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Is your business ready for the discontinued support of Windows XP?

After the 8th April 2014 Microsoft will no longer offer support for Windows XP and Office 2003.
Currently more than 30% of the SMB market are still running Windows XP and Office 2003 and only a little over half of these are aware that both products are approaching the End of Support from Microsoft.

So what does this mean?

If you continue to run Windows XP and Office 2003 you will no longer be able to contact Microsoft for support and you will not receive security and feature updates. This can leave your computer unprotected and open to security risks. Microsoft have issued the following about the risks:

Security & Compliance Risks – unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognised control failure by an internal or external audit body leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notifications of the organisations inability to maintain its system and customer information.

Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) – A recent industry report from Gartner Research suggests “many independent software vendors are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP”. They also note that most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on the majority of their new PC models.

Shona Ghosh from PC Pro is also warning people about the threat of hackers. They will now be able to seek out the vulnerabilities in Windows XP and without security updates to address the issues, businesses can be left exposed to all sorts of hacking. Ghosh warns that failure to migrate could leave businesses open to infections, denial of service attacks and data theft. Not only could a company face the large costs which would accompany these attacks but also fines. The UK Information Commissioner’s Office has the power to fine institutions that don’t hold credit card information securely in their systems.

What should you do?

Microsoft have suggested you are able to update to Windows 7 or 8 however this only works if your PC meets the system requirements. Whilst your PC may meet these requirements, if it is older than one or two years, the software will run very slow.

As Microsoft have developed a lot of upgrades throughout the last decade, PC’s bought with Windows XP are unlikely to meet these requirements. Furthermore Portal have found that if your PC has the minimum requirements for the upgrade, the software still does not prove productive enough for business functionality.

Portal suggest that like many companies, you will need to consider investing in your company’s current IT. Although many believe it is a forced sales ploy by Microsoft your company will benefit from the up to date features and speed of Microsoft’s newer software. Ed Shepley, a solutions architect at migration specialist, Camwood has warned that people do not seem to be taking the threat seriously enough and warned that businesses must act now to avoid disruption and costly fees to maintain their IT systems.

If you are worried about your current computer support or need some advice on the matter give Portal a call. Our highly qualified technicians will be able to advise you on the best solution for your business.