Failing to upgrade from Windows XP could put your business at risk

IT specialists have warned that some businesses are leaving it too late to upgrade from Windows XP, which Microsoft will cease to support in a year’s time. From the 8th April next year, Microsoft will stop offering technical support for Windows XP. However, it has been claimed that many firms have not made sufficient plans to move to a newer system.

According to software management company Camwood, as well as using a system which restricts productivity, users that stay with Microsoft XP after this date risk falling victim to cyber-attacks as Microsoft stops releasing security updates.

Fewer than half of all large organisations have started to migrate from XP to Windows 7, the company said. A separate survey by IT specialist 1E found less than one in four companies had moved over to the newer Windows 7 operating system at the end of last year.

“The message is loud and clear – organisations that are not yet off the starting blocks or only a little way down the track are highly unlikely to complete before the Microsoft deadline” said Sumir Karayi, CEO at 1E.

Microsoft recommends companies prepare 18 to 32 months beforehand if they wish to switch from XP to Windows 7.

Windows XP was released in 2001 and remains the second most popular operating system for PCs. According to NetMarketShare, 38.7 per cent of PCs use XP. Microsoft has released Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 since XP. Windows 7 only became the most popular desktop operating system in September last year.

“In these tough economic times, it is not surprising that business leaders do not want to invest a substantial amount of money in something that essentially isn’t broken, as is the case with Windows XP today,” Adrian Foxall, CEO of Camwood, said.

It also said that the main reasons why companies had not switched to Windows 7 were awaiting permission from management, cost and concern about the process. 1E found that businesses cited hardware issues, cost and transferring Microsoft Office files as the main problems they encountered during migration.

It is more important than ever, for both security and efficiency, to ensure that your business is kept up to date. Why not see how your business might benefit from the latest Microsoft software such as Office 365, or the latest Windows Phone 8 mobile phones?