windows XP is going away and you need to prepare your business.
Why Is Windows XP Going Away?
Microsoft first introduced Windows XP in 2001, over 12 years ago. It has been a very stable and popular operating system for computers, however Microsoft has since release three new operating systems - Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
With any operating system, Microsoft regularly issues software updates and security patches to fix functionality issues or address security holes that are discovered. At some point in the life of every software product, Microsoft says it's not going to support it any more. In the case of Windows XP, that date is April 8, 2014.
As of that date, Microsoft will no longer issue software updates or security patches for Windows XP. This means that any machine operating on Windows XP is a security risk for your environment.
We expect some organizations will refuse to do business with those who are running an insecure IT environment that includes Windows XP machines.
So What Do You Do About Windows XP Going Away?
First of all, I hope this news is not a surprise for you. We have been speaking with our clients about this for months. If it is a surprise, you will need to act quickly.
Here are the three steps you should take:
- Do a full inventory of all of your computers to identify how many of these are running Windows XP. Your IT person or company should have monitoring and management software that can do this for you immediately.
- Determine if any software will only run on Windows XP - some companies are still running Windows XP machines to power old software that is not compatible with newer versions of Microsoft operating software. If this is the case, you will need to find a solution, which will likely mean upgrading or replacing that software.
- Develop a replacement plan - depending on how many machines need to be replaced and your budget, you may want to upgrade all of your machines at once, or a few at a time over the next few months.
The other compelling reason to get rid of your Windows XP machines is they typically run slower and are more susceptible to viruses than Windows 7 machines. We are still recommending our clients standardize on Windows 7 because Windows 8 is quite new, contains some compatability issues and many users do not like the new interface.
If you do not know how many Windows XP machines you have in your environment, please give us a call or click below for a Free Windows XP Audit of your environment. We will let you know what you have and give you a plan for eliminating Windows XP from your IT environment.