The news isn't new. Perhaps you've seen a headline, read a tweet, received a notification on your PC, or heard your IT manager mention it: Windows XP is retiring on April 8, 2014. But if you're a business owner, what exactly does this mean for you? Let's break it down to the basics:
Over the past 12 years, millions of Canadian businesses were able to launch and grow using Windows XP as their operating system. However, as a 12-year-old technology, XP can't support many of the needs of modern business. When XP launched in 2001, the Canadian PC landscape comprised primarily desktop devices, with laptops just beginning to penetrate the market. Now, always-on devices like tablets and smartphones account for a much larger chunk of Canadians' total internet time. Legacy operating systems and hardware were not built for the demands of the mobile, work-from-anywhere world we live in now – and Microsoft has responded by building a faster, cloud-first, mobile-first, touch-enabled operating system: Windows 8. If your business is still on Windows XP, here's what you need to know in order to ensure your business data is secure, to take advantage of the latest in mobility, and to fully enable productivity within your organization.
After April 8, there will be no more security updates released for Windows XP. While computers will continue to work following that date, there is a risk in not upgrading. Put simply, if you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computers might become more vulnerable to malware and viruses and you'll see a reduction in technical support. The data that your business runs on could be at risk. The internal IT costs of maintaining an outdated system could be high.
So how do businesses ensure data safety? Take these three steps:
- back up all data
- If you're running specific apps or software, check the compatibility with your new OS
- migrate your data.
Advances in cloud technologies now make migrating your sensitive data easier and safer than ever, and this is something our Microsoft business partners can help you with. If you're running any apps or using specific software, check with the vendor to ensure compatibility with the version of Windows you choose to upgrade to (7,8 or 8.1).
Think about the experience you have on your smartphone. It's very likely that you're using this device for work and play – as a tool for being always connected to your email, your apps, navigation, social media and more, all run through the cloud. Now imagine having that same, seamless experiences across all of your business devices. This is what an operating system like Windows 8 can offer, and an experience that Windows XP just wasn't built for. Office 365, Microsoft's cloud- powered business software, can help you and your employees access applications and files from virtually anywhere—PC, Mac, tablets, and select mobile devices—and they're always up to date. Same goes for updates to features—you get them automatically.
Quite simply, Windows 8 is a faster OS, built for the faster, higher-storage devices on the market now. When Windows XP was launched, the majority of devices were sold with 64 or 128 MB. Today, computers are sold with 128 GB or more! From device boot time to app load to video conferencing and more, devices running Windows 8 can help you and your employees work and collaborate more efficiently. If you're running XP, chances are you're using an older device. If so, you may want to consider upgrading to new tablets, PCs or laptops. These devices are more powerful, and on average, less costly than the average PC and laptop sold 12 years ago. From tablets to laptops to PCs & more, check out the full suite of Windows 8 devices that can help your business and employees engage in the cloud environment.
We're proud of how our customers have been able to use Windows XP to grow their businesses over the past 12 years. Now we're looking forward to helping them #Get2Modern and make that next step to bring their businesses to the next level. To help with this, we're offering up to 20% off on upgrades to the new Windows and Office 365.
Looking to learn more about staying productive, going mobile, and safeguarding your data? Visit the Microsoft Canada Business Hub.