Windows XP and Office 2003 Coming to the End

Two widely pieces of software from Microsoft will have their on-going support discontinued.

In 2002 Microsoft introduced its Support Lifecycle policy, this was based on customer feedback to have more transparency and predictability of support for. In line with this policy Microsoft Windows and Office products, receive a minimum of 10 years of support (5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support), at the supported service pack level. This period of support will expire on 8 April 2014 for Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003.

What does his mean?

It means that after support has ended in April 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.

Running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003  may expose you to potential risks, such as:

  • Security Risks – Unsupported and unpatched systems may be vulnerable to security threats, such as virus or intrusions.
  • Compliance Risks – This may result in an officially recognised control failure by an internal or external audit body.
  • Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) & Hardware Manufacturers support – A recent industry report from Gartner Research suggests "many independent software vendors (ISVs) are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP in 2011; in 2012, it will become common." In other word any new hardware or software purchased to may not operate correctly.

What can be done?

Get current, install a more recent operating system such as Windows 7 and  office suite such as Office 2010. These programs will only run however on suitable hardware, if your hardware is out of date consider upgrading or replacing it.

This option has upside well beyond keeping you supported. It offers more flexibility to be more productive, while increasing efficiency through improved PC security and management. It also allows taking advantage of latest technology trends such as virtualization and the cloud.

Based on historical Microsoft customer data, the average enterprise deployment can take 18 to 32 months from business case through full deployment. To ensure you remain on supported versions of Windows and Office, you should begin your planning and application testing immediately to ensure you deploy before end of support.

What Next?

For help and advice contact us to help with your upgrade and training requirements.

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