Final Days of Support for Windows XP

By Eric O. Schueler, Senior V.P. of Information Technology at HRCT

Windows XP

The Sky is Falling!

If you don’t pay much attention to technology, you may not realize that Windows XP is reaching its final days of support from Microsoft.  You also may not realize that data research firms are reporting that 30% or more of the world’s computers are still running Windows XP.  That’s a pretty big number!

In Microsoft’s world, an operating system or software application goes through 3 phases for end of life. There is:

The last time to buy: The last time to buy Windows XP was back on June 30th, 2008.

The end of mainstream support: The last day of mainstream support was back on April 14th, 2009.

The end of extended support: The end of extended support will come on April 8th, 2014.

The amazing thing is that Windows XP was released on December 31st, 2001 making it one of the longest running operating systems of all time clocking in at 12.5 years!

What is the difference between mainstream support and extended support?

There are a lot of technical details between the 2, but I’ll spare you from a lengthy answer.  The one you need to be most concerned with is that during extended support Microsoft is still providing security patches and fixes.

So what does this all mean?  The first thing to remember is that on April 9th your Windows XP computers will continue to run and boot up just fine.  However, many believe that virus makers will release a super virus that will take them all down since Microsoft will do nothing in the way of securing security flaws anymore.  It’s tough to say if this is a real fear or not but my opinion is to better be safe than sorry.

The call to action is this!

If you have Windows XP in your organization, NOW is the time to plan for its replacement.  In most cases this will mean that you will want to replace the hardware because it won’t make financial sense to spend money on upgrades.

If you still rely on applications that only run on Windows XP, the upgrade path may be more complex.  In this case a virtual desktop solution may be a good fit.  If you need help choosing a path for migration please seek help from a professional.

Last Point

The last point I want to make is that XP is not the only platform facing this “pending doom.”  Basically all Microsoft products that end in ’03 are at or near end of extended support.  This includes Server 2003, Exchange 2003, & Office 2003.  Talk with your IT professional now and begin the conversation to craft the migration strategy that best suits your organization.

Click for more information about the end of support for Windows XP, and for help with Windows XP and any other computer and IT needs, contact Eric Schueler with HRCT. (757) 399-3350


Posted by Eric O. Schueler, A+, MCP, MCSE, MCTS, CSSA, ACSP – Senior V.P. of Information Technology at HRCT.  Eric has been in the business of providing IT and consulting for small and medium business for more than 15 years.

Hampton Roads Communication Technologies (HRCT) provides quality business telecommunications solutions, like IT Sales, Repair and Service Plans to companies and organizations throughout the United States, Mid-Atlantic and the Hampton Roads Virginia cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News and Hampton, north into Williamsburg and south into the Outer Banks of North Carolina. HRCT keeps your company connected.

Call today. (757) 399-3350