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Windows XP and Office 2003 Support ends today!

After 13 years running the world’s desktop computers Windows XP is gone. Time to move to a newer more secure operating system!

Windows XP was by far the most successful and most widely used operating system in recent times.

Even though there has been widespread media coverage about the support end date (which was already extended) a large number of computers still use XP. 25-30% of the world’s computers are still running XP.

A number of organisations and governments have agreed multi million pound deals with Microsoft for on-going support. Microsoft has stressed that this support is only for 12 months by this time it expects the organisations to migrate their systems. The UK government has also made a deal reportedly to be about £5.5 million.

Many organisations are not prepared for the migration of all their systems to a new OS. A few main reasons are:

  • Cost
  • System/Application Incompatibility
  • Downtime of end user systems
  • Loss of service/revenue

However one must ask the question is it worth spending 5-10 million on on-going support for an OS that is already EOL or could an organisation have spent 5-10 million on their IT migration? This would have meant cost savings and being compliant and up to date sooner. The organisation could then have focused on their plan for 2014 which could have been further cost savings, improving IT efficiency and management.

There are also reasons why organisations are behind in migrating. The uptake of virtualisation and cloud technology is increasing at an exponential rate and is said to be a multi-billion pound industry already which is only likely to increase. This means there is a shortage of IT workers with the new skills required to manage these new infrastructures and migrate them effectively. The rapid speed at which technology is developing is faster than the number of people being trained to operate those technologies.

What remains to be seen is where most of the XP users will migrate to. If they remain on XP they are vulnerable to security issues. There are a number of options Linux, Mac OS, Windows 7 or 8. With the name Microsoft it is most likely that organisations are going to go Windows 7/8 with volume licensing options. Home users however may choose Mac OS or Linux as free and modern alternatives depending on user knowledge and the hardware they have.

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