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The End of XP is Here

It’s official, “The End of XP is Here!”, On April 8th 2014, Microsoft officially ended all support for the Windows XP Operating System. This means that Microsoft will no longer provide automatic updates, vulnerability fixes or anti-malware updates for any machines running on the XP platform. In addition, the Microsoft Security Essentials Antivirus software provided by Microsoft will no longer work on Windows XP.

Where do we stand?

If your organization is still heavily dependent on older computers running Windows XP you are not alone. Studies have shown that the majority of organizations still rely heavily on the world’s most popular OS. In fact, a report by Gartner predicts that 15% of businesses will still have XP running on 1 in 10 machines past the April 8 deadline:

Organizations continue to support XP machines past its retirement for a number of key reasons:

  1. Compatibility with older software and hardware

  2. Budget and Cost

  3. Time involved in migration to newer OS

What’s the risk of staying with XP?

A number of industry experts anticipate a rash of XP related viruses and malware to be released as Microsoft stops releasing security patches. This represents a serious security risk to businesses of any size. The simple fact is that sticking with the outdated OS….

  1. Endangers the stability and security of your business

  2. Neglects major enhancements that come packaged in to new versions of Windows

  3. Jeopardizes the efficiency of you and your employees

  4. Prolongs valuable IT investment in favor of short-term savings

  5. And, since Microsoft has also ended support for Office 2003, threatens a whole range of documents and data

What’s should I do next?

  1. Invest in new machines – If your workstations are as outdated as Windows XP, the best course of action is to start investing in a new line of machines. Yes, it requires an investment up front – but it is estimated that a move to Windows 7 will produce a return on investment (ROI) of $9100TT in three years. One security lapse can attract significantly more costs in downtime, emergency support and recovery expenses.

  1. Upgrade your Operating Systems – If you would like to retain your existing machines, you may consider upgrading the Operating System to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, although this may involve more overhead work and outlay for migration.

  1. Also Consider upgrading Exchange Server 2003 and Server 2003 – Like XP, Microsoft will end support for Exchange Server 2003 on April 8th as well. Support for Windows Server 2003 will expire in July 2015. Running any of these two programs in tandem with XP can put your entire organization at risk.

  1. Do not assume XP computers not on the internet are safe – Some business owners have considered keeping XP computers off the internet to avoid security lapses. However, one virus or malware from a USB drive on an XP machine can transmit over the network and wreak havoc on other workstations.

How can ROSE IT Services Limited help?

As a trusted provider of Managed IT Services, ROSE ITSL can provide critical to support to existing and prospective clients in a number of ways:

  1. New Hardware Acquisition – Through partnerships with IT vendors and suppliers, we can advise on the best and most cost effective path to acquire new hardware and provide some of the most competitive prices available on the market.

  1. Migration to Windows 7 or 8.1 OS – We manage the transition to newer machines i.e. backup and restore of data, reinstall of applications and user settings and configuration of peripherals (printers, scanners and other attached devices).

  1. Ensure compatibility of older hardware and software – We will work with your existing vendors to ensure that older software and applications previously only compatible with XP will continue to work on newer operating systems; and if not chart the best way forward.

  1. Management of existing XP Portfolio – For our existing clients, we will continue to manage and support the XP workstations through the transition. Our goal is to ensure that our clients experience minimal downtime and interruption through this phase.

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