500 Million Windows XP users need to migrate before April 2014

At midnight on the 8th April 2014 all Microsoft support for Windows XP (& Office 2003) will cease.

After support ends, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates. Continuing to run Windows XP in your environment from April 8, 2014 exposes your company to potential security risks, as unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security threats that are constantly evolving, even as your PC operating system has been freeze-dried.

Over time :

  • Windows XP will gradually become less and less secure as malicious software targets what will then be an open door
  • More and more new devices will be incompatible with your PC estate as manufacturers drop their own support for Windows XP in favour of newer operating systems.

According to Gartner, the global installed base of PCs at the end of 2013 will be 1.63 billion units. Given that approximately one-third of those PCs are still running Windows XP, that means that with 6 months to go, almost 500 million machines remain to be upgraded or replaced.

That’s roughly 2.5 million units per day between now and midnight on the 8th April 2014.

Viruses, ransomware, worms, Trojans, keystroke-loggers and anything else written to hack, infect, snoop or steal from users on Windows XP on or after April will live without fear of Patch Tuesday.

Running vulnerable systems that could potentially expose customer data  in regulated markets could land businesses with a big-fat compliance bill, privacy lawsuit or a slap on the wrist from regulators.

Those who have clung onto Windows XP this long may also have made their problems larger, as moving is no longer just a simple upgrade. Such has been the leap in hardware requirements for Windows 7 or 8 that your corporate “beige box” probably won’t be able to cut it unless its less than 3 years old.

If you’re sat looking at your expansive estate of Windows XP workstations and hoping for comfort we can offer only that you’re unlikely to be on your own on 8th April. Plenty of companies, even those who are upgrading, will miss the date. Amongst the late movers are the UK Health Service (85% of their PC estate) and HMRC (85,000 PCs).

What should you do?

Well, obviously you need to migrate away from Windows XP and that means beginning your preparation now.

As you’re going to re-invest in Windows and MS Office then now might be the time to evaluate Hosted Desktop as a solution to your IT needs. You get resilient, managed IT services and a commitment to keep you current plus your client devices do not have to be as capable (or expensive)

There is no question that Windows XP has been an outstanding operating system for most of its 13 years, however, the world has moved on. Have you?

Get in touch if you’d like more information on how to migrate before the deadline and to find out whether Hosted Desktop could be a fit for your organisation.

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