Support for Windows XP and Office 2003 ends April 8, 2014
What Microsoft calls its Support Lifecycle policy states that Windows and Office products are to receive a minimum of 10 years of support. That breaks down to 5 years of mainstream support and 5 years of extended support, as long a supported Service Pack has been installed. As Windows XP was launched back in 2001, Microsoft has announced it will be ending support for the legendary OS (and Office 2003 along with it) on April 8, 2014.
After the deadline Microsoft will not be sending out any new security updates, hotfixes, technical content updates, and will cease to provide assisted support (whether free or paid) for Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003. The Redmond-based company warns customers and partners that unpatched environments will be susceptible to security risks. Microsoft also believes independent software vendors and hardware manufacturers will be less likely to support the ageing OS.
Microsoft is encouraging businesses to switch over to Windows 7 and Windows 8 citing speed, reliability and security as a few of the advantages of modern operating systems. The company is trying to promote Windows 8 a little bit harder by stressing device diversity, increased mobility options, and touch capabilities.
Microsoft is also warning businesses in uncharacteristically stern language that, “If your organization 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 full deployment.”
Microsoft will be offering small and medium sized businesses 15% off Windows 8 Pro and Office Standard 2013, in an effort to encourage companies to upgrade. The offer is available through June 30 for up to 100 licenses each of Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013 Standard editions.