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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Is your organization prepared for Windows XP end-of-life?

Support for Windows XP ends on April 8, 2014.

If you have PCs running XP, you will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update. This ends all security updates, hotfixes, driver updates and support. Running Windows XP in your environment after the end of support date may expose your company to potential risks, such as viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal your business information.

An analysis by International Data Corporation revealed that supporting older Windows XP installations, compared with a modern Windows 7–based solution, burdens organizations with a dramatically higher cost. Annual cost per PC per year for Windows XP is $870, while a comparable Windows 7 installation costs $168 per PC per year. That is an incremental $701 per PC per year for IT and end-user labor costs.

You may be thinking, “But, Windows XP works great for us and we have no hardware issues with our computers, so why should we switch?”

Think about this… On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will release the last batch of XP patches and explanations of what they fix. A few days after that, virus writers will have deconstructed these patches and discovered the underlying security holes.  Then, they release their viruses, ransomware, adware, etc.  The next day, thousands of computers may be infected by the malware, and even if it is removed and all normal precautions are taken, this virus will infect the computers again and again while the Windows XP PC is being used to access the internet.

Organizations that continue to retain a Windows XP environment are not only leaving themselves exposed to security risks and support challenges, but also are wasting budget dollars that would be better used in modernizing their IT investments. If your organization is bound by regulatory compliance policies, like HIPAA or GLBA, the end of life for XP is of particular concern. Keeping XP systems in production that are no longer receiving security updates leaves you at risk for failed audits and susceptible to fines due to non-compliance. Many options exist for businesses considering moving to newer PC operating systems.

To understand the best options for your organization, you need a Microsoft Partner who will assess your business needs. BizTech will come to your place of business, assess your PC Network, and you will receive a customized Assessment Report — complete with your organization’s needs and best options to keep your business running smoothly.

Call BizTech at 800.804.4715 to discuss or schedule your assessment.

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