Computer software is constantly being updated which requires faster and more robust hardware which requires more powerful software which requires more powerful hardware. It’s an endless cycle where software and hardware get to the point where they’re no longer supported.
Each of the major versions of Windows in the past have had patches to them through their life-cycle and Windows XP and Office 2003 was no stranger to that as well. With the introduction of Windows 8, Windows XP and Office 2003 are now on the chopping block so to speak (which we first mentioned in our April 2013 Update post). This will eventually leave the information on your computers and network in a vulnerable position. It is our responsibility to help you keep your network and all of your technology assets and business critical infrastructure as secure as possible.
From Microsoft’s website:
Why do I have to Upgrade
In 2002 Microsoft introduced its Support Lifecycle policy based on customer feedback to have more transparency and predictability of support for Microsoft products. As per this policy, Microsoft Business and Developer products, including Windows and Office products, receive a minimum of 10 years of support (5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support), at the supported service pack level.
Thus, Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 will go out of support on April 8, 2014. If your organization has not started the migration to a modern desktop, you are late. Based on historical customer deployment data, the average enterprise deployment can take 18 to 32 months from business case through full deployment. To ensure you remain on supported versions of Windows and Office, you should begin your planning and application testing immediately to ensure you deploy before end of support.
What does this end of Life / Support mean to me?
It means you should take action. After April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.
Running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in your environment after their end of support date may expose your company to potential risks, such as:
- Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.
- Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) & Hardware Manufacturers support: A recent industry report from Gartner Research suggests “many independent software vendors (ISVs) are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP in 2011; in 2012, it will become common.” And it may stifle access to hardware innovation: Gartner Research further notes that in 2012, most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on the majority of their new PC models.
Get current with Windows and Office. This option has upsides well beyond keeping you supported. It offers more flexibility to empower employees to be more productive, while increasing operational efficiency through improved PC security and management. It also enables your organization to take advantage of latest technology trends such as virtualization and the cloud.
How do I begin my migration?
Enterprise Customers: Microsoft offers large organizations in-depth technical resources, tools, and expert guidance to ease the deployment and management of Windows, Office and Internet Explorer products and technologies. To learn more about migration and deployment programs, please call us at (270) 830-9590 or complete this form to setup an evaluation.
Small to Medium Business: There are many options for small and medium businesses considering moving to a modern PC with the latest productivity and collaboration tools. Small to mid-size organizations should locate a Microsoft Certified Partner to understand the best options to meet their business needs. If your current PC meets the system requirements for Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can buy Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8 Pro from us here at A2Z Computer Services. If your PC does not meet system requirements, consider purchasing a new business PC with Windows 8 Pro which we also supply. Contact us for more information.
Download the free Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.
Get technical resources, free tools and expert guidance for Internet Explorer.
Visit the Springboard Series on TechNet for additional technical guidance.
Check out the latest recommended Windows devices.
What does end of support mean for my home PC?
Other Lifecycle Resources
So what does all this mean?
Simple, we need to have a conversation and look at your current configuration to determine what needs to be updated, upgraded or replaced. We should start this process rite away to ease any financial burden this may cause over the few months.
On My 30th, 2013, I attended a seminar in Chicago where Microsoft, Western Digital, AMD and a host of other manufacturers spoke about trends. All of this was discussed thoroughly at that time. There are lots of new features in the most up to date versions of the Office Software currently in production (Version 2013).
Now is the time to start planning for your upgrades. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call me at (270) 830-9590 or contact us here.