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Windows XP End of Life – Are You Prepared?

With the EOL of Windows XP fast approaching, companies all across the globe are still scrambling to plan and budget the migration to a new operating system. Sure it sounds easy, just upgrade to Windows 7 or 8, right?……………. wrong. It’s not that easy for many. Companies will face many challenges with the expiration of XP, and it can potentially come at a very high cost, risk the security, confidence and reputation of the organization if not planned and executed properly. Organizations of all shapes and sizes will potentially be required by industry standardization, internal policy and regulatory commissions to re-write security policies, as well as undergo various types of auditing when migrating to a new operating system depending on the industry and company. Potential hardware and software upgrades will be eminent as well. Many companies rely heavily on Windows based operating systems, for their ease of use, compatibility, reliability, etc. What many companies don’t realize is that they have had a very long free ride since the release of Windows XP with its 13+ year life cycle, and have become very accustom to the XP lifestyle with few headaches and needs to upgrade technology. Microsoft states that the life cycles of its operating systems will continue to decrease, as the company focuses towards more rapid, and competitive improvements, as well as its growing adaption to the Cloud. Microsoft has already moved its full suite of office products to the cloud with the release of Office 365, and other software as well. Vista, Windows 7, and Widows 8 have all been released within half of the life cycle of Windows XP, and are already scheduled to have much shorter life cycles.

The fact of the matter is, today, companies have choices, unlike 5-10+ years ago. Now is the time to start reviewing various opinions from both in-house and outside resources if you have not already to evaluate and plan the best needs for the organization.

The full lifecycle report of all existing Microsoft Operating Systems is here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle

Something Windows 8 This Way Comes

As you may have heard, Microsoft announced that Windows 8 is coming out October 26th.  This release has a little more weight to it than previous Windows releases.  It’s a cutoff point for Microsoft on both the hardware and software front.  For example, the new Internet Explorer which has a vast market share will not be compatible with Windows Vista or XP.  Windows 8 will also have a full x86 tablet version which will support touch screens.  The down side is that the new operating system will boast the Metro interface.  It’s different and people don’t like different.

Microsoft has even added a few incentives to switch over to the new system.  First is price.  To upgrade from Windows 7 to 8 will cost 15 dollars and from Vista or XP it will take 40 dollars.  That’s pretty good deal, if you have a mind to switch.  Another incentive are the apps.  Microsoft has been offering up to sixty thousand dollars to developers to make programs exclusive to Windows 8.  And with the Surface on the way, Microsoft needs to show it can still innovate.  Hopefully, the upgrade won’t be an IT support nightmare.