It’s nearing the end of another era in the Microsoft world – Windows XP. This was arguably one of the most popular operating systems Windows has ever produced. So perhaps it’s no surprise that it’s still widely used as a core component in the Standard Operating Environment (SOE) for many businesses. In fact, StatCounter found that today, close to the End of Life for Windows XP, just over a third of PCs in use today still run XP and it and it was only in last October that Windows 7 overtook XP in global usage.
Why does this matter? Because XP’s time is limited, as we’re sure you already know. It’s reaching end of support on 8 April 2014 in accordance with Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle policy. After this date, Microsoft will not provide any public support for these products, including security patches, non-security hotfixes or incident support. And with such a large and varied amount of active users and IT services still relying on this very popular operating system, one has to wonder if they have considered all the risks.
Some in the industry believe that XP’s retirement will be a hacker heaven and it was once estimated, by Softchoice, that at least three out of four companies will face security problems because they continue to rely on XP. And while April 2014 may seem an age away, the reality is that it’s just around the corner.
Have you started your migration? The majority of companies have already stated planning on how they will help their business or institution avoid unnecessary risk or disruption to business as usual because of migration. But for those companies who haven’t started planning their migrations yet, the least of their worries will come from ensuring a consistent end user experience.
These companies have to realize that they need to find ways to mitigate the risk of losing Microsoft support for Windows XP. Otherwise they will be putting their organizations at serious risk with regards to breaks in compliance or security breaches. In addition, these companies may soon find that many independent software vendors (ISVs) are likely to stop support for new versions of applications on Windows XP – which is sure to upset more than one user or business manager. Also, they will face, perhaps their biggest challenge – proving ROI for IT on the bottom line when custom support costs for Windows XP skyrockets.
So, if you don’t migrate in time, what are your options? You can pay for a very expensive custom EoL support contract but to do this, you will need to have a Premier Support agreement and should still seriously consider having a migration plan put in place that can be deployed in the near future. Or you can be forced into accepting the business and security risk of zero support – which we can almost guarantee you will not go down well with the C-suite.
Your third, and probably best option is to migrate your infrastructure by deploying a modern PC with Windows 7 or 8 Enterprise and Office 2010. This may be the best and most effective means of dealing with the issue, as Windows 7 or 8 Enterprise and Office 2010 will offer your business or institution the ability to improve the productivity of employees and increase operational efficiency through improved PC security and management. But time being against you companies, you will need to find ways to save time during the process while also guaranteeing success of the project with minimal end-user disruption. To do this you need to start looking at getting the right virtualization partner in place today. If you don’t you may well be one of the unlucky companies facing the ‘post retirement’ disaster of rushing to solve a problem you could have prevented.
How can you do this? AppSense has long proven its ability to be able to migrate the user persona and data seamlessly, without user interruption. Based on Analyst research conducted with live AppSense customers; we do it faster, at low cost too and deliver a great ROI. To further enhance that story AppSense DataNow helps to migrate data from the endpoint (especially laptops) without any VPN requirement and at the same time solves data access on any device. We can also help solve the application compatibility issues that relate to Microsoft’s User Account Control (UAC) in Windows 7 utilizing our privilege management solutions, Application Manager.
You can learn more about the cost and risk of not migrating from Windows XP along with further information on how AppSense can help you from the following papers:
- Windows XP EoL: The Cost of not Migrating
- Windows XP EoL: The Risk of not Migrating
- Windows XP EoL: Accelerate Windows desktop Migrations
Over the past several years we’ve enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Microsoft and many of our joint clients. Globally we’ve helped many embrace new desktop and application delivery and management solutions and introduced a people-centric computing strategy with great success.
Based on this success, last year AppSense were named as the sole Microsoft Desktop Enablement Partner for User Personalization Solutions. Under this first of its kind agreement, we have worked with Microsoft’s customers to optimize their desktop environments, with a focus on the user, to enable the migration or deployment of Windows 7, and beyond, faster and more efficiently than ever before. You can read more about this in the press release.