Microsoft XP Support: Every Ending Leads to a New Beginning

May 9th, 2013

Windows XP End of Life

Maybe the sky isn’t falling as the scare theorists would have you believe, but the end of support for Windows XP IS coming, and knocking on wood and crossing your fingers just won’t cut it for an insurance plan.  Maybe you’re banking on the goodwill of Microsoft to keep issuing patches, alerts or updates to those who have yet to migrate from XP (that’s about 40% of you by the way!), but again, not a practical approach to securing your corporate desktops and IP.

The Facts

  • Microsoft will terminate support for Windows XP effective April 8, 2014
  • This means those still operating on XP will no longer receive security updates (patches), online technical support
  • As of 2010 Dimensional Research surveyed nearly 1K professionals, 48% claimed they would continue to use XP post support
  • Continuing to run an unsupported version of XP will leave you vulnerable to malware, viruses, worms, data breaches, data corruption, theft of critical business data accessible on an unsupported system
  • Corporations knowingly operating under these risks could be leaving themselves exposed to investigations, litigation, fines, and more
  • Keeping OSs updated not only improves reliability but also keeps hardware running properly and maintains corporate productivity

The Predicament

The objections and justifications for not having migrated from XP are many, but here are the most frequently heard according to Elias Khnaser at Virtualization Review:

  • Lack of budget for a migration
  • Many applications pose a compatibility issue with newer OSs
  • Lack of capacity to operate business as usual while juggling a migration
  • No hardware to support a new OS
  • Challenged by which version of Windows to upgrade to

The Solution

Certainly there are option, though time is running short, and with less than 11 months to go, the options for a complete upgrade or rollout of a new OS are few.  What’s worse the larger your organization and the more desktops you have, the longer this will take and the more costly a security breach could be.

  • Extending your support of XP will cost you:  Gartner analysts estimate premium XP support to be $200,000 for those with a Software Assurance agreement or a mere $500,000 if you don't have one.
  • According to IDC, running Windows XP can cost up to 5x more than running Windows 7 or 8
  • A Data breach, malware, viruses, and lost productivity, customer trust, PR implications, the implications of these scenarios can be incalculable in total cost both literally and to your corporate reputation


Cloud Hosted DaaS Enables Your XP Migration

So, what’s an IT dept tight on time, and strapped for cash to do?  We would urge you to consider cloud hosted desktops as a service (DaaS).  Leveraging all of the benefits of cloud technology, combined with the promises of VDI (the cost and complexity), you can have full Windows 7 desktops up and running in a matter of weeks, not months, accessible on any device, from anywhere.  This virtual desktops solution enables you to kill multiple birds with one stone:

  • Jumps the hurdle of a lack of budget, desktops can start as low as $30/month for a cloud hosted virtual desktop
  • Management complexities, patches, updates are no longer the IT department’s headache, instead one of our global network of partners (Dell, Fujitsu, NEC, NaviSite etc) will manage your desktops for you
  • No need to buy all new hardware, repurpose existing PCs as “thin clients” to deliver employees cloud hosted desktops, only add new hardware as budget permits or needs arise
  • Scale your desktops up and down as needed, on demand, with a predictable monthly OPEX vs a CAPEX
  • A cloud hosted desktop solution also enables BYOD and provides for a DR solution as well

I delivered a live webinar today, delving into this specific topic and outlining how desktops as a service (DaaS) can help you easily and cost effectively handle your Windows XP migration.  Crisis averted.  Security ensured. You can watch the recording of it at your convenience here:

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Posted by Danny Allan

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As Sr. Director, Technical Marketing for VMware [formerly Desktone], Danny Allan is responsible for developing VMware’s technical and service delivery strategy for DaaS.
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