What to do when support for Windows XP and Office 2003 ends 8th April? Here's the answer.

Written by Michael Smith on the 17th of March, 2014

It’s the best advert a technology service provider could wish for! For many SMBs in the UK it is also a wake-up call and a great opportunity to transform from being a desktop to a cloud-based organisation.

The end of Windows XP and Office 2003 civilisation as we know it! So how are you at risk? Well, according to Microsoft:

‘An unsupported version of Windows will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update. These include security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, which can steal your personal information.’

Not great to hear. You may also be unable to open many applications with older versions of Internet Explorer. For instance, Microsoft states that Office 365 will only work with:

‘..the current or immediately previous version of Internet Explorer or Firefox, or the latest version of Chrome or Safari.’

So if you are running Office 2003 what are your alternatives to an expensive upgrade?

Our view is that this is a blessing in disguise for many SMBs. Smart businesses will see this as an opportunity to migrate to the cloud and by doing so, lower costs, virtualise their environments and increase operational efficiency.

However, expert guidance is need to pick the right solution and to ease the deployment and management of cloud based technologies. Don’t be confused by remote desktop solutions hosted in someone else’s private cloud. If you are going to go cloud, go all the way and either go Google Apps for Business or Office 365.

We deploy, educate and support end users in SMBs on both technologies.

Google Apps for Work ™ is the foundation stone for those committed to going 100% web. On this foundation, we can bolt other applications such as Xero, Zendesk and Capsule to enable a business to become server-free and operable on any device from any place.

More prudent organisations that wish to retain a Microsoft-oriented, desktop environment can opt for Office 365 as a way of incorporating mobile, collaborative and remote ways of working into their business.

Both options are subscription-based, require no or low capital investment to get going and are therefore a very viable way of rapidly sidestepping issues that might arise on 8th April. More importantly if deployed and supported properly, they will undoubtedly make you more effective and save you money.

Source: Microsoft,What does it mean if my version of Windows is no longer supported? Microsoft, Office 365, Software requirements for Office 365 for business

Image source; Jason Cartwright, flickr.com; ,CC2.0

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