Microsoft has announced they will no longer support Windows XP as of April 8th 2014. Of course, this doesn't mean come April 8th, your computers will shut down like some apocalyptic year 2000 bug. You computer will still run, it does means you will no longer see support and updates for Window's most preferred operating system. For more information on this, please visit this page of the Microsoft web site.
We asked our IT professionals what their plans are to migrate to a new Windows Operating System. Here is what I found out.
M: How long could you stay on Windows XP before you would see issues?
IT: You may have already started seeing issues, such as no Internet Explorer 9/10 support for Windows XP. It won’t be too long after the support stops that Critical Security updates will no longer be distributed to Windows XP. There are certainly ways to get around browser and application support, however 6months a year down the road it’s going to catch up with you.
M: When we move to a new standard operating system, was there a need to purchase new hardware?
IT:Windows 7 is an amazingly efficient operating system, it really doesn’t require too much in the way of hardware to use the basic operating system. If you want more bells and whistles, such as Aero effects, then upgrading hardware is necessary.
M: What have we done internally?
IT: Initially it required testing of application compatibility, especially with our business systems and any other business specific software. We have been moving PC’s over to Windows 7 for several years, as we replace them or repair them they have been updated to Windows 7. We already moved our domain over to a 2008 R2 domain which supports Windows 7 group policy objects etc…Additionally we had to look into upgrading other services such as printing to support 32 and 64bit drivers on a Win7 platform. We had also upgraded memory on all desktops/Laptops to at least 4GB. Currently Derrick is upgrading any lingering machines that have Windows XP over to Windows 7 before they drop support.
M: How does Win 7 or Win 8 differences effect typical IT processes?
IT: Obviously each has a learning curve, the basics of Windows 7 isn’t that much different from Windows XP. Behind the scenes a few differences but nothing that dramatic. Windows 8 on the other hand is completely different. Changing the process of creating images, installing drivers, dealing with different user issues then seen in Windows XP/7. Additionally Windows 8 offers a store, the need to allow users access to the store does force a change in internal policy when dealing with the potential of installing non IT approved apps. I think most business will stick with Windows 7 for now. A lot of businesses are just starting or finishing up the migration (not to mention application support and the UI) and will likely wait for the next version of windows to move.
M: Which is better?
IT: Windows XP was likely Microsoft’s most successful OS ever, I think that Windows 7 has definitely secured its place to take that trophy with its application support/stability and general acceptance amongst software vendors and users. Windows 8/8.1 is still in its infancy and certainly has a way to go before it will be adopted as a viable OS for the everyday user. My vote Windows 7.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on what operating system you are planning to use in the future.