As mentioned previously, support for Windows XP1 and Office 2003 will end on April 8, 2014.  After this date, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes or on-line technical content updates.  You will also no longer be able to call in to receive free or paid assisted support for either Windows XP1 or Office 2003.

What are my risks?

Having a non-supported software in the environment introduces you to these potential risks:

  • Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks and cyber-attacks. This may result in failure of an officially recognized control by an internal or external audit body.  This could lead to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.
  • Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) & Hardware Manufacturers support: A recent industry report from Gartner Research suggests that ISVs are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP beyond 2012.  Gartner research further notes that during the same timeframe, most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on the majority of their new PC models.
  • Windows XP not supported for Office 2013:  Having a large number of Windows XP devices could impact your ability to leverage the latest software and tools.  For instance Office 365 and Office 2013 require that the client OS be Windows 7 or later.
  • Limited Ability to Downgrade OS on new PCs:  Once Windows 8 ships, customer’s acquiring Windows licenses through an OEM via the N-2 program, will only have the option to downgrade to Windows Vista or 7.

You can find additional industry information released about the risks of staying on Windows XP:

Cybercriminals “saving up” wave of Windows XP attacks for when Microsoft stops support”

The Risk of Running Windows XP After Support Ends April 2014

What options do I have?

As an IT leader you have options which will help you obtain your desired long term outcome.

Get current with Windows and Office

· Windows 8 and Office 2013 offer more flexibility to empower employees to be more productive, while increasing operational efficiency through improved PC security and management.

· Enables your organization to take advantage of the latest technology trends such as virtualization and the cloud.

· Upside well beyond keeping you supported/compliant.

With this option your Microsoft team is here to partner with you as we can offer significant resources* to help you plan your successful migration, including:

· Onsite Resources to help with upgrade & deployment planning

· Architectural Design Sessions (onsite or at our Microsoft Technology Center)

· Application Compatibility Factory – Identification, rationalization and remediation

· Technical Briefings and Tips and Tricks to help with knowledge transfer

· Formal Training and in-depth Workshops though Premier or training Partners

· Premier Risk Assessment:  Windows Desktop Risk Assessment as a Service

*Some of these services may be included as part of your EA or can be resourced out of your current Premier agreement.

Additional business justification for upgrading from Windows XP to a supported OS:

IDC whitepaper: Mitigating Risk: Why Sticking with Windows XP is a Bad Idea
Forrester whitepaper: Total Economic Impact of Windows 7

Custom Support Agreement

In the event that you do not expect to complete your migration prior to April 2014, as a last resort Microsoft offers a Custom Support option*.  The Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 SP3 Custom Support Agreements include:

· Critical security fixes included, for Windows XP important security fixes available at an additional fee

· Premier Phone Support

· Yearly subscription fee (retroactive) doubles in years 2 and 3.

Please contact me if you would like me to provide pricing information from our Services Sales group.

New!  Assisted XP migration credit now available

For all new MCS/Premier Contracts for XP migration services signed by 4/9/2014, Microsoft will offer a credit toward your Windows XP SP3 Custom Support Standard Agreement enrollment fee.

· Excludes hotfix fee or Custom Support Essential offering

Please let me know if you would like more information on this new offering.