So it is official.  The world according to Microsoft XP will end on April 8, 2014.  Ok so maybe that is a bit extreme… but Microsoft have officially announced that they will cease all support for Windows XP on that date.  Whilst this is not really a massive thing what is of concern is that they will stop providing security updates and hotfixes for that operating system as well.  When you consider that 40% of all desktops and laptops worldwide still use Windows XP that means there will need to be a massive amount of upgrading over the next 12 months.

It is not as simple as just upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8, the issue starts with the applications that are being run by the users.  Are all of them Windows 7 or 8 compatible?  The answer will most likely be no so there will be a lot of software upgrades that need to be achieved.  In addition to this there is the hardware… many users on a Windows XP machine will be on old hardware that will not support Windows 7 or 8 without at least an upgrade in memory.

An operating system that has no security patches or hotfixes is a system at serious risk of attack and that means users on an XP system must perform an upgrade before the cut-off date.

After April 2014, Microsoft writes, using XP is an “at your own risk” situation for “any customers choosing not to migrate,” and migrating will likely become costlier the longer a business stays on XP

In addition Microsoft have announced that they are also ceasing support for Office 2003 on the same date.  That means an upgrade to Office 2007, 2010 or 2013 is required and hence an upgrade to the Ribbon is unavoidable.  The Ribbon whilst considered to be an intuitive enhancement for users will in fact cause serious disruption to historic users who are familiar with the location of all of the old buttons and short cuts.  Unfortunately this is now something that has to be done so all users will simply have to get used to the new way of operating within later versions of Office.

If your company has operations in Hong Kong or Singapore and has computers on Windows XP or using Office 2003 then please call Phil of FunctionEight on +852 62770800 to arrange a meeting to discuss migration plans to newer versions of Microsoft products before the deadline arrives.

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