In just under 6 months, Windows XP will be history and if you have not migrated to a newer version of Windows, your only choice is to do so now. Microsoft will officially stop supporting Windows XP as of April 8, 2014 and Windows Server 2003 as of July 14, 2015. Microsoft will no longer issue updates or security patches after these dates.
Why do I have to migrate?
- Security and compliance risks: The cyber threat landscape has become substantially more complex and dangerous. Unsupported and unpatched Windows XP/2003 environments are vulnerable to malware, viruses, and other security risks, which could compromise your corporate network. 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. A recent IDC study highlights the fact that Windows XP already leaves organizations exposed to about 20 percent more virus and malware attacks per month compared to Windows 7.
- New technology: Another reason to upgrade is the fact that Windows XP/2003 does not use the capabilities of newer workstations and servers, such as touchscreens, large amounts of memory, faster ports, and better display resolutions. Although device drivers are sometimes available for these features, most manufacturers have already dropped support for Windows XP.
- Legacy application compatibility: Organizations concerned with application compatibility with newer Windows operating systems (OS) have access to tools created specifically to assist them. For example, the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit is designed to help organizations evaluate and mitigate application compatibility issues. If the toolkit doesn’t work, Windows XP Mode can be used to run incompatible applications in a full, virtual copy of Windows XP.
- The cost perspective: Windows XP is a four generation old technology and the security risks in continuing to use it beyond its end of life could cost your organization more money in the long run than a new OS would cost you now.
A recent IDC study found that:
- With Windows 7, organizations reported spending 82 percent less time managing patches and 90 percent less time mitigating malware.
Over a 3 year period, organizations saw a 137% return on investment after migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 due to lower management costs and higher productivity.
- The upfront costs of moving to the latest version of Windows are dwarfed by the cost savings businesses will reap from better productivity, efficiency, IT management, and security.
Do not hold off your plans migrate to a newer version of Windows – you’re already out of time. Microsoft’s deadline for terminating Windows XP/2003 support is a real wake-up call for many organizations. Windows XP was released in 2001 and it is several generations behind Microsoft’s current technology so it’s time for organizations to upgrade. Organizations that don’t move away from Windows XP/2003 will be leaving themselves exposed to grave security risks, lowered productivity, and increased support costs.