Yes, after a 13 year run, Microsoft is finally ending support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014.
What happens if I keep using XP?
At first, not much. It will continue to work as it did in the days leading up to it. Microsoft is using pop-up reminders to prompt users to update the systems, and those may continue past April 8th as well. But as the days and weeks go on, new malware and security exploits will continue to be created, leaving your systems at risk. Other vendors may continue to update their products for XP, but Microsoft says that they won’t be patching anything moving forward.
Longer term concerns go beyond security and could affect whether you are meeting specific regulations for compliance. Compliance isn’t just for medical practices, financial institutions, legal, accounting and such, but compliance might mean your credit card processing system meeting PCI standards. Further out, any issues that arise may create a business operations crisis where you have very few options for support and the costs will be extremely high to resolve the problem.
So if you are still using Windows XP on April 9th, you won’t get a traffic ticket or penalty flag, but you should be planning for a significant technology problem that will affect your business.
Should I update to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1?
Windows 8.1 allows you to start from the traditional desktop screen, so you aren’t forced into Microsoft’s Modern UI, which is optimized for touch screens and tablets. Windows 8.1 also gives you significant performance enhancements out of the same hardware. Unless your company has a very specific reason to stay with Windows 7, then update to Windows 8.1.
Okay, I’m convinced. What should I do?
While this is purely self-serving, we would love the opportunity to bring one of our Tech Kahunas to your office to assess the scope of the issue. We are happy to do this at no charge to our customers or prospective customers of Kokua Technologies. Please contact us to schedule this complimentary visit.