Why is Microsoft ending support for Windows XP and Office 2003?
In 2002 Microsoft introduced its Support Lifecycle policy based on customer feedback to have more transparency and predictability of support for Microsoft products. As per this policy, Microsoft Business and Developer products, including 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.
Thus, Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 will go out of support on April 8, 2014. If your organisation has not started the migration to a modern desktop, you are late. Based on historical customer deployment 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 does end of support mean to customers?
It means you should take action. After April 8, 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 in your environment after their end of support date may expose your company to potential risks, such as:
- Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognised control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organisation’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 “many independent software vendors (ISVs) are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP in 2011; in 2012, it will become common.” And it may stifle access to hardware innovation: Gartner Research further notes that in 2012, most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on the majority of their new PC models.
Get current with Windows and Office. This option has upside well beyond keeping you supported. It offers more flexibility to empower employees to be more productive, while increasing operational efficiency through improved PC security and management. It also enables your organisation to take advantage of latest technology trends such as virtualisation and the cloud.
How do I begin my migration?
Enterprise Customers: Microsoft offers large organisations in-depth technical resources, tools, and expert guidance to ease the deployment and management of Windows, Office and Internet Explorer products and technologies.
Small to Medium Business: There are many options for small and medium businesses considering moving to a modern PC with the latest productivity and collaboration tools. Small to mid-size organisations should contact us as soon as possible to understand the best options to meet their business needs.
To learn more about migration and deployment programs, please contact your M2 Computing sales representative on 01293 871971 or via email email@example.com.