XP counts down to Armageddon

Right up until April 2014, you will be hearing Microsoft getting louder and louder about the end of support for the XP operating system.  This 12 year old operating system is extremely stable and many users are still on it.  In fact, according to Net Applications figures released for last month (August 2013), more than 33% of all worldwide OS installations for that month were XP installations.

So if it is so stable, why all the Armageddon warnings?  Well… after April 2014, users running Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 will not get any more updates.  This includes security and non-security hot fixes, as well as free and paid support options.  There will be no online technical content updates either.

 

There is some mixed messaging going on in the IT community… so let’s take a moment to clarify what is going on.  Microsoft will continue to patch XP if your organization has an active Premier Support agreement AND your company has purchased Custom Support.  This dual requirement is costly and for most organizations (outside the Fortune 500) it will be more cost effective to update hardware and install a new company-wide OS environment.

 

If you don’t belong to one of these rare organizations… you are truly out in the cold.  In fact, if you are currently running Windows XP, Tim Rains points out another issue that is already taking place: infection of your computer.  According to just released research, the infection rate by operating system and service pack in Q4 of 2012 as reported by Microsoft, XP systems have an infection rate at least double that of any other computer.

 

This is only going to get worse.  After Microsoft stops updates to XP, attackers of XP will end up having more information about the vulnerabilities in XP than those trying to defend it.

 

Bottom Line

 

Ideally you have already been discussing this with your IT team… or if you are the IT team, you have started discussions with management… and you are currently well into the migration process.  However, you might have inherited this problem and be starting at ground zero.  If you have not started the process, now is the time to begin… only 7 months to go.

 

Do you have proprietary software that was developed on XP, has run on XP for 10 years, and has no counterpart for a more recent OS? It is time to get your vendor involved to see if there is updated software that will run on a more current OS, or start planning on migrating data to a new software package… only 7 months to go.

 

How about your hardware?  Can your current desktops/laptops fulfill the requirements to run a newer OS?  If not, there is a complete hardware refresh that needs to be budgeted, purchased and installed… only 7 months to go.

 

You are running out of time… fast.  Now is the time to begin your internal discussions, or contact us.  As a Gold-certified, Managed Microsoft Partner, we understand that this is a great opportunity to make technical improvements in your infrastructure, enhance your security, and provide your employees with a more efficient computing environment.