Windows XP and Office 2003 EOL (End of Life)

End of support for Windows XP and Office 2003 is coming on April 8, 2014.

This means Microsoft will no longer make and distribute updates and patches for either product. They will also not provide tech support after that date.

Research suggest SMBs (5 to 249 Computers) are significantly behind Enterprise and Consumer populations in replacing Windows XP systems. About 40% of US SMBs are still on XP and Office 2003. According to SpiceWorks over 70% of their user base is still on XP.

The new versions of Office (2013 and 365) are NOT compatible with either XP or Vista.

What does this mean for you? Well, no security patches so if your business needs to be PCI-DSS, HIPPA, Sarbanes- Oxley compliant or many others, you won’t be able to be complaint.

You also need to be sure your main software (Hotel, Dining, Restaurant, accounting …) is compatible with new versions of Windows or you need to plan on migrating away from that program to one that is up-to-date. As I already noted, older versions of Microsoft Office won’t work.

You also need to be sure your peripherals will work. Monitors, Printers et al. They need to have drivers that work with Windows 7 or 8.

What about your network or domain? What version of Windows Server are you using? What software on those servers are Windows 7 or 8 compatible? Do you need new servers too?

These are additional cost over and above a new computer.

I still do not recommend Windows 8 or Office 2013, unless you like massive change and are patient, if you are used to XP/Vista/Windows 7 interface and get frustrated when your icons are moved on your desktop, get Windows 7.

Also, we (the IT service providers) age being forced to offer Office 2013. Microsoft has quit selling office 2010, so get yours while you can!

If you have questions on new systems, contact your service provider or Ward Computers.

Until we meet again, have a virus free week!

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