Twelve years ago, Microsoft’s Windows XP first became available for purchase.  It’s been around for a long time in technology years so it’s not surprising that Microsoft will soon be ending support for it.   

Why should you care?   If you are a business owner and rely on computers to run your business, you will be impacted if you are still using Windows XP.   On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will be ending support for Windows XP and Office 2003.  Microsoft will not provide security patches and that means that new XP vulnerabilities will remain un-patched.  As a result, XP will be a lot less secure than the more current operating systems - Windows 7 and Windows 8.   

Simply stated, Windows XP computers will be open targets for viruses and hackers.    

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What should you do to plan your XP replacement?  First, you will most likely need to replace your computer.  Older computers are not capable of running Windows 7 or Windows 8.  You can go to microsoft.com and run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to see if your computer is capable of running Windows 7 or 8.

Second, the software and printers you are currently using may not be certified to run on Windows 7 or 8, so these may need to be updated.  Additionally, you’ll need to determine if Windows 7 or 8 is the appropriate selection for your business. Windows 8 comes with Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) and many web applications and web sites are not able to function with IE10.

If your business has sensitive or confidential information, then it’s just not an option to remain with XP.  If your business relies on technology, now is the time to plan your XP upgrade.