Support for Microsoft Office 2003 also ends on the same date. Office 2007 was a major revamp, so if you’re on Office 2003, it’s time to update. Office 2013 and Office 365 have been released, but we recommend sticking with Office 2010.
Step 1 - Make sure that your system is at least up to date with all patches that Microsoft has released.
Save the money to put towards a new computer. If you’re running Windows XP, the computer must be at least 5 years old, probably more than that. While we’ve generally extended our recommendations for proactive computer replacements, by the time you reach 4 years, you should be budgeting for a new one. Your system is on bought time. You’ve probably noticed that your system is slowing down. It’s only a matter of time before a drive or fan fails. Don’t put good money after bad. If you’re considering a new computer, think twice about Windows 8. We suggest sticking with Windows 7 (available through business channels) or a Mac.
Support for most Windows Server 2003 versions ends on July 13, 2015. There’s cause to be more cautious with a server. Don’t wait until the deadline to replace your aging servers.
Every once in a while, I run into a circumstance where upgrading isn’t possible, such as a really expensive medical device that doesn’t have newer drivers or a special educational program that was originally made for Windows 3.1. You may have to bite the bullet at some point and find an alternative, but in the meanwhile, meticulously follow the steps outlined above. Consider extending the computer life by proactively duplicating and replacing your hard drive. You can keep the old one as a backup.
- If you’re still running Windows XP, your computer is past-due for replacement. You don’t need to run out today, but do make it a priority and budget for replacement soon.
- If you have a legitimate business case for keeping your XP systems alive, be sure that you have a rigorous program in place to secure the systems and audit them regularly.
Dovid Winter is the CEO and Principal Consultant of Winter Solutions, Inc. Since 1986, Winter Solutions has partnered with emerging businesses, educational and nonprofit organizations to exceed customer expectations through the effective use of technology. From strategic technology plans through hands-on implementations services, Winter Solutions enables your organization to increase productivity, improve customer service and achieve your organizational objectives. Trust and integrity are at the core of everything we do.
To schedule your strategic IT assessment, contact Winter Solutions, Inc. at 781-821-0000 or 617-973-9999. Ask about our ProActivesm IT Management solution.