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Microsoft is shutting down all support of Windows XP in April 2014. If your business is still running XP you're cutting it dangerously close to the deadline. While it may seem like a hassle to migrate, or maybe you feel like migrating is not in the company budget; not migrating will leave your company in a very vulnerable position.
What happens if I don't?
If you don't migrate, your computers will still work; however they will be unsafe. Hackers will be working in full-force after Microsoft shuts off support. These computer criminals know that without Microsoft's updates and patches they will be able to infiltrate the system much easier than before.
Not only do you need to worry about the hackers trying to breach your data, if they succeed, you could also be charged fines for not taking proper precautions and migrating in advance by the US government. Jay Paulus of Microsoft put it pretty simply by saying:
“Staying with Windows XP is like driving a car that you can't buy parts for anymore.”
While it may still work, it is likely to have problems, and eventually won't work the way you need it to. Realistically, migrating is the best solution for most business owners.
What options do I have?
When deciding to migrate, there are two options available. Like mentioned earlier, you could do nothing, and simply take the risks that come along with not migrating. Or, you can be pro-active and make the switch ensuring your companies data stays secure.
When migrating the first place thing to do, is examine your existing hardware. Is it capable of handling an upgraded system? Does it have enough memory to handle either Windows 7 or Windows 8? If not, you will need to get new hardware to handle the larger requirements of the newer Operating Systems. While this might be a costly initial investment, you will gain many added benefits of computers. (IE. Efficiency, Speed, RAM, Data, Green Capabilities, Ease of Use)
If your existing hardware is capable of handling the upgrade. Upgrading your systems is a great way to go. Start by backing up your old data, and then removing Windows XP. Do some research to see if Windows 7 or Windows 8 will work best for your business, and then install the appropriate software.
Another great choice is to look into solutions like Dell’s Windows Migration Fast Forward Service. This service helps to streamline the migration process quickly and efficiently. Solutions such as these give you the peace of mind knowing an expert is on your side, and they are often more affordable than you might think.
What if I absolutely need XP for applications?
Windows 7 will be your best bet. Windows 7 has a feature for running in Windows XP mode. This mode will allow you to run applications as if you were on an XP system. This is a great choice for business owners who still have applications that work best in XP. Although, eventually these apps will need to be updated as well.
If you haven't migrated to Windows XP yet, you are not alone. As of December 2013, Windows XP market share was at 28.98%. This is a pretty significant number considering the OS is over 12 years old. Windows XP is the most popular operating system to date, which explains why so many people have yet to migrate. But, no matter the popularity, the facts remain the same. In April, those who haven't migrated will be putting themselves in a risky position.
Where are you at in the migration process? Tell us down below.