Support for Windows XP is Ending – Are You Ready?

0114-windowsxpIf you haven’t heard, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP and Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. Are you still using either of these at home or at work? It’s time to upgrade!

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about the end of support for Windows XP and Office 2003.

Why is support ending?

Microsoft offers a minimum of 10 years of support and services for its operating systems and software packages, and for Windows XP and Office 2003, that 10 years expires in April 2014.

What happens when Microsoft stops supporting this software?

After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer offer security updates, automatic fixes, free or paid support, or online technical updates for Windows XP or Office 2003.

How does this affect my business?

Once support for these programs ends, users of Windows XP and Office 2003 will be wide open to malicious viruses and spyware. In fact, some speculate that viruses aimed specifically at Windows XP will be released on “zero day” – the first day Windows no longer supports these two pieces of software.

Failure to upgrade – to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 – can leave your business and your customers’ data wide open to hackers and malicious attacks. One Microsoft executive compared it to driving a car for which you can no longer buy parts: Your computer and Office programs will work fine, but when something breaks, you will no longer be able to get help to fix it.

Continuing to use Windows XP and Office 2003 can also lead to compliance and certification issues for your business. Your ability to securely maintain your customers’ data and your computer system will be called into question, something that could affect your standing among your customers and competitors.

Plus, developers of new hardware and software will stop making their products compatible with Windows XP and Office 2003. You’ll be left in the dark when new technology comes along.

What should I do?

Easy – it’s time to upgrade! Support ends April 8, 2014, but if you act fast, you could be up and running on a new system by then, depending on the size of your network. Professional Network Solutions can evaluate your current network and computer system and recommend a plan of action designed specifically for your business and its needs. (Contact us today!)

Upgrading does more than keep your system secure and allow you to keep Microsoft support. Software has changed in the last 10 years! Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are more fully integrated with WiFi and Bluetooth, and they’re more efficient, which can lead to increased productivity for you and your staff. Plus, you can more easily take advantage of new technology trends like cloud computing.

How do I start?

Many large companies and organizations have been migrating to a new system for years, but small companies may still have time to upgrade before the deadline – if you don’t delay! Contact PNSolutions today for a custom evaluation of your business’ system and its needs and a custom plan of action.

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