Microsoft reminded us this week that there are now (less than) 1000 days left of extended support, expiring on 4-8-2014. It truly is amazing that Microsoft has had such a stable operating system with Windows XP (after a few service packs), which I believe is one of the main reasons why businesses are hanging on so tightly to it.
The other big reason is our economy. It is difficult to rationalize purchasing new equipment when the budget is tight. Many companies hold on to the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” line as well. Unfortunately, there is also plenty of third party software applications that do not officially support Windows 7.
However, the wake-up call is here. You do not want to be running a computer that is running an operating system that will not be supported by Microsoft anymore. While many will argue that they should continue to support it, we are talking about a 10 year old operating system that will be at least 3 versions behind the current operating system come 2014. It is unreasonable to expect a company, no matter the size, to support a product in perpetuity, the cost is too high.
Many small businesses do not have a computer refresh cycle. Now is the time to visit this concept to avoid having to purchase all new computers in one year. Start your cycle this year if you can and break it up into thirds.
The reasons are not all doom and gloom, either. You should see an added benefit of increased employee productivity with a faster computer. Newer computers can be configured to be much more power efficient. We also have a greater ability to keep the computers secure.