Posts Tagged ‘windows-xp’

The Sunset of Windows XP and Office 2003

Posted on: March 28th, 2013 by jiml | No Comments

The sun is setting on our old friends Windows XP and Office 2003. Alas, life does go on and sunrise brings new opportunities with a new day. Microsoft will no longer provide extended support past April 8, 2014.  That means no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates.

What are your plans to phase out Windows XP and Office 2003 in your business?  If you do not have a plan, you are late.   Based on historical customer deployment data, the average enterprise deployment can take 18 to 32 months from start to finish.

Continuing to use Windows XP and Office 2003 in your environment after their end of support date may expose your company to potential risks, such as:

  • Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.
  • Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) & Hardware Manufacturers support: An industry report from Gartner suggested “many independent software vendors (ISVs) are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP in 2011; in 2012, it will become common.” And it may stifle access to hardware innovation: Gartner further notes that as of 2012, most PC hardware manufacturers would stop supporting Windows XP on the majority of their new PC models. [1]

It is important for every business to plan for the day when Windows XP and Office 2003 will no longer be a secure or supported choices to run your business applications. Microsoft’s release of Windows 8 may be a tempting replacement, but before you run out and upgrade all of your PCs and laptops to Windows 8, there are considerations that must be carefully examined. For example, we strongly encourage the creation of a master list of software that is necessary to run the business.  These software packages should be classified as critical, important, or non-critical.  Next, each software package will need investigation to see what operating platforms they support and what their development life cycle will support in the coming months and years.  Knowing this information is critical to making a smart business decision. Based on the data provided from your software audit, a determination can be made as to which operating platform is best for your business (Windows 8, Windows 7, Mac, 32-bit versus 64-bit, etc).

Once the next generation platform has been decided upon, a timeline can be established for bringing your business infrastructure up to date. Do not wait until the last minute or you may find yourself riding off into the sunset with our old friends Windows XP and Office 2003.  Creating the timeline can help with cash flow and reduce long-term expenses by avoiding the problems that come from last minute replacements, not to mention the increased productivity that comes with newer operating systems and business software.

Call us at (888) 600-4560 or email us at info@coldencompany.com and let us help your business plan the migration from older Microsoft technologies to a more secure and long-term platform for your PC infrastructure. Sure, we will miss the familiarity of Windows XP and Office 2003, but let’s enjoy the sunset from the secure vantage point of an upgraded and supported infrastructure.

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[1] https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/endofsupport.aspx







Keeping Windows XP is Costing You Money

Posted on: May 31st, 2012 by jiml | No Comments

It’s no secret to businesses using Microsoft’s venerable Windows XP that Microsoft will be terminating extended support for the operating system on April 8, 2014. Termination of extended support means that there will be no monthly patches for security problems, bugs, etc. In short, as of April 8, 2014, the Windows XP you’re running will be the Windows XP you’re running forever – unchanging and no longer protected.

An IDC study (commissioned by Microsoft) suggests that organizations can save money by moving from Windows XP to Windows 7. The study, “Mitigating Risk: Why Sticking with Windows XP is a Bad Idea,” is available for download on Microsoft’s website. The study discusses the benefits associated with a move from Windows XP to Windows 7 and presents a case for the many reasons why remaining with Windows XP is no longer a good business decision. The study takes into consideration both IT operational costs and selected end-user operational costs, such as time lost to malware, time taken to reimage/repair a PC, reboot waits, downtime, and time waiting for help desk support. The paper then aggregates the costs associated (ongoing support and maintenance, IT staff or professional services costs, etc.) and calculates the return-on-investment (ROI) associated with the deployment of Windows 7 to replace aging Windows XP PCs.

IDC estimates that the annual cost per PC per year for Windows XP is $870, while a comparable Windows 7 PC costs only $168 per PC per year. That is a potential savings of $701 per PC per year for IT and end-user labor costs. Most importantly, the study estimates that over a three-year period, organizations that move from Windows XP to Windows 7 will have a 137 percent ROI. It’s true that there will be capital expenditures (capex) and operational expenditures (opex) during the upgrade process, which IDC acknowledges as “Challenge: It takes money to save money” in the report (p. 11). However, IDC also acknowledges “Opportunity: Cost savings are forever” as well (p.11). The report optimistically states that “once an upgrade is completed, and the operational costs are lowered, those lower operational cost benefits continue to accrue into the future with no further direct capex investment.”

Windows XP is already two generations behind Microsoft’s current workstation operating system technology. With the release of Windows 8 later this year, Windows XP will be a decade old and three generations behind current technology. Many businesses are running the aging operating system on aging (or already well-aged) hardware that performs substantially below the level of current hardware or is prone to failure. It’s time to improve your business’ technology and user productivity through an investment in more modern technology. IDC sums up the report nicely by stating “Organizations that continue to retain a Windows XP environment not only are leaving themselves exposed to security risks and support challenges but also are wasting budget dollars that would be better used in modernizing their IT investments.”

Don’t waste another dime; upgrade your aging hardware to more-capable systems and your aging operating system to Windows 7 and protect your business. For assistance with this or any other IT-related problem, please contact us at (888) 600-4560, email us at info@coldencompany.com or see us on Facebook or Twitter.







Two-Year Countdown to End of Support for Windows XP and Office 2003

Posted on: April 13th, 2012 by billp | No Comments

Microsoft divides its support lifecycle into two phases: “Mainstream” and “Extended.” In the Mainstream phase, software receives free security updates, bug fixes, new or improved features, etc. In the Extended phase, only security updates are provided.

Windows XP and Office 2003 are currently in Extended support until April 8, 2014. After that date, they’ll cease receiving even security updates, leaving anyone still using that software vulnerable to viruses, malware, etc. that are designed to target remaining weaknesses.

Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be in Extended support from now until April 2017.

Upgrade Today: Two-Year Countdown to End of Support for Windows XP and Office 2003 (Windows for your Business Blog)

If you’re still running Windows XP or Office 2003, now is the time to start planning your upgrades. Windows 7 and Office 2010 are mature and reliable products that are ready to support your business needs. Or are you ready to take your business into the cloud with Office 365? Do you want to plan a migration to any of these products? If so, contact us for help at (888) 600-4560, info@coldencompany.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter @coldenco.

How to protect personal data on devices you plan to sell

Posted on: March 30th, 2012 by billp | No Comments

A recent study shows that it’s almost impossible to get rid of personal information from some devices, even if you follow the manufacturer’s directions for wiping the device clean. BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows 7 devices are reported safe as long as you follow the manufacturer’s directions for securely wiping them, but Android and Windows XP are another question. If you’re not sure if you’re safe, contact us for help.

How to protect personal data on devices you plan to sell (Los Angeles Times; March 29, 2012)

Dell Stopping Sales of Windows XP

Posted on: September 10th, 2010 by billp | No Comments

Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system was released for retail sale on October 25, 2001. It has had its ups and downs, but overall it is one of the biggest client operating system success stories in Microsoft’s long-lived Windows franchise. However, change is inevitable and it is time for us to move on.

Effective October 22, 2010, Windows XP will reach its end-of-sales milestone. This means that Microsoft will not allow Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to sell computers pre-installed with Windows XP after that date. All new computers will ship with an edition of Windows 7. Please don’t confuse this with end-of-support, which will not arrive for Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) until April 2014.

In preparation for this deadline, Dell will no longer ship computers pre-installed with Windows XP after October 1, 2010. Dell will begin removing Windows XP as an option in September. While this particular announcement is from Dell, all OEMs will certainly follow down a similar path.

The bottom line is clear. If your business isn’t ready to integrate or upgrade to Windows 7, and you have computers that are in need of a refresh, now is the time to buy.

Windows 7 has proven to be an outstanding operating system and a solid successor to Windows XP for businesses of all sizes. If your business relies of software that is not compatible with Windows 7, Microsoft provides Windows XP Mode in Windows 7 Professional or higher. This feature provides a compatibility layer for software that isn’t ready to run on Windows 7 natively.

If you want to purchase new computers before the end-of-sales milestone, or you want to explore Windows 7 migration, or you want to learn more about Windows XP Mode under Windows 7, please contact Colden Company for help. We can be reached at 518-885-2857, info@coldencompany.com, or on Twitter @coldenco.