Tick tock. Six months, that’s equivalent to 181 days, 4344 hours, 250,640 minutes, or 15,638,400 seconds. Are you counting the days until extended Windows XP support expires on April 8, 2014?
If you fall into the 18% of companies that Forrester Research Inc. has identified as NOT having yet migrated from Windows XP, read on. Stop your inertia. It’s not too late and here’s six good reasons why to migrate your Operating System now:
- Eye-wateringly high costs of custom Windows XP support from Microsoft, April 2014 onwards. Depending on the size of your estate, this could cost you anywhere from $200K for a smaller estate (of 25K PCs) to more than $2m for 100K PCs or more in just a year, and these costs will more than DOUBLE over two years.
- It’s already costing you. It’s more expensive to run Windows XP compared to Windows 7. Not only are you looking at greater IT labor costs but also user productivity costs. IDC’s study found that for five-year-old PCs running Windows XP, user productivity costs per PC per year nearly doubled from $177 in year two to $324 in year five, while IT labor costs per PC per year jumped from $451 in year two to $766 in year five, that’s a rise of 70% in three years.
- Application compatibility. New versions of many business applications are no longer compatible with Windows XP. True, you may have custom developed software, however it’s no longer a compelling reason to not migrate your PC estate to the new OS, as you can run legacy applications within Windows 7 in a Windows XP mode. In fact an OS migration is an ideal opportunity to rationalize all your applications and you may find you have been paying for software that is no longer used and can be reclaimed.
- Hardware device drivers have stopped supporting Windows XP. It’s not just the expiry of extended Windows XP support that companies need to worry about. Many new applications such as Microsoft Office 2013 will not run on XP; it is also becoming common practice for independent software vendors to no longer support new versions of their applications on Windows XP. Those already headed off into the sunset include many printer drivers which stopped supporting XP at the end of last year, and the likes of Intel and Dell who ended Windows XP support a few months ago.
- Security vulnerabilities. After April 8, 2014, There won’t be any assisted support options or online technical content updates. And, with no more support – which includes security fixes, non-security hotfixes, patches and updates– you’ll be exposing your systems to risk from attack. In a blog on Microsoft’s technet own website, Tim Rains highlights the vulnerabilities and the disadvantages of not migrating and how from April next year Windows XP will have a ‘zero day’ vulnerability forever.
- Updating IT skills. Continuing to run on Windows XP not only has a detrimental effect on your users’ productivity but also has a negative impact on your IT staff who really don’t want to be working on, and propping up, an aging Operating System when the rest of the world is moving so fast with other platforms, devices and the cloud.
It’s true that OS migrations can be complex but really you must not delay further, you need not be daunted. Automation eases the process for true zero-touch OS migrations.
A software-based solution enables automated company-wide content distribution; application optimization, rationalization and mapping; user self-service without affecting your users’ productivity; and to top it all, with a business as usual team.
The 1E Solution for Windows Migration is proven to accelerate, automate and significantly reduce costs for large scale Windows 7 migrations in just a few months. 1E’s approach is to extend and enhance Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr), as well as reduce and simplify its infrastructure and operational costs. To learn more about 1E’s Approach to Windows Migration, please register for the upcoming webinar (repeated monthly): The next one is Wednesday, October 9th, 11am EST / 4pm GMT, register here: www.1e.com/events/
 Source: IDC Mitigating Risk: Why Sticking with Windows XP Is a Bad Idea by Al Gillen Randy Perry Nancy Selig. May 2012. Sponsored by: Microsoft Corporation