If your business is like most other businesses, you still have several Windows XP computers around that are being used every day. Now that April 8th has come and gone, you have no doubt heard all kinds of doomsday warnings about what is going to happen to your Windows XP computers. As you have discovered by now, they did not explode or die when the “end-of-Life” date arrived on April 8th. This date was not an expiration date for XP, but an end of support date for Microsoft. They will no longer patch or fix XP unless you have an expensive special support agreement with Microsoft.
So your computers are still working but there are some things you should definitely be concerned about:
Zero Day Viruses – Hackers all over the world were also waiting for April 8th as a day they could launch attacks against Windows XP computers knowing that Microsoft would not fix whatever vulnerabilities they are exploiting. For as long as you keep XP computer in your office network, you should make sure that they have up to day anti-virus and anti-malware software installed, and that your office has a strong firewall.
Aging Hardware – If your computer is running XP, then it is likely to be around 6-8 years old (maybe even older). In an office environment, where computers are left on all day, the average life of a computer is 3 years. So even if you don’t want to replace these computers because of the XP issue, do it because the hardware is already living on borrowed time.
New or Updated Software – Software vendors are not going to spend valuable development dollars to create software that will run on a dead operating system! Many software vendors are also not designing their upgrades to existing software to be compatible with XP. If you haven’t received a notice from your software vendors yet about XP, you will be soon!
There are three main reasons why businesses have not yet replaced all of their XP systems; 1 – People don’t like change; 2 – The cost; 3 – No one likes Windows 8. Well change is here even if we don’t like it; in the end it will cost you more in lost productivity to use an older computer; and you don’t have to worry about Windows 8 because computer manufacturers are expected to offer Windows 7 computers until Spring of 2015 when Windows 9 is expected to be release.
So it’s time to let go of XP and make a plan to replace all of those older computers. An ongoing replacement schedule strategy is great idea anyway, so there is no better time to get working on that than now!