Microsoft announced that it will no longer support Windows XP or Office 2003 as of April 8th, 2014. Some people are upset, but it is time to change. Windows XP was released in 2001 and now is 13 years old. So what’s that mean for your school’s computer system?
Your Computer Network Is At Risk
Your computer network system will be at higher risk of security threats. Hackers around the world are waiting to exploit the vulnerable machines and gather valuable access to computer networks and information. New threats emerge each day, and without the support of the operating systems software designer, those threats go unchecked. New ransomware has already hit the net and are starting to wreak havoc on systems everywhere. Come April 8th, those machines that have not been upgraded to Win 7 or 8 will certainly be vulnerable to malware, ransomware and the like.
From Microsoft’s Website
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 recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’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 organization to take advantage of latest technology trends such as virtualization and the cloud.
What To Do Next
Don’t wait. Talk with your IT team immediately and develop a plan to replace computers or at the minimum upgrade to Windows 7 or 8 which is supported and is expected to be supported for the next 5 years.