Many of you have heard by now that Windows XP is approaching its “End of Support” date, April 8. A few of you have asked how this will affect your current Windows XP installations and how quickly you need to plan upgrades.
First, don’t panic. The End of Support means only that new security updates will no longer be provided by Microsoft through Windows Update. In the short run, therefore, there will be little impact. As time goes on, however, it will become increasingly important to upgrade or, more likely due to the age of current installations, replace Windows XP computers with new ones running Windows 7 or Windows 8. I recommend planning to complete these upgrades/replacements over the course of the next year.
Most of you have only a few Windows XP installations left, so the impact will be fairly minimal and can be folded into the usual PC replacement cycle. In rare cases there may be critical software on an XP machine that cannot be installed on a later version of Windows. In that case, there are still options. For instance, we could take the computer offline and use it without an Internet connection, or transition the software to a virtual machine to isolate it from other workstations. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to go over any of these possibilities.