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XP – What’s The Rush?

As the end of 2012 approaches, I can’t help but wonder how many companies will be in panic mode this time next year.  You see, XP will no longer be supported as of April 8, 2014.  Right now, that sounds like an eternity, but that year and a bit will fly by faster than you think.  Although Microsoft puts out a great roadmap for XP migration (click here), I find that it’s geared for large businesses, not the small (under 20 users) businesses I deal with.  I also believe that small businesses see no reason to upgrade XP because they are unaware of its expiration date.  To help ease the transition between now and XPs final days, here are some steps to help prepare you:

1. Budget

Replacing several systems and applications can be expensive.  To avoid “sticker shock,” it is advisable that you budget for your migration in advance.  Keep in mind, the average desktop system is $600-$1000, depending on hardware.  Other factors to consider in your budget are IT resource costs and software.

2. Asset Management

Are you aware of what you currently have in-house?  Before considering moving off of XP, you will need to ensure that your current hardware will support Windows 7/8.  From my experience, most of the systems running XP will need to be replaced (stay tuned for a post on reusing your old tech).  Servers and server operating systems/applications should also be included in this inventory.  To avoid any speed bumps in your desktop deployment, make sure your servers are up-to-date and/or compatible.

3. Deployment and Migration

There is no in-place upgrade from XP to the newer operating systems.  This means all the data will need to be migrated manually to a new system, or replaced on an upgraded system.  Depending on the amount of data and files, and the age of the hardware, this could take several hours per system.

4. Scheduling a Qualified IT Professional

Let’s face it: companies are going to leave the XP migration until the last possible moment.  The problem with this is that because it will have been left so late, there may not be enough time to successfully transition to a new environment.  Even if you do have enough time to do this, the rates may be higher than 6 months before.  To avoid inflated prices, schedule a qualified IT Professional in advance.

5. Replacing or updating older applications

All of the applications currently in use on your XP systems will have to be validated for the new operating system.  If an application is now longer supported or available an alternative will have to be found and tested.  If replacing the application is not an option, then rewriting the code may be the answer and this will take time.

6. Testing

To ensure your systems will be compatible with the new applications and environment, it is highly recommended that you test everything before you move forward.  To do this properly, replicate your hardware and software requirements as closely as possible during your testing phase.

7. Cleaning up

Now that you have replaced all of your older systems, you can’t just throw them away.  Before donating or if necessary pitching your old equipment, the systems need to be wiped of any data to prevent anyone from recovering your company data.  This process can takes several hours per system but it is highly recommended and advised.

8. User Training

The gap between XP and Windows 7/8 is very significant.  To ensure the transition is successful, users may need to be taught how to use the new operating system and applications.  Click here for my Windows 8 “user” experience.

I hope this convinces you to look at your current systems and start planning to move from XP to a newer, more secure operating system.  If you have any questions about how to move forward contact your qualified IT Professional and they can help you develop a roadmap that will help you and your team transition from old to new technology.

These guidelines are based on a typical deployment for a small business that is transitioning from XP to Windows 7/8.  Please talk to your qualified IT Pro for a customized and successful shift from old tech to new tech.

  1. 06/25/2015 at 8:06 pm

    It is in point of fact a nice and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this useful information with
    us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  1. 04/18/2013 at 5:53 pm

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