Two of Microsoft’s flagship services are going to no longer have any support as of April 8th, 2014: Windows XP and Office 2003.
So what does this mean for the business owner that depends on these products to run their business? Microsoft simply says it means you should “take action”. There will no longer be any security updates or assisted support options, online or otherwise, through Microsoft. This means that there will be “unchecked security and compliance risks” as well as a lack of support and updates that keep the software compatible with the newest technologies.
Microsoft says this move comes after they introduced their Support Lifecycle policy in 2002. All of Microsoft’s products get 10 years of support – 5 Mainstream and 5 Extended – and once those ten years are up, the company encourages all users to move on to more recent products that will often fit the needs of an individual and a company more closely.
Since it can take up to 18 months for the average medium to large business to install new programs, roll out all of the updates, and import all customer data, Microsoft is suggesting that companies who have not migrated from Windows XP and Office 2003 start the process soon.
Microsoft says as a small or medium business, you may need to upgrade your PCs and retrain your staff to use newer, more dependable Microsoft products. You can purchase Windows 7 or Windows 8 from any local retailer.