XP Users: Now is the Time to Plan

Microsoft has announced that in April of 2014 they will stop supporting Windows XP.  This means no more security patches, no more updates, and no help from Microsoft if you have a problem.

April 2014…that’s forever away.  Why should I worry about it now? 

Well, are you ready to dive into Windows 8?  Will your applications run in a Windows 8 environment?  You see, Microsoft is getting ready to introduce Windows 8.1, which means new copies of Windows 7 are going to become scarce very soon.

Now is when you need to find the answers to some questions:

Are you going to need to upgrade? 

The answer to this will be based on the function of your XP machines.  What applications are you running on the XP machines?  Are there newer versions of these applications you are going to have to install?  What are the minimum requirements of the newer software?  Do you use the machine to access secure websites?  How long are you going to be able to access them with Internet Explorer 9?  (Version 10 is out now and version 11 is included with Windows 8.1)

Are you going to need to upgrade the hardware as well as the software?

If you decide that you have to upgrade the operating system, what are the hardware requirements of the new software?  Is your current hardware able to handle Windows 7 or 8?  You obviously don’t want to just be at the minimum requirements.  Software doesn’t seem to run well when you just meet the minimums.

When is the best time to upgrade?

This question is harder to answer than it appears.  You need to know if you are going to upgrade to Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1.  If your decision is to only upgrade to Windows 7, you need to act soon to at least purchase the operating system now.  You won’t find it on the shelves for long.

The other consideration will involve your accountant.  When is it to your advantage to buy from a tax standpoint?  Do you want to make the purchase during this fiscal year, or is it to your advantage to wait until the next fiscal year?

So you can see, the deadline may not be April of next year, it may be much sooner for your particular situation.  Bring your IT person in on your concerns now.  I am sure they would be happy to help you with these decisions.

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