July 2, 2014
The End of Windows XP Support & What It Means for You

Alas poor XP…I knew him…

If you have not already heard, we officially have said goodbye to Windows XP.  April 9th marked the official end of life for the thirteen-year-old operating system.  I, for one, am not sad to see it go, however XP has been such an ingrained part of the business network that actually letting go does seem rather odd.

Windows 7 has become a very stable and capable operating system, which certainly helps to ease the transition.  Learning a new operating system can be daunting– suddenly all the familiar ways of getting things done no longer work.  Another factor to resisting the change is cost– aging hardware can force a full computer replacement instead of an in-place upgrade, not to mention software incompatibilities on the new O.S. which can force you to update all your software as well!

A few interesting facts about XP:

o   Coding began in January 2000 and was code named  “Whistler”

o   Released to manufacturing on August 24, 2001.

o   Service Pack 3 released on April 21, 2008.

o   Came in both 32 and 64 bit editions, with the 32 bit edition having a 4gb ram limit.  The 64 bit flavor could address up to 128gb.

o   Windows XP still holds second place in currently used operating systems-  at about 28%.  Windows 7 leads with 49%; Windows 8 a distant third at 11%;  Mac OSX at 7.5%.

Moving out of XP at this point is highly recommended, if for no other reason than security concerns.  Microsoft will no longer be patching discovered vulnerabilities.  As more are found (and there will be more!) there will be no way to address them, leaving any system and network still running XP extremely vulnerable.  This will only get worse as time goes on and as more security holes are discovered and exploited.  This can and will lead to downtime and lost data.

Also of concern — as your favorite applications are updated with new versions, XP support will be dropped, so you’ll be out of luck if you want the latest and greatest versions of the software you use.

Northern Business Machines is a provider of Managed IT Services in Massachusetts, New  Hampshire and Rhode Island.