Microsoft Retiring Windows XP and Office 2003 on April 8th, 2014
Friday, November 15, 2013
On October 25, 2001 Microsoft released it Windows XP operating system. Since then Windows XP has been installed by millions of business all across the world making it by far one of the most popular operating systems.
Its success and wide adoption by businesses has been its greats triumph, but it ultimately could be the one of the largest security. It has been projected that on April 8th, 2014 that 33.5% of all personal computers will still have Windows XP installed.
As of April 14th, 2009 Windows XP, with Service Pack 3 installed, reached the end of its mainstream support by Microsoft and entered into their extended support phase. During this phase Microsoft has continued to supply security patches each month, but not design changes are no longer being made.
End of Support
On April 8th, 2014 this will end. Microsoft will no longer provided free security patches for Windows XP. After this date if a hacker finds vulnerability in Windows XP they could exploit that vulnerability forever because Microsoft will not fix* it. Since July 1st, 2013 Microsoft has released 16 security fixes specifically for Windows XP. Hackers find new ways to exploit operating systems all the time and it is imperative that security fixes be applied.
So how did we get here?
One can say that a majority of Microsoft users were completely turned off by Windows Vista. Yes, when Windows Vista was released it had more than its fair share of problems. These problems persisted all the way up to the release of Service Pack 2. After Service Pack 2, Windows Vista worked well enough (not perfect). Then Windows 7 came out. Windows 7 is what Windows Vista should have been, but adoption has been slow.
Another reason is people are just comfortable with Windows XP. As a business owner, many hours of testing and training comes with upgrading all your companies system. Hours training is lost productivity. If you factor in the economy between 2008 and today, many organizations were not willing to spend money to upgrade systems that were working.
Where does that leave us?
If your business, organization, or personal PC still runs Windows XP, you should start planning now to upgrade your current systems or replace each system with new systems. The lines blur between which is better depending on the age of your current systems. A retail upgrade for Windows 8 Professional is $199.99 where a new computer with Windows 8 Pro can be bought for anywhere from $500 - $1000+.
Microsoft is also retiring server after products around the same time including Office 2003. The final component of Small Business Server 2003 (Exchange) will reach its end of Life on the 8th as well. If you have a Small Business Server 2003 its time to think about upgrading as most Small Business Server users have open firewall ports for email, remote access, and remote desktop.
If you have any questions related to the End of Life on any of Microsoft's products feel free to call Nittany Link at 717-737-8848.
* - Microsoft will still continue to create patches for Windows XP systems, although the customer must sign up for "Custom Support" with Microsoft at the cost of $200 per Workstation, per year.