If your company hasn’t already started preparing for end of Microsoft’s Windows XP, now is the time to start, according to IT professionals at Fort Worth’s CMIT Solutions office.
In July, Windows XP accounted for 37 percent of operating system market share, making it the second largest operating system on the market, according to NetApplications, a company that provides analytics to Microsoft. XP, developed in 2001, came in second to Windows 7, which was released in 2009.
But with Microsoft pulling the plug on support for XP in April, the deadline for companies to migrate to a newer operating system is looming.
“People who are last minute trying to find someone to help them migrate – by then a lot of IT companies are going to be busy,” said Earl Funches, CMIT operations manager. “So, the wait time they’re going to have could back them up.”
But waiting might not only affect a company’s timeline, it could affect its security and ability to do daily tasks.
Microsoft’s decision to halt support services for XP means that the company will no longer provide updates, which often includes security patches to cover up any recently discovered gaps. This means that companies’ sensitive security data could be much easier to breech.
The end of XP also means that XP drivers and software will slowly disappear. And if users look for support outside of Microsoft, they likely won’t find it.
“If there’s no industry support, as an IT company, we can support those products,” Funches said.
But the most troublesome side effect could cause companies to lose total functionality their hardware.
If there’s a hardware failure on an XP system, IT companies might not be able to restore everything back to its original state, Funches said.
Microsoft will also discontinue support for Microsoft Office 2003. In addition to migrating to Windows 7 or Windows 8, companies will also have to update their Microsoft Office.
How much will this cost?
Funches said the price varies depending on a customer’s hardware, software and number of computers.
If a company’s hardware uses dual core processors, it can keep its hardware and just update its operating system and RAM, which could cost a company anywhere between $350 to $400 per computer plus the cost of labor, according to Funches. Add in Microsoft office, and companies are looking at a price tag of about $550 to $600, plus labor.