Support from Microsoft for both Windows XP and Office 2003 will end as of 8th April 2014.
With this change coming it is important that you are aware of the impact this will have on your business and existing IT infrastructure. You will still be able to use both Windows XP and Office 2003 after this date but “End of Support” means that you will not receive the following:
- New security updates for Windows XP and Office 2003
- Non-security hotfixes for Windows XP and Office 2003
- Free or paid assisted support options from Microsoft for Windows XP and Office 2003
What does this exactly mean though and what impact can it have on my business if I continue to use Windows XP and / or Office 2003:
1) Security and Compliance Issues
Unsupported software is vulnerable to security risks. These risks will not be fixed by Microsoft and will leave the door open to viruses and other malware being more easily able to infect your computers. If your business is subject to any sort of certification or audit this could potentially lead to loss of any certification or accrediation you may have,
2) Lack of Independant Hardware Support
In future hardware companies may not be releasing Windows XP compatible drivers for their hardware products (eg printers, scanners etc). Say if your printer dies and you buy a replacement it may not work under Windows XP or if you call up the hardware manufacturer for support they may deny any sort of support.
3) Lack of Software Support
Newer versions of software may not run under Windows XP. You may also be denied support by a line of business software vendor for using a non supported operating system.
Some websites already don’t work on older versions of browsers. If future versions of Internet browsers aren’t compatible with Windows XP you may not be able to access certain websites.
What are my options?
You can continue using what you currently have but be aware of the factors listed above. Or you can upgrade to a new computer running a new operating systems such as Windows 8. Please note: we generally don’t recommend upgrading a Windows XP system directly to Windows 8.
But I don’t want Windows 8?
Many people have heard rumours about Windows 8 and as such are delaying the upgrade until Windows 9 or something else becomes available?
You shouldn’t hold off for this reason and there are a number of options you can take now. These options include:
- Upgrade to Windows 7. You can still purchase Windows 7 from various sources. So contact your computer supplier and see what they can do.
- Windows 8 can be made to look and act as Windows 7. Check out our blog on how to bring the start menu back to Windows 8.
- Try Windows 8 for yourself as it is not as bad as a lot of people make it out to be. The Windows 8.1 update has also added some improvements. We have also created some videos to help users get the most out of it so have a look at:
To help you prepare for any necessary changes or upgrades you should contact your local IT support provider. Don’t wait until it is too late!
If you are located within South Australia please contact us to organise a free consultation to discuss your requirements further.