What Are You On About?
I know it may come as a shock to many, but their beloved Microsoft Windows XP operating system (released 12 years ago) is no longer going to be supported by Microsoft as of April 8, 2014.
What Does That Mean For My Business?
After the April 8, 2014 End Of Support (EOS) date there will be no new security updates, non-security hot-fixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updatesÃ‚Â unless you have exceedingly deep corporate pockets to pay Microsoft around $200,000 per year.
What Are The Risks?
In 2013 there was an average of nearly 7 critical patches per month for Windows XP. Remember as of April 8th, 2014 that stops. Does that mean that no more vulnerabilities will be found? I am sure you would agree that is extremely unlikely.
While some IT Service Provider CIO’s in New Zealand are currently advising their SMB customers not to worry and migrate to a new platform over time, we believe that this advice may lead businesses not to address this matter based on an assessment of risk.
- IE 8 – Windows XP will not run IE 9, IE 10 or the impending IE 11. This means that the default browser in XP does not support current web standards leading to end user frustration and lower productivity using cloud based business applications. This also means that these devices are much more likely to be vulnerable to malware attacks delivered through infected web servers. Yes you can install an alternative browser like Firefox or Chrome, but you need to block access to IE to ensure security is maintained.
Webservices take: This is a workaround, not a solution.
- Anti-virus Vendor Support – Those who are planning on keeping Windows XP may be planning on relying on their Anti-virus software to protect them.Ã‚Â AV vendors are faced with the same core problem that Windows XP does not support the latest programming languages and their costs to continue to support Windows XP clients will increase.
Webservices take: Don’t plan on AV support lasting an extended period after EOS
- Legacy Line of Business Applications – This is a reason being cited by many businesses. They have a critical line of business application, written by a long since defunct software company, and the application is no longer supported and will not be upgraded to support current operating systems.
Webservices take: Windows 7 and 8 provide for a secured sandbox virtual machine running Windows XP for such applications. There are also a plethora of alternative approaches which are far more secure than continuing to run XP as your primary desktop operating system
How Do I Mitigate The Risks?
Webservices we are aware of a number of viable approaches to continuing to run Windows XP and even older DOS based applications that do not entail compromising the security of your primary desktop operating system. Additionally, Microsoft and Webservices have been advising our customers for more than a year that there is a very real need to migrate to a more modern operating system.
For organisations that already have a considerable investment in the Windows 7 platform, we recommend continuing to complete this roll-out. End of main stream support for Windows 7 is in 2015 and extended support (as Windows XP currently has) goes through until 2020.
For organisations without a Windows 7 investment, we recommend a migration to Windows 8.1. It is the fourth generation of OS since Windows XP and while it does take a little time to adjust to the refinements in how the desktop and modern applications are presented and managed, we consider it to be a huge step forward for SMB’s, providing easy integration with cloud services which increases mobility and productivity of staff.
Where to from here ?
If you would like to have Webservices assist your business to migrate from Windows XP to a modern and flexible computing platform, please complete the contact form to the right and we will get in touch.