The end is near for Windows XP

By: John McGarvey

Date: 12 April 2013

Dead end sign - the end for XP{{}}

The end is nigh for Windows XP

If your business is one of the millions still using Windows XP, it's time to start thinking about moving to a more modern operating system.

Actually, you can consider this your early warning that Microsoft will be ending support for Windows XP in just under a year's time, on 8 April 2014.

After that date, Windows XP will no longer receive software updates from Microsoft.

That means no more security patches to protect you from viruses, spyware and hackers. No more fixes for software bugs. And no more updates to improve performance and stability.

Windows XP: 11 years and counting

Upgrading Windows

If you're using Windows XP, you can upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8.

It's a good idea to discuss the options with a reputable IT supplier.

You can purchase Windows from these outlets:

If you keep using Windows XP after 8 April next year then it will keep on working, probably. But the longer you keep using it, the greater the risk you'll be running.

The truth is Windows XP is more than 11 years old. Business technology has changed immensely in that time, and you're still reliant on this outdated software then you'll be doing yourself a real favour by upgrading.

If your computers are under three years old then you should be able to upgrade them to a more recent version of Windows without needing to invest in new computer equipment.

If your computers are older than that, then you might benefit from investing in new hardware at the same time.

Have the conversation now

In either case, it's worth discussing the issue with your IT supplier or support company now, so you have an idea of what you might need to do over the next few months.

You'll probably be presented with the option of upgrading either to Windows 7 or 8.

Windows 7 is a couple of years old and has been tried and tested in companies of all sizes. Windows 8 is the newest version, but has a revised interface that takes a little getting used to.

Which option is right for you will depend on the compatibility of your existing software, and your own preferences.

Don't panic though - you're hardly the only business out there still using Windows XP. Some statistics suggest nearly 40% of businesses are still are using the venerable software, with many experts expecting most of these companies to choose Windows 7 over Windows 8.

Do you still use Windows XP? Are you worried about the end of support?