End of Life Support for Microsoft XP: Tips for Businesses

Posted by on February 13, 2014 in Business Software [ 0 Comments ]

end of life support for microsoft xpIf you’re scrambling to figure out how to deal with the impending end-of-life announcement from Microsoft regarding its most popular operating system, Windows XP, you’re not alone. Millions of business and personal users are scratching their heads, trying to figure out how to adjust to this draconian move by a company that’s dominant in operating system technology. It’s not like there’s a lot of opportunity for moving to a competitive operating system – although some companies are considering a big move to Linux that often involves a good amount of re-training (and thus, cost.)

With that in mind, here are some of the most common tips making their way to business users over the web, from consultants and experts who understand the challenges of operating system migration.

Be Vigilant about Cyber Security

Any programs that are XP-reliant may be exposed to security loopholes or vulnerabilities when Microsoft ends support for XP. This is one of the prevailing issues for companies that may not be sufficiently fired up to migrate away from this platform. Experts suggest doing the detailed research, so that everyone understands exactly why system migration is necessary.

Evaluate Individual Business Processes

Changes around end of life for XP may also affect many business processes in different ways. One or more of them may actually lose functionality, either when support ends, or when some kind of IT migration process starts. That’s why it’s necessary to take an individual look at each particular business process and plan accordingly. This ZDNet resource offers more tips on process and app migration and other aspects of adaptation.

Huddle with Administration Teams

Network administrators (and other tech teams) will probably already have a rough idea of the challenges they’re facing, but as with the old slogan ‘two heads are better than one,’ it can be a very good thing for executives and business leaders to start a discussion with the admin people to better prepare for what they’re facing in coming months.

Think About A Sandbox Model

Some experts are pointing out how companies can put in place some quick short-term solutions by running XP in a contained environment, such as in a virtualized environment or in some secure tunnel. This isn’t typically recommended, but it can be a way to pursue migration in a two-stage process, so that XP-reliant programs are still ‘safe’ after support ends.

Consider the Cloud

Another option is to outsource the individual applications that companies are having problems with.

The big issue here is that, as some of the best IT pundits have pointed out, many of the applications that businesses are using are not going to work with newer operating systems like Windows 7 or Windows 8 at this time. Frankly, the Microsoft company has put a lot of businesses in a bind. They don’t really have a lot of good choices for supporting these applications.

Coincidentally, and with a kind of interesting serendipity, cloud services are now booming. That has led to the ability of more businesses to simply get individual applications delivered over the web. In this case, the company doesn’t have to worry about the platform that applications are running on anymore. That’s the vendor’s problem, and most vendors worth their salt already have this figured out. For many businesses and a significant part of the business community, the best solution to the Microsoft Windows XP problem could be economies of scale, where with a centralized service model, fewer businesses need to make those big expensive changes toward a newer operating system.

(Image via: freedigitalphotos.net)

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