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Tuesday 15 April 2014

Microsoft Ends Support for Windows XP and Office 2003: Here’s What Your Business Needs to Do About It

On April 8th, Microsoft discontinued its assisted support service for Windows XP, Office 2003, and Internet Explorer 6.

There will be no more security updates and no more software updates for any of these products. If you use Windows XP, Office 2003 or Internet Explorer 6, you’ll still be able to start up your computer and run the software, but continuing to use these applications will leave you vulnerable.

The Risks of Using Unsupported Software

By using software that’s no longer updated by the manufacturer, you expose your business to security and compliance risks. Security updates resolve vulnerabilities and help to protect your systems and data from malware attacks. If you’re still running Windows XP right now, your PC is not protected from any new malware, and any newly discovered vulnerabilities in your operating system will not be patched.

There’salso the risk of compatibility problems with other software and hardware; your independent software vendor or hardware manufacturer may not provide support for teams that continue to use Windows XP.

Next Steps

We recommend that you migrate to a newer operating system that’s still fully supported by the manufacturer, so you can get the regular updates that keep your computers running smoothly and protect them from malware.

For Windows users, Windows 8 or the recently released Windows 8.1 are the top choices.

Don’t go with Windows Vista, even if it has a cheaper price. Vista users currently receive some support from Microsoft, but its mainstream support period has already ended and all support for Vista will end in 2017. Windows 7 Service Pack 1’s mainstream support is also due to end in 2015, so Windows 8 or 8.1 are the most future-proof options available from Microsoft.

You may be able to upgrade your operating system and your Microsoft Office suite without any changes to your hardware, or it might be time to consider buying new hardware to meet the system requirements of the software you need. Talk to a Microsoft Certified Partner to identify your best options.

360ict is a Microsoft Certified Partner providing managed IT services and support to small and medium sized businesses in central London and the south-east. Call 0208 663 4000 for free advice to keep your business IT up-to-date.


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