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Why should one consider retiring Win XP today?

Windows XP is reaching EOS on April 8th 2014.

What does it mean to users?

  • Users will no longer receive security patches, hotfixes, or incident support.
  • Running on an older OS platform is - on a technical level - less secure, more difficult to manage, and expensive to maintain
  • Running on an older OS platform also exposes customer to business and regulatory risks they need to manage. Users may incur costs as well as the technical issues relating to custom support.

Over the past 13 years, Microsoft has made considerable advancements in its operating system to increase end user productivity, enhance security and control, while reducing overall IT cost through streamlined PC management.  While the innovations from Windows XP were game changers back in 2001, users today need more than the desktop of ten years ago to stay competitive in the 21st century. Users today require more technology choice to meet the diverse workstyles they need to get the job done. The days of post-it reminders sitting at their 15" CRT monitor with multiple Windows open on one device (Windows XP machine) will not enable users to get the job done and the businesses to remain competitive in a global economic landscape.

Anywhere, any time is the new normal. People work from multiple locations and from multiple devices (according to Forrester's "2013 Mobile Workforce adoption trends):

29% of global workforce can be characterized as "anywhere, anytime" information workers, up from 23% in 2011

Nearly 80% of workers spend at least some portion of their time working out of the office

BYOD is growing and going mainstream; mobile devices, smartphones and tablets are a fast growing category

According to analysts (Forrester) we will see 905M tablets in use for work and home by 2017.

From the same study, today BYOD scenarios span at least 258M of the global info workers and it is all but unavoidable. According to ZDNet and TechRepublic's BYOD Business Strategy Survey, 62% of companies either already have Bring Your Own Device allowances in place, or plan to by the end of 2013.

Mobile devices require apps - and Mobile apps are a fast growing category as well (anecdotally, Windows Store exceeded 100M app installs 90 days after Launch in October'12; number of apps in Store quadrupled in the same time)

According to some estimates, by 2015, mobile application development projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4-to-1.

66% of organizations are investing in mobile app development, according to "Building a Mobility Strategy" - Corporate Executive Board. March 2012.

This dynamic, connected, global environment creates new opportunities for companies, to drive new business, however it also means a tremendous challenge for enterprises today  - enabling mobile professional  securely and efficiently – introduces lots of complexity.

Mobility (and Mobile technologies) has become one of the top technology priorities for CIOs in 2012. According to Gartner's "Amplifying the Enterprise:  the 2012 CIO Agenda", mobile technologies are #2 in CIO priorities list in 2012, after #3 in 2011 as a result of the complexity and challenge companies face as they try to tackle the new opportunities.

There are 3 key reasons to retire Windows XP and move to a modern OS (Windows 7 and Windows 8).

  • Get Value with Windows 7 and Windows 8 today
  • Eliminate Risks of Windows XP End of Support
  • Deployment is easier than you think

Get Value with Windows 7 and Windows 8 today

Windows 8 compatibility with Windows 7 gives customers flexibility to have a custom adoption path that best works for them, bringing in Windows 8 for targeted scenarios side by side with Windows 7 in their environment. Both Windows 7 and Windows 8 deliver significant benefits over Windows XP.

Getting Value with Windows 7

Windows 7 offers customers a number of proven benefits - high performance and responsiveness, modern UI, helping to increase end user productivity.  Windows 7 Enterprise offers great   advancements to IT organizations - for example, Windows 7 provides a more protected and secure environment than Windows XP with BitLockerâ„¢ Drive Encryption and Bitlocker to Go helping to ensure sensitive data is protected in your organization, right out of the box.

Other  great Windows 7 Enterprise capabilities that allow business customers  to  increase user productivity and mobility  while  helping to save costs and ensure high standards on enterprise data protection, security, manageability -  include features such as Applocker,  DirectAccess, PowerShell and many other great features.  Additionally, customers are leaving money on the table by staying on Windows XP as opposed to moving to Windows 7.

For example:

  • Bombardier Aerospace saved $160K in third party security licensing using security enhancements built into Windows 7
  • Leading financial services firm, Baker Tilly has quantified a $191 (US) per PC savings by moving to Windows 7
  • Overall  our TCO studies demonstrated up to 20%  savings in just direct IT costs

Getting Value with Windows 8 today

Windows 8 delivered experiences and devices that users want; while providing companies with enterprise grade solutions,. Here are specific investments we are making with Windows 8  for the enterprise.

Devices and Experiences Users Love.

Great Tablet for Business Users. We hear from business users today that they have to choose between convenience and productivity. With Windows 8 tablet, users can have a "no compromise" experience. Windows 8 delivers Touch first experience along with full support for mouse and keyboard – no compromise experience where users can have the convenience and mobility of a tablet, power and familiar experience of the full PC and ease to effortlessly move between work and personal activities. Also, with Windows 8, tablets users can have connected experience with apps from the Windows Store, while they also can use desktop LOB and productivity apps they use today on Windows7.

New Possibilities in Mobile Productivity. Windows 8 delivers other technologies that help people stay productive as they are increasingly mobile.

Enterprise Grade Solutions

Enhanced end to end security. From client device to network to back end infrastructure, Windows 8 offers features that improve the security and reliability of the systems in your organization. From power-on to power-off, Windows 8 provides a more secure foundation to help keep your businesses running.

Management and Virtualization Advancements. Windows 8 includes enhancements to manageability and virtualization features to help IT administrators manage their client PCs.

Eliminate Risks of Windows XP End of Support

Windows XP end of support is less than 1 year away and most enterprise deployments can take 18 to 24 months leaving little time to plan, test and deploy a new OS, while still being on supported software.

Customers need to migrate their PC fleet prior to EOS date to avoid the significant risk of running unsupported software (with no access to security updates and any other public support from Microsoft); and potential Custom Support costs.

Custom Support agreements to receive critical security fixes, non-security (bug) fixes and paid incidents can be as much as $200K per year for SA customers and up to $500K per year for non-SA customers.

Gartner, in their June 2011 report stressed their urgency to retire Win XP and deploy Win 7.

Gartner predicted that more than 50% of organizations that had not started deploying Windows 7 by early 2012 will not complete their deployments before Windows XP support ends, and will incur increased support costs.

Gartner predicts many independent software vendors (ISVs) are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP.  (That includes Office 2013 that is not supported on Windows XP).

Gartner further ads PC OEMs are likely to reduce the number of PC models for which XP drivers are available.

Additionally, Office 2003 shares the same EOS date of April 8, 2014  â€“ so no security fixes there either.  

Deployment is easier than you think

Microsoft offers a variety of tools and resources to help with the deployment project

Leverage Available Programs

  • Migration path: The Deployment Project
  • Accelerate programs - Jumpstart PoCs & Pilots and other deployment resources
  • Springboard Series on TechNet

Take advantage of high compatibility between Windows 7 & Windows 8

  • Windows 7 apps run on Windows 8
  • Windows 7 devices perform with  Windows 8 faster than with Windows 7
  • Windows 8 works well with customers' existing Windows 7 infrastructure
  • Customers can deploy Windows 7 side by side with Windows 8
  • Building on the strong fundamentals, Windows 7 delivers the key capabilities that enterprise customers have asked for –enabling user productivity and giving users anytime, anywhere access to information they need to get their work done; while providing tools for IT to support their business securely, protect corporate data, achieve cost efficiencies, and take advantage of the virtualization trends in the client computing arena.

Make Users Productive Anywhere. Work from home, on the road, or in a branch office and be as productive as if you were at a desk in headquarters.

Enhance Security & Control. Extend the security foundation with encryption for portable (USB) drives and IT control over which applications can run.

Streamline PC Management. Windows 7 makes it easier to manage and deploy desktops, laptops, and virtual environments while leveraging the same tools and skills you use now.

With Windows 8 Microsoft is taking their commitment to deliver experiences and devices that users love and demand; along with enterprise grade solutions, on the new level.

Here are specific investments Microsoft is making with Windows 8.

Devices and Experiences Users Love.

Great Tablet for Business Users. We hear from business users today that they have to choose between convenience and productivity. With Windows 8 tablet (specifically x86 Tablet), users can have a "no compromise" experience. Windows 8 delivers Touch first experience along with full support for mouse and keyboard – no compromise experience where users can have the convenience and mobility of a tablet, power and familiar experience of the full PC and ease to effortlessly move between work and personal activities. Also, with Windows 8, tablets users can have connected experience with apps from the Windows Store, while they also can use desktop LOB and productivity apps they use today on Windows7.

New Possibilities in Mobile Productivity. Windows 8 can deliver other technologies that help people stay productive. In particular, it will help people stay productive as they are increasingly mobile.

Enterprise Grade Solutions.

Enhanced end to end security. From client device to network to back end infrastructure, Windows 8 offers features that improve the security and reliability of the systems in your organization. From power-on to power-off, Windows 8 provides a more secure foundation to help keep your businesses running.

Management and Virtualization Advancements. Windows 8 includes enhancements to manageability and virtualization features to help IT administrators manage their client PCs.

Looking at the key threats and how these evolved over time shows that only Modern OSs (Windows 7 and Windows 8) are fully equipped to secure the end user the organizations from external attacks.

Consider migrating to Windows 7 and Windows 8 to take advantage of the new features of the latest versions of Windows to improve security, end user productivity and supportability.

Extended support for Windows 7 will be provided until 2020

Impact:

  • Security Updates and patches to discontinue.
  • No more product fixes and service packs
  • No. of patches released in last 2 years below
Operating SystemNo. of Patches
Windows XP Professional with SP23
Windows XP Professional with SP3154
Total157

 

  • Organizations that continue to be on Windows XP will expose themselves to security risks and in unsupported environment
  • End of Support will leave users of XP unprotected from future security threats like Remote Code Execution (RCE) or Denial Of Service (DOS)
  • As previously mentioned, if users haven't already moved to the new OS, now is the time to begin XP migrations. Users still running Windows XP in April 2014 will face the risk of running unsupported software. Further, most new hardware options will likely not support the Windows XP operating system.
  • Organizations should look at deploying Windows 7 and getting all the benefits from this Operating system. Microsoft advises customers to look at adopting Windows 7 and Windows 8 side-by-side.
  • Especially, users that would like to take advantage of the new tablet and slate devices, should look into deploying Windows 8. Those types of devices are great for a variety of different types of users. Users will also want to start building applications that can leverage the Windows 8 experience. So those are great areas in which to begin investigations.
  • To get ready for Windows 8, there are some infrastructure preparations that should be undertaken. For example, you need to make sure your management tools and security software fully support Windows 8.  But given the growing trends around "bring your own device" scenarios, you also should plan for supporting employee-owned Windows 8 (and Windows RT) devices on your corporate network.
  • When you decide to deploy a new Windows operating system, you need to do a significant amount of preparation. First, you need to make sure all of your applications have been identified and are ready to go. In some cases, that might mean testing; in other cases, it might mean packaging them and making them available for installation, either during the deployment process or later from an enterprise app store. 
  • In parallel to that, you need to make sure your infrastructure is ready for the operating system. For example, you may need to make sure that your systems management tools have been upgraded to the needed version for the new OS. You probably need to perform some steps to make sure the new Windows version can be properly activated. And there's always the opportunity to make infrastructure upgrades to support new functionality such as Direct Access. 
  • While those preparation tasks are going on, you need to create a master image for the new OS. Over the years, this process has matured with the current recommended practice to be a completely-automated process that requires no user interaction – when it's time to create a new image, make slight adjustments to the process, then kick off the process to create a new image – come back an hour or two later and the process is complete. 
  • Then there is the deployment process itself: taking that image and installing it on new and existing computers. This too should be completely automated and well-tested so that you have confidence that it will take care of all the finer points: migrating all the user settings and data, reinstalling the applications, etc. – basically, making sure that the user can be immediately productive (and happy) once the deployment completes.
  • It's also important to note that none of this should be considered throw-away or one-time work. In fact, there are a lot of benefits to continue maintaining this process and using it even after the new OS deployment project has completed. Think about break-fix scenarios – when you have a good, trusted process, you can adopt new support policies such as "let's rebuild the computer if we can't solve the problem within an hour", reducing overall support costs. There are also always new computers being purchased, new applications or application versions being acquired, etc. This really is a permanent infrastructure investment.
  • There are a lot of tools that you can use for your deployment project. All of these mentioned here are offered by Microsoft at no cost.
    • MDT - Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
    • WDS - Windows Deployment Server
    • ACT - Application Compatibility Toolkit
    • MAP - Microsoft Assessment & Planning Toolkit
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