Christopher Lentz | October 17, 2013 03:21 PM
After Microsoft released its Support Lifecycle policy in 2002, their support for software followed a specific time frame for their support of past titles. This policy stated that support would last a total of 10 years. This means that there will be no more security updates or hot fixes for those titles that have been marked as unsupported after 10 years. For IT administrators, Windows XP has long been a trusted friend in the business world, being touted as one of the most stable versions of the Windows operating system. Let's dive into the reasons that Microsoft has set timelines for the retirement of its operating system software, how to get started on migrating to a newer version of Windows, and what you can expect from Windows 7 and Windows 8.
One of the main reasons for Microsoft's push for a newer OS is the large migration of users to cloud based solutions. Things like Office 365, Amazon Web Services, and many other vendors offer web based applications and services that reduce the need for PC based computing. This reduced need, leads us to the second reason: more and more users are moving to a mobile style of computing, either through their smart phones or through tablets like the new Surface Pro 2. Finally, the greatest reason for pushing its user base to new versions is a lack of support from hardware vendors. As hardware gets better and better it expects its operating systems to do the same.
The migration to a newer version of Windows depends on which version of Windows XP you have: Home or Professional, 32 bit or 64 bit, and Service Pack 1 through Service Pack 3. If you are in a business environment, chances are you have Windows XP Professional 64 bit with Service Pack 3. No matter what version you have, your migration should have started yesterday. According to Microsoft, the typical migration can take around 18 months from business case to full deployment. Enforma IT can help most small and medium sized businesses complete that migration in less than 6 months typically.
After you have accepted the fate of Windows XP, it is time to start thinking about which of the two newest operating systems you want to upgrade to. Windows 7 was not much of a change from Windows XP other than the look and feel and some minor architecture changes. Windows 8, however, was a major change...especially from Windows XP! Windows 8 has a whole new user interface and architecture that is both light and easy to use. Though many old school users are caught off guard by the new OS, after some minor training they loved how user friendly it really was. Microsoft has done a great job of presenting us with materials to see how using Windows 8 can be advantageous for our business needs.
Whether you have decided on Windows 7 or the new Windows 8, migrating before April 2014 is critical if you still have machines on Windows XP. Let our team of Microsoft Certified Professionals help your business make the smoothest transition by calling us today at 408-844-4808!