Microsoft will end all support for Windows XP on April 8th, 2014. While this might seem like a long way off, it has serious implications for businesses today. It’s not something you need to get ready for—it’s something you need to deal with right now.
Windows XP has been in, what Microsoft calls, “Extended Support” phase since 2009. This means they’re basically only providing security updates at this point. The real problem for businesses is that developers have “moved on” to Windows 7. New software, hardware and peripherals may not be compatible with XP and may not be able to be made so, because Microsoft is done making changes to the operating system.
This is especially problematic with new printers. Some manufactures have simply stopped writing drivers (the software that allows a computer to talk to a printer) for Windows XP.
Internet Explorer 9 is only available for Windows 7. IE9 has much improved features over previous versions. Web sites are being rewritten to support these features. Sooner than later, certain Web sites will no longer support IE8.
If your business has no IT lifecycle plan (hardware and software replacement, upgrades, etc.) now is the time to put one in place, with the help of a trusted Information and Communication Technology adviser. Information technology is not a one-time investment. Failure to keep up-to-date now will cost much more in lost time later on, when it’s no longer a choice.
For more on Microsoft’s support lifecycle, see the following article.