It's sad to say, but Windows XP and Office 2003's lifecycle is coming to an end. It’s no secret, April 8th, 2014 is the final day for support on XP machines and Office 2003 products. Is your company ready?
Take action before your stuck in a lurch! Look around your office, are there any machines still running XP or utilizing Office 2003? If so, it’s time to change these workstations over to something new. You only have about six months to migrate your systems and make sure everything is working just right for your business.
The end is near for XP and Office 2003. Microsoft isn’t going to be looking out for these products anymore. There won’t be any updates or patches released after April 2014. This means they will become vulnerable to outside attacks which ends their useful life for businesses.
Valid concerns about security and compliance. You may think, “So what if they don’t update the programs, they will still work, right?” Yes, the programs will work but, your work will be unprotected from emerging threats. Serious security and compliance issues arise when using outdated operating systems and software to support your company’s vital functions. The risks to your sensitive customer and company information will increase once Microsoft shuts down their support of these products.
Not the manufacturers too! Yep, early industry reports show a lack of interest from Independent Software Vendors or ISV’s as well. Many say, they will not keep up support for programs and applications that currently run on XP. In addition, new computers being made will no longer have the option of coming with XP or Office 2003.
Windows 7 is a step in the right direction. Vista is next on the chopping block and Windows 8 isn’t really business ready yet. As a general rule of thumb, new software and operating systems are not created perfect. Allow time for technicians to review hiccups and the manufactures to issue their first service pack or updates before integrating them into your primary business functions.
A little friendly advice... Change your company over to Office 2013 as soon as possible to take advantage of the advanced functionality, productivity and security without a huge learning curve. This new Office suite of programs will give you the most bang for your buck and you will have Microsoft support for the next ten years.
Server compatibility considerations. If your company uses an exchange e-mail server, it may require an upgrade to work with Office 2013. This new Office suite requires an update to Server 2007 or newer to work with Office 2013. Otherwise, when you get all of your new Office products in place, your Outlook e-mail won’t be able to connect with the exchange e-mail server.
Computer requirements. Don’t forget to check the requirements for each new program you want to employ. All of your workstations must meet specific requirements to function properly with Windows 7 and Office 2013.
Asses your needs before you upgrade. No matter what versions you choose, run a full assessment of your current systems and operations to ensure your new selections are fully compatible with your current tools and processes. Also, always backup your network and workstations before making any changes so you don’t lose any of your company data during the transition.