Every year, tech companies like Apple and Microsoft release new versions of existing hardware and software. There is always a big event surrounding these announcements and the IT channel starts buzzing about the features and benefits of the new solutions. However, this also comes at the expense of older systems that may reach the "vintage" stage and are no longer supported by the companies.
In 2001, Microsoft introduced Windows XP, which has become an incredibly popular PC operating system that many businesses rely on every day. However, in April 2014, it will no longer be supported by Microsoft, so all of these businesses will face the need to upgrade. The problem with this is that many IT principals do not seem ready to let go of Windows XP.
According to a study from Netmarketshare, XP accounts for 37 percent of the market as of the end of July 2013. That is second only to Windows 7 (44.5 percent) but well ahead of more recent operating systems like Windows 8 (5.4 percent), Vista (4.24 percent) and the latest Mac OS X (3.3 percent).
In a recent Windows IT Pro column, Paul Thurrott was more doom and gloom about the situation and even compared it to the Y2K computer scare.
"I'm nervous that businesses either don't take this threat seriously enough or have determined that the sheer amount of time, effort, and cost that an XP migration would require simply makes this change untenable for the short term, and they're reacting with a predictable 'deer in the headlamps' gaze that could result in a disaster that will in effect be a realization of the Y2K predictions," Thurrott wrote.
It is clear that by this time next year, businesses will be forced to upgrade their desktop and laptop operating systems whether they want to or not. A VAR or MSP can help any business navigate these treacherous waters and upgrade to a more current solution.