Windows XP was released to the public October 2001 and has been heavily supported with three service packs and extensions to the extended support, but now the time has come for Microsoft to stop supporting XP along with Exchange 2003 and Office 2003 on April 8, 2014.
Q: What do you mean Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP?
A: If Microsoft encountered an issue with their operating system (OS) they would release monthly updates - patches - to fix any problems that occurred as long as the product is being supported by them. Once a product is no longer being supported, Microsoft WILL NOT release any updates or provide online technical assistance on Microsoft.com, which will put the machines, users, other sensitive information at risk of being compromised from hackers and other malicious software (trojans, viruses, rootkits, etc.).
Q: Will the software mentioned above still work after April 8, 2014?
A: Microsoft Windows XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003 will still work regardless of the products not being supported by Microsoft. The key thing is that if you encountered any problems with these services after support ends then your IT staff or consultant will be left to look for support through online forums for fixes, which will cost your company both valuable time and money. It is RECOMMENDED to upgrade to a newer version of software that is supported by Microsoft.
Q: Are there other versions of Microsoft Windows to replace Windows XP?
A: Since Windows XP is not being supported after April 8, 2014 you may be thinking of purchasing a replacement OS. Microsoft currently has on the market both Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 8/8.1. Both of these operating systems are currently available by all major retailers, online vendors, and volume licensing with support ending after 2020. Windows Vista is also available in select arenas, but Microsoft Support for Windows Vista ends April 11th, 2017 so we recommend to avoid purchasing Windows Vista.
Q: What is volume licensing?
A: Volume licensing is a way for companies and businesses to purchase large amounts of OS with one license key instead of purchasing multiple consumer copies that carry different product keys.
Q: I noticed that they have two versions of an OS out: a 32-bit and a 64-bit, what are they and how can I figure out which version I am running?
A: Almost all mainstream OS and software companies tend to sell or release two versions of the product; a 32-bit (x86) and a 64-bit (x64). Many older systems built and purchased before 2006-07 have 32-bit processors inside of them while the majority of PC sales up until 2008 contain a 64-bit processor. Getting into the details between the two are beyond the scope of this FAQ, but overall the 64-bit processor can handle more data and support more memory (RAM) than its 32-bit predecessor. To find out which version you are using along with more information, click the following link: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/32-bit-and-64-bit-windows#1TC=windows-7.
Q: How would I go about making all of this easier for my company without having to worry about so much technical information?
A: Talk with your company’s IT staff or IT consulting when it comes to upgrading from Windows XP to see whether they are currently working on this project for both you and your staff. If you do not have any IT consulting and would like some help with upgrading from Windows XP, Office 2003, Exchange 2003 then please request more information at www.desktopco-op.com.