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Support for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 Is Ending

Next week, on July 13, Microsoft will be ending its support for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 – a popular operating system that many of our clients have used for years.

Now, an end of support doesn’t mean that your software will magically stop functioning. It does mean that Microsoft won’t be issuing software updates for this version of XP anymore. You won’t be getting any more patches or updates to improve system reliability, stability, or security. If on July 14 a big new security threat exploits an as-yet undiscovered loophole in XP running Service Pack 2, best of luck to you – Microsoft won’t have a patch for it.

What to do? Either install Service Pack 3 for free, or transition to Windows 7.

For a lot of companies who are still operating with very tight budgets, the former option might be the only truly viable one – not to mention that a lot of businesses are understandably reluctant to upgrade to Windows 7 until there’s been at least one service pack release.

It’s natural not to want to make a major investment in a full-scale operating system overhaul for every computer in your company. However, you’d do well to start thinking about how you’re going to address this transition over time. Think about which users are really going to need Windows 7 and who can wait. That way you can prioritize upgrades and do it in a gradual way – a few computers one quarter, a few more the next – that will minimize shocks to your budget and to your user base.

(Note: There’s no Service Pack 3 for the 64-bit version of Windows XP. If you’re running the 64-bit version of Windows XP with SP2, you have the latest service pack and will continue to be eligible for support and receive updates until April 8, 2014. If you’re not sure which version you’re running, click here.)