Microsoft has announced that support of its Windows XP operating system is scheduled to end April 8, 2014. This means that while Windows XP will continue to work, there will be no new security updates, no technical support available, and no updates to technical documentation.
Because customers wanted more transparency and predictability for its products, Microsoft introduced its Support Lifecycle policy in 2002. This policy requires that Windows and Office products receive a minimum of 10 years of support from a new product’s release date.
Windows XP was first introduced in 2001, and most retail sales ended in 2007 with the introduction of Windows Vista. If you’ve been running Windows XP on a computer that is more than six years old, there is no doubt you’re missing out on significant technology and security advances. With about six months to transition to a new operating system, now is a great time to replace any PCs that are currently running Windows XP.
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 if you decide to continue to run Windows XP after its “end of support” date? According to Microsoft’s Tim Rains, “one risk is that attackers will have the advantage over defenders who choose to run Windows XP because attackers will likely have more information about vulnerabilities in Windows XP than defenders.” In short, hackers will get information on security holes every time an update to Windows 7 or Windows 8 is released. They will immediately test Windows XP to see if those same vulnerabilities exist in older operating systems. Knowing that no further security updates will be released, they will attempt to create viruses that exploit those vulnerabilities. Your best defense is to be certain of the integrity of your systems by making sure your operating systems are fully supported by Microsoft.
In general, Paladin recommends upgrading PCs every three years on a rotating basis for budget considerations. Replacing one or two PCs each year means you always have a newer terminal to turn to in the event of a PC failure.
While any transition of computer systems can be daunting, we’re here to help make the process as painless as possible. Call us at 800-725-2346 for information on our PC offerings.