The Clock Is Ticking
Microsoft will discontinue support for Windows XP
End of the Road - Microsoft will discontinue support for the Windows XP operating system April 8. As there will be no more security updates provided from that time, the end of support entails substantial risks and costs for businesses in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
It's been almost 13 years since Windows XP was launched on the market. To this very day though, many businesses rely on the evergreen operating system without being aware of the risks and increased costs associated with it. Windows XP has long been a phase-out model with support for it being extended several times, but finally coming to an end April 8. As a result, users will no longer be provided security updates, updates or technical support for Windows XP a few months from now. Businesses relying on Windows XP after April 8 need to be aware of associated risks.
Risking the security of data
Windows XP is based on long-outdated security architectures not complying with modern requirements. Attacks by viruses, spyware and malware are almost inevitable. This may, in turn, result in loss of private and business documents. Businesses not only risk the security of their own data, but the security of their customers' and partners' data. Windows XP is not only the most insecure of all of Microsoft's operating systems, using it is becoming increasingly risky as well. A recent security report shows that Windows XP machines are 56 times more likely to become the victims of malware and malicious software compared to the 64-bit version of Windows 8, with an upward tendency.
High Costs And Downtime
Businesses relying on outdated operating systems do not only risk the security of their data, but they will also have to accept higher spending. Increasing costs of maintenance and lost productive time due to more malware attacks, increased support requests and repeatedly necessary reboots lead to substantially higher operating costs. According to an IDC study, combined IT labor costs and user productivity costs per PC build up to a total of 73% from the second to the fifth year.
Another critical issue for businesses with XP machines is the fact that third-party providers of software applications will discontinue their support for these products or provide them on a cost basis.
And, there will no new programs be written for Windows XP at all any longer. Many key applications, for example, for personnel planning or product control will only be programmed for newer Windows versions. In addition, hardware manufacturers will no longer provide any drivers for Windows XP so that Windows XP machines will no longer identify modern printer models. After all, Windows XP is a child of the turn of the century and neither meets user requirements to modern technology, nor the demanding security requirements of IT departments.
To help businesses migrate from Windows XP to modern Windows versions and smoothly replace outdated Windows versions, Microsoft offers various online tools, trainings and materials. Over the next six months, specifically small and midmarket businesses will perform transitions as they are often planning and implementing their migration processes short term. These businesses specifically benefit from the "Get2Modern Campaign" for smaller and midmarket businesses as Microsoft supports them with a variety of Windows and Office offerings.
Investments Kept Within Limits
For many smaller and midmarket businesses like medical practices, major investments in hardware are not necessary straight away - depending on the computer power available in companies, they may simply replace Windows XP by a modern Windows version. The easiest way of migrating is, of course, replacing or modernizing machines as new hardware usually includes full versions of the latest operating system.