Here’s your public service announcement: Microsoft will be dropping extended support to Windows XP and Office 2003 April 8th, 2014.
April 8th, 2014 will be the last Patch Tuesday for both of those products. After that date, there will be “no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.”
Computers and organizations may be put at greater risk and could fall out of compliance if they don’t keep their systems up to date. Why are so many companies lagging behind the upgrade? Windows XP debuted in October of 2001 and wasn’t succeeded by Windows Vista until January, 2007. Windows XP was the most popular OS until August 2012 when it finally lost that title to Windows 7. According to both W3Schools and NetMarketShare, Windows XP still holds onto second place, with NetMarketShare clocking Windows XP with 38.73% of the market share behind Windows 7’s 44.73%.
Besides the long time-span for people to forget that upgrade Windows was the norm, people also have preferences that Office 2007 and Windows Vista removed. Windows 7 stabilized things a bit but now Windows 8 has swung wide again with the Metro UI that many people dislike and other changes.
Office 2007, 2010, and 2013 all have the Ribbon interface. If you dislike the Ribbon, you are likely staying on Office 2003 but after April 2014, you will no longer receive software updates and will be putting your information at risk. Read over our article to find the difference between buying Office 2013 and subscribing to Office 365.
You have one year to plan and make the migration take place. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s case studies have shown that migrations can take 18 to 32 months. Your migration may also be hampered if you are trying to accomplish it all within one budget cycle. If your organization still has computers running the Windows XP operating system, you can upgrade to Windows 8. Microsoft has a webpage up to point you in the right direction with your migration.