In My Last Die Hard post…
I talked about Microsoft’s efforts to put the seemingly Unkillable Internet Explorer 6 out to pasture.
As hard to kill as IE6 has been, the combination of Windows XP and Office 2003 have defied every attempt of Microsoft to kill it: again even John McLane isn’t this durable.
Windows XP may well be the most popular OS in the world still holding 40% market share on computers worldwide which is ironic because when I read many of the blogs (professional or otherwise) panning Windows 8 it reminds me of early sentiment for XP before SP2.
That aside, what does it mean when we say Microsoft are trying to kill it?
First off if you are running a Windows XP PC at home or at work it is not going to stop working.
What it does mean for both Windows XP and Office 2003 is an end to support from Microsoft.
This means not just technical support for daily issues encountered using them but more importantly no more patches and updates.
In exactly 363 days from today, 8th April 2014 every single one of these Windows XP / Office 2003 computers will become a ticking security time bomb. The next black hat hacker to find an exploit will do so knowing there will be no Windows Update released to fix it.
Many of these individuals and companies stuck with Windows XP and or Office 2003 for a variety of reasons:-
- A desire to save the money it will cost them to upgrade.
- Due to concerns about hardware like printers, scanners or networked storage that may also be obsolete.
- Due to concerns about legacy software running on XP not working in Windows 8.
- The fear of having to learn to use Windows 8 / Office 2013 is outside their comfort zone.
But can we expect Microsoft to roll some form of update to Windows Servers / Vista / 7 / 8 to detect and counter these unprotected Windows XP PC’s?
Please note this dialog box is a speculative mock-up.
Keep Calm and …
The gut reaction at this point is something between a swearing jag at Microsoft and panic at what to do next.
Microsoft have taken a bold move to sweeten the bitter pill of upgrading hardware, OS and software with various special offers via this webpage.
The Warptest POV
If you are a business and haven’t upgraded since Windows XP or Office 2003 then I’m basically gob-smacked. The math is simple though; let’s say you started a savings plan at your bank on October 25th 2001 (the date XP was released and you last upgraded).
October 25th 2001 until April 8th 2014 = 137 months
If you saved $5.00 per Windows XP PC being used / month in your bank account then (even without interest)
You have $685.00 per PC saved for upgrading to Windows 8 PC’s with Office 2013 / Office 365.
If you weren’t forward thinking about a planned upgrade of your IT infrastructure then you may want to have a rather tough chat with your CIO about all this.
My recommendation is start planning your upgrade now. You have 363 days left to do so. I was involved in the upgrade of 300+ Windows 95 to Windows XP PC’s when I worked at Israel Electric Corporation so if you have concerns feel free to contact me. As to making the leap here are a couple of links to get you started with respect to Windows 8 upgrades (1 and 2) and Office 2013.
In a nutshell, you may not be happy over the cash outlay but once you have made the leap the ROI in terms of security and productivity will leave you scratching your head puzzled why you didn’t do this sooner. Get cracking then!