April 8, 2014.  No it’s not the predicted end of the world, thought it may seem that way for some.  It’s the end of support for Windows XP SP3.

Windows XP has been a great Operating System and feedback I get is that it’s stable and who doesn’t like stable.  In fact, I remember my first Windows XP PC.  I was just heading back for another year of University and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a new PC to help me with my studies.  Sure I’d play the odd game and really take advantage of the increase in processing power and ease of use. 

I remember that summer well.  The price of gas hit me hard during a long road trip (it was 65 cents a litre then).  Wikipedia went online during that year and Apple first introduced the iPod while Napster went offline.

If all of this is sounding a bit dated to you, it’s because it is!  Windows XP is now over 11 years old.  That’s more than a decade.  I bet Windows XP might be older than some or most of your kids (it’s older than mine!).   If it was a car, you would have likely traded it in by now. 

 

 

Okay, all kidding aside, there are a number of good reasons to really, seriously consider upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7.  IDC even published a white paper on it called, Mitigating Risk:  Why Sticking with Windows XP Is a bad idea.  I’ve summarized and ranked what I think are the top three reasons you should upgrade, based on some of the key opinions in the white paper.  Hopefully it piques your interest; I’d encourage you to read the whole white paper for yourself.

1)      End of Support

This one is a big one, so no surprise it took the #1 spot.  Windows XP SP3 support ends on April 8, 2014.  That means no more security updates and paid hotfix agreement or per-incident support services.

 

2)      New capabilities

It’s been 11 years since Windows XP came out.  How far have computers come since then?  Odds are today’s PCs include some pretty slick features that weren’t around 11 years ago.  Think of integrated WiFi, BlueTooth, faster USB ports, high resolution monitors and touch screen capabilities to name a few.  Not only that, most PCs today ship with 4GB of memory.  When is the last time you ran Windows XP on one of those machines and found it was fully able to make full use of that memory?

 

3)      Lower operational costs

Older technology costs more to maintain.  Think about your car.  Once you start getting in the 5 year range, your repair bills start to creep up.  Before you know it, you find your maintenance and repair bills are outstripping the value of your car.  The same idea applies to technology.  What makes it worse is when organizations use PCs for a longer period of time than their intended lifecycle (so the Hardware is old too).

 

What it really comes down to is the trade-off.  There is an investment to be made to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, but there is also a cost to not upgrading.  These costs could include a potential security risk, operational costs or lost user productivity.

So if I’ve convinced you (or maybe it was IDC that did it) and you’re planning to look for more information.  You should start with the Windows Springboard Series, a site dedicated to helping you with free tools and resources to help you Explore, Plan, Deliver and Deploy Windows 7.

You can also use a free custom online IDC Dynamic White Paper to figure out how much sticking with Windows XP is really costing you.

Happy Upgrading!