How to handle end of life for Windows products

"On 8th April this year Microsoft ended its support for Windows XP and Office 2003. That means no more software updates, no more bug fixes and, importantly, there will be no more security fixes for machines running the operating system and software. Technical assistance and automatic updates that help protect your PC have come grinding to a halt. This means that business users of XP and Office 2003 are faced with numerous issues. It is risky to continue working with an unsupported operating system and any flaws or vulnerabilities that are newly discovered in the future will not be fixed. Microsoft has been warning users since 2010 of the End of Life (EoL) of its most popular operating system but now it’s time to move on.

Businesses that continue to use Windows XP and Office 2003 may find an increase in the number of cyber attacks. Over time, those who continue to use unsupported software will be more and more at risk of security breaches and of suffering unresolvable issues. In fact, XP’s relative lack of built-in security features is worrying. One option for small businesses to avoid a costly upgrade and to operate in a safe environment is to adopt a Virtual Machine (VM). Virtual Machines and Virtual Desktops are a perfect way to take your desktop computer anyway, stay up-to-date with the latest software and remain protected. A Virtual Desktop solution for your business will mean you won’t be tied to one Operating System product or a particular piece of software and it’s easier to scale your IT as your business grows.

Another solution is to adopt a hosted or “Cloud” solution. As a replacement for their Office 2003 and other packaged Office products, Microsoft have proposed their own cloud Office platform called Office 365. Microsoft Office 365 is an online office and software service that allows you to work remotely, collaborate, interact with colleagues, host your website and much more.

Since mobility is essential for any modern business today, Microsoft have sought to provide as many mobility benefits in Office 365 as possible. It offers users almost anywhere access to a comprehensive set of office tools that will allow them to be more productive with increased flexibility.

Dealing with EoL product announcements from major suppliers can be challenging, but there is a way forward. At help4IT, we don’t want our customers’ businesses to get left behind. That’s why, if they are currently using Windows XP or Office 2003, or they simply want to give their business an IT facelift, we introduce them to the benefits of virtualisation and cloud IT solutions.

By migrating to the latest operating systems and software platforms, such as Office 365, you can enjoy all the benefits of the latest software along with the cost savings and productivity benefits of moving to the cloud."


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