First off, you are not alone. It is being reported that nearly 30% of Microsoft Windows users are still running Windows XP, an operating system that was written and launched in 2001. Just to put that into perspective that is 3 years before Facebook hit the world and half a decade before Twitter: In fact it was the same year that The Eden project in Cornwall opened, Bob the Builder was the Christmas number 1 and the biggest grossing film of the year was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. That really makes it seem like a long time ago doesn’t it.
Now, I am not going to sit here and preach that everyone who is using Windows XP should get into a blind panic, immediately upgrade and throw their machines in the bin whilst they are at it, but I am going to suggest that you budget to upgrade to a later Windows system within the next 3-12 months. So if like many people you are currently finalising your budget now then you should make sure that this is covered. It may also be worth remembering that if your running Windows XP, then there is a chance that your PC or Laptop is also quite old and may need replaced. Technology is advancing at a very fast rate, so businesses should look to upgrade on a 5 year cycle.
If the thought of all the upgrading sounds expensive, then perhaps it is worth considering how much money you would potentially loose due to downtime, or the stress that might be caused by getting a virus or malware infection onto your network. It is also worth mentioning that many providers such as Toshiba are offering discounts for people upgrading from XP so it may not be as expensive as you imagine.
You may still be asking why do I need to upgrade, well as of the 8th April 2014 (XP D-Day) Microsoft will be stopping their support of XP except for virus warnings where support will continue until 14th July 2015. However, don’t think that the virus warnings will help you that much. “Without full support, the effectiveness of anti-malware solutions is limited” say Microsoft.
It is very likely that after the 8th of April there will be a whole host of malware and virus’ that specifically target machines still running XP. Put simply, if your data is important to you and your business then you should upgrade.
What should you do if your office has windows xp? You have a few options.
Firstly, forget about Vista – It wasn’t very good.
The first choice is Windows 8 which was released in 2012. It now comes pre-installed on all new machines, so if you buy new hardware, this is what you will get. It introduced a new way of working using an app style menu, which can take a little getting used to and might require some training. Microsoft have provided a guide to upgrading to windows 8 including the specifications that you will require to run it.
You could also upgrade to Windows 7. This is due to be supported until 2020 at the earliest. The fact that it looks like XP and won’t require much training makes it appealing for some businesses. In fact most of your staff are likely to have Windows 7 on their home machines. You can use Microsoft’s Upgrade Advisor tool to find out system requirements for Windows 7. We would always however suggest that you upgrade to the most recent operating system.
If all of this just seems like too much of a daunting task then feel free to give us a call on 0208 232 1190. We will happily have a completely unbiased conversation with you to discuss your options and help you think about your options.