All good things must come to an end. While Windows XP might not be viewed in retrospect as being a particularly “good” operating system, there is no mistaking its dominance in the market. After all, Microsoft’s XP operating system was released twelve years ago and it remains one of the most widely used systems today. In terms of OS lifecycles, that length of time is unheard of; making Windows XP the granddad of operating systems.
But, that’s all due to change on April 8th as that date is officially when Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP and the users who still rely on it. So, why is this so important and what does this really mean to you?
Despite being released twelve years ago, Microsoft has continued to provide ongoing system support for its XP OS. The company continued to address and solve security concerns by releasing regular updates and patches. As of April 8th, 2014, the company will no longer focus on solving such problems in the XP architecture.
While the OS will still operate as it always has, it will not get the security updates it needs to remain secure and this can pose serious problems for those who don’t address it. As a result, Microsoft is recommending that those businesses that still rely on Windows XP to start migrating their systems to the Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 operating systems.
Businesses essentially have three options for dealing with the Windows XP end of life date:
#1: They Can Continue Using Their Systems
If your business doesn’t use its computers for storing sensitive information or financial data or updating your system is just too costly of an endeavor, then you may choose to disregard the end of life date and continue using the XP system. As time progresses, however, the risk of your network being infiltrated will grow because any future security gaps in the operating system will remain open.
#2: They Can Update Their Existing Computers to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1
Updating from Windows XP to a newer Windows operating system is a quick and easy fix and it can be substantially less expensive than replacing all of your hardware. The primary problem with upgrading, however, is that not all computers that were released with Windows XP are capable of running the newer, more demanding operating systems. Before purchasing an upgrade, it is recommended that you verify your hardware meets the basic requirements needed to run the new OS and that the programs you use on a daily basis are also supported by the new OS.
#3: They can purchase entirely new desktops and/or laptops
Replacing your equipment with newer models is the most secure option and recommended for those companies that need the highest level of security possible. This is, of course, the most expensive option and one that will result in your company being left with an inventory of desktops and laptops that are no longer being used.
If you choose to go with option #3, then you need to ensure that you have an IT asset disposition policy in place for managing the excess equipment. Partnering with a reputable asset management firm, like Liquid Technology, will give you access to the services you need to protect your company and your customers.
Liquid Technology offers a full suite of ITAD services that can help you meet your objectives, including data destruction, computer liquidation, e-waste recycling and disposal, and brokerage services. Call us today at 800-797-5478 to find out how we can help you manage the equipment you will be left with after the Windows XP retirement date.