If your company’s end users rely on Windows XP you are probably aware that on April 8th, 2014 Microsoft support for XP will end. The reason for this decision is discussed in this post by Elephant Outlook “Microsoft to Windows XP User – Your Operating System is a Major Security Risk.” XP is more likely to fall prey to malware than more recent versions of Windows. Elephant Outlook breaks the statistics out “For the first half of 2013, Windows XP SP3 32-bit suffered a malware infection rate of 9.1 systems per 1,000 computers, which sounds modest until you read that the equivalent number of Windows 7 32-bit was 5.0 and for Windows 8 64-bit it was 1.4.”
On the Microsoft page dedicated to this issue, Microsoft is encouraging XP users to begin planning and testing immediately to ensure deployment prior to the end of support. Users that continue to use XP after the April 8th cutoff may expose themselves to compliance risks as well risk unsupported environments opening themselves up to security risks.
Businesses do have reasonable options to mitigate the expenses and risks associated with the end of XP support. Companies can upgrade capable XP machines to Windows 7 or 8.1. But due to hardware limitations it may be time for many companies to perform an upgrade. In order to gauge if a hardware upgrade is necessary an organization must consider the cost of new hardware, implementation, as well as various software licensing and potential compatibility issues.
The benefits of upgrading do not end at compliance and lowering security risks. For more answers regarding the why, what and how of the XP end of support, please visit the dedicated Microsoft page here.
Here at IT Asset Management Group we are encouraging our clients to upgrade and dispose of XP machines as soon as possible to maximize asset recovery returns on the equipment being replaced. It is likely that at the end of Q1 2014 the secondary markets will see drastic value declines. The end of XP and increase in worldwide refreshes will result in lower computer liquidation values or higher service costs for enterprise disposals.
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