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April 8, 2014 is no fool's day

(Published on behalf of Vivin George)


Did you know that the etymology of word "April" is from the Latin "aperire", meaning "to open"? It is the season when trees and flowers begin to "open".  However, it is ironic that the month of April in 2014 would be known for the 'closure' of Windows XP.

We all agree that Windows XP has been a great success for Microsoft and users alike, but I guess every good thing comes to an end for the next best thing. This article from the Microsoft blog explains in great detail, the impact of not migrating from Windows XP.  You'll be amazed by the figures quoted in this article.
The biggest whopper- If you stay on Windows XP beyond 2014, it is likely to cost 5 times more than running Windows 7 - consider the hole that is going to create in your IT budget!

But the death of Windows XP is not the only thing we have to deal with. In October 2012, Microsoft launched a new and radically different platform - Windows 8. With its release, now we have two options to choose from - Windows 7 and Windows 8. Both of these platforms have their own pluses and minuses. This calls for a good analysis of what you want from your operating system (OS).
Windows 8 is a product which could mean remarkably different things to organizations, based on usage, budget and user demographics. If yours is the kind of organization where mobility and social media have been infiltrating the workplace, you can leverage Windows 8 to integrate mobile computing with traditional desktop based computing.

On the other hand, Windows 7 is an excellent platform and is popular with consumers, especially enterprises. It has been around for four years and is a stable OS with most independent software vendors (ISV) having certified their applications for this platform. If you are looking for faster upgrade, reduced risk and standardized computing environments, Windows 7 is a way to go.

Given that Windows 8 has plenty of new features and needs ample support from the hardware perspective, it is clear that migration from Windows XP to Windows 8 is a big jump.  Moreover, most of the folks involved in the last rollout have either retired or are now part of the C-suites today!

So, it is imperative that organizations do a careful evaluation of business and technical factors to ensure the success of migration.
There cannot be a single solution or a thumb rule to migrate from Windows XP. In fact, this migration can open a "window" of opportunity for organizations to mull over how they see themselves in the next 10 years. Can this migration be combined with the cleanup of legacy systems or applications? Should the organization embrace enterprise mobility and BYOD? When organizations think through these basic questions, they can pick and choose the platform that fits the bill.

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