On April 8th, 2014, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP and Office 2003. What does this mean for you?
The primary implication is that Microsoft will stop providing security patches and updates for those products. Computers running XP will continue to work and Office 2003 will still be able to create and edit documents, but they will become increasingly vulnerable to security breaches, viruses, and cyber attacks.
A secondary implication is that other software providers will slowly stop offering versions of their software that work with Windows XP, or updates for XP versions of software.
The bad news
- Time is not on your side. The longer you wait to make the move, the higher the risks will become, as more vulnerabilities are discovered and exploited.
- The real risk here is significant disruption to your business. Consider this: The cost of a new computer or operating system is relatively low compared to the cost of your downtime.
The good news
- You're not alone. Some 25% of SMEs are still running Windows XP and Office 2003.
- While most organizations take 18-32 months for a full migration, small businesses are much more agile. A migration for an environment with 25 users and 1 server can be completed in as little as one weekend.
- Depending on your environment, this doesn't need to represent a huge - or sudden - expense.
What can you do?
Plan, plan, plan!
Unfortunately, you don't have many options. The only real course of action is to upgrade your systems to Windows 7 or higher and Office 2013.
Fortunately, this doesn't necessarily mean huge investments in hardware or software. Many older computers will be able to run Windows 7 (check the system requirements to see if you computers are compatible).
If you do need to upgrade, you should know that the prices of processing power, memory, and storage have come down significantly in recent years. You now have many options below $500 for new PCs that include Windows 7. This may be an opportunity for you to replace those old, slow machines that have been causing you problems.
The result is this
You don't need to migrate away from Windows XP immediately. Your systems will still work on April 9th. At the same time, you don't want to wait until you encounter one of those problems to make the switch. It will be more stressful, complicated, and expensive to rush through a migration because you desperately need a piece of software or your system security was breached, than it would be to properly plan and implement a migration ahead of time.
Our qualified technicians are ready to help you make the move. Whether you have a single PC to upgrade or a complex network infrastructure to migrate, we can identify your needs and prepare a plan that makes sense.
Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.