Microsoft Ending Support for Windows XP: Is it Time to Upgrade?

Regardless of the type of computer or OS you use for your small business, you can track your sales and monitor your customers with the help of cloud-based CRM like Base.

 

Nothing lasts forever.

When it is all said and done, Microsoft Windows XP may go down as one of the most popular operating system of all times. To the current day, this user-friendly desktop system can be found on countless small business computers around the world. Windows XP has had a long run, but come April 8, 2014, everything changes.

It’s only October 2012, why should I worry about this now?

The aforementioned date is the day Microsoft will officially pull the plug on extended support. While Windows 7 is an option as well as the upcoming release of Windows 8, XP continues to be a platform many small businesses just can’t let go of. In fact, research shows that as of recent, it still had a claim on 43% of the operating system market. That is pretty impressive for a piece of software that is more than a decade old.

The bottom line is, that with every passing day, Windows XP will become more obsolete. If this operating system is still the catalyst that drives your business, there are some important things you need to know about the end of extended support.

This might also be a good time to decide if the current Windows 7 or nearly released Windows 8 will serve your small business better.

You Can Still Hang On

Although Microsoft will be officially ending all support for XP in less than two years, April 8, 2014 will not mark the official end of the system itself. The software will still work and offer the same features. For some businesses, it may very well maintain its use and value long after support is officially ended.

Anyone who picks up a copy of XP and wants to activate it can still do so. In the process of doing so, you will still be able to receive all the updates that were rolled out up to that fateful day. But while the option to continue using XP exists, you should be aware of the hardware and software limitations that you will likely encounter in the future.

Security and Compatibility Are Big Issues

Microsoft XP has been highly criticized for its security issues in the past. Those vulnerabilities have the potential to pale in comparison to what will happen once the company stops supporting it. The end of extended support means no new patch updates, which instantly makes the system vulnerable to the wide array of new threats to those who do not adopt a newer OS. You can always try to keep your system fresh with the latest security software, but that is just a band aid, not a long term solution for your small business.

Slowly but surely, users of Windows XP are starting to feel the compatibility woes that come along with having an old and outdated operating system. Because of the driver aspect, they can’t connect many of the newer devices and they are increasingly finding that software developers stopped making programs that support their system.

The longer you run Windows XP after April 2014, the more compatibility issues you will have to deal with. There may be a few third-party utilities you can turn to, but eventually your luck will run out.

 

If you’re a PC user, are you going to stick with Windows XP, upgrade to 7, or wait to see what happens with Windows 8?

 

About Abel Velazquez

Abel Velazquez @benchmarkabel is a freelance writer, online marketing expert, and advocate for email marketing company, Benchmark Email.
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