XP migration – what the smart companies are doing?


7 March 2014

If you have not already done something about migrating your organisation from Windows XP, then you are cutting things fine. From 8 April 8, the 13 year old operating system will no longer be supported by Microsoft, leaving companies that depend on it with some hard decisions to make.

Machines running the software will continue to work after the deadline, but with no technical support, software updates or new security measures to keep it working properly, Windows XP will increasingly become a management headache.

In addition, recent hardware developments also mean the end for the software. Intel’s latest fourth generation ‘Haswell’ processors will not run XP and as these processors become more widely used, it will become harder to replace old and broken down XP-equipped machines with like-for-like new ones.

So with just weeks to go before the deadline looms, how are companies dealing with this issue? An enormous amount has happened in terms of technology development in the 13 years since XP was first released, so unsurprisingly there are more than a few ways to approach this problem.

I wouldn’t recommend virtualising the entire organisation, but it may be suitable for a certain number of roles in the organisation, Patrick Ward, Microsoft

Difficult teenager
“XP is a teenage operating system,” said Patrick Ward, Windows and Surface lead for Microsoft Ireland. “It was introduced in 2001 in a totally different era from the point of view of security, mobility and so much more. If you stick with it, you’re embedding yourself in the past and really limiting your options as a business.”

Ward says that not only will Microsoft stop supporting XP in April but also as time passes, independent software vendors will increasingly make software that will not run on it.

“On top of that, if you are running XP and one of your PCs breaks down and needs to be replaced, you will increasingly find it difficult to deploy your current standard XP image out onto that new PC.”

Ward says that companies that have already started to migrate to Windows 7 should continue to do so, but those that have not should consider skipping that OS and going straight to Windows 8.1.

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