December 12, 2013
April 2014 is D-Day for anyone using one of a range of Microsoft products. On the 8th April 2014, Microsoft will cease to support Windows XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003. What this means is that if you are using those products, you will no longer receive security updates or hotfixes (this is what’s happening when your PC says ‘Installing Updates 1 of …”), nor will you be able to access free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates. The net result is that you’ll be vulnerable to security threats and compliance risks.
There has been much discussion about the likelihood of an increase in attacks on devices post April and your firm should be fully aware of the implications of unsupported and unpatched environments – particularly in relation to compliance – security, stability and cost.
Why is Microsoft Doing This?
In 2002 Microsoft introduced its Support Lifecycle policy. As per this policy, Microsoft Business and Developer products, including Windows and Office products, receive a minimum of 10 years of support (5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support), at the supported service pack level.
Thus, Windows XP SP3, Office 2003 and Outlook Exchange 2003 will go out of support on 8th April 2014. If your organisation has not started the migration to a modern desktop, you are late. Based on historical customer deployment data, the average enterprise deployment can take 18 to 32 months from business case through to full deployment.
What does ‘end of support’ mean?
It means you should take action. Running Windows XP SP3, Office 2003 and Outlook Exchange 2003 in your environment after their end of support date may expose your company to potential risks, such as:
Security & Compliance Risks: unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognised control failure by an internal or external audit body such as the SRA, leading to suspension of certifications.
Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) & Hardware Manufacturers support: A recent industry report from Gartner Research suggests “many independent software vendors (ISVs) are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP…” And it may stifle access to hardware innovation: Gartner Research further notes that most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on the majority of their new PC models.
It’s not too late
To ensure you remain on supported versions of Windows and Office, you should begin your planning and application testing immediately to ensure you deploy before end of support. So let us help you get current with Windows and Office.
Getting up to date has upsides well beyond keeping you supported. It offers more flexibility to empower employees to be more productive, while increasing operational efficiency through improved PC security and management. You can also take advantage of ConvergeTS’s hosted offering, which means you’ll never have to worry about such issues again – as our cloud solution means all system, software and security updates happen automatically.
Where do I start?
To learn more about migration and deployment programmes, please contact us now. This may just be the catalyst you need to take your IT and your law firm to the next level.
For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 872 4400.