XPired – The end of Windows XP

End of Windows XPThe end of thirteen year old Windows XP is nigh. Come April 8th, Microsoft will no longer release security updates for Windows XP.

But even this fall I had a client who was told by his software vendor he had to use XP. Several software and hardware vendors, notably POS companies, still require Windows XP.

Microsoft has already postponed this X-it day for XP several times. We’re now on the third Windows operating system since the release of XP and the fourth version of Office. Intel’s latest Haswell chips do not support Windows XP. Companies like HP, Brother, and other printer manufacturers will not spend money creating XP drivers for their latest devices.

Even the hackers have planned for this day. They write their viruses and email scams for every operating system now, all flavours of Windows, Mac OS and Linux and increasingly mobile phones and tablets.

So why are businesses still using Windows XP? In some cases, the XP computers are still working reasonably well. However it costs more and more to support older computers and that cost quickly exceeds what it costs to purchase a new one. Particularly as XP is already a security sieve even with patches from Microsoft.

The XP world will not end on April 8th. But business owners need to plan now to replace those machines particularly while Windows 7 desktops are still available and there are still some Windows 7 laptops around.  Most XP era or legacy software that was well-designed can be ported from XP to Windows 7.

What the XPired situation highlights is that far too many businesses don’t plan to replace and upgrade their computers on a regular cycle.