PCR rounds up the products, partners and services that can help you migrate from Windows XP...

Top five Windows XP migration products and services

PCR rounds up the top five products, partners and services that can help you migrate from Windows XP.

Entatech on life after XP

Distributor Entatech UK is planning to help resellers prepare for the demise of Windows XP by offering a number of events based around the best action for resellers to take.

Entatech will partner with vendors Microsoft, Kingston and Fujitsu to detail what options are available and the benefits for resellers moving to Windows 8 Pro and Windows Server 2012 R2.

The events, which run from 9am to 2pm, are free to attend, and will be held on May 1st at Kingston’s HQ in Middlesex and on May 6th at Fujitsu’s office in Birmingham.

“Whenever there is a big change within the channel, it’s important that we, as a distributor, do all we can to educate resellers about how these changes affect them and the associated risks and opportunities,” commented Kate Fuller, Entatech marketing manager.

Resellers interested in attending can register for either of the EntaLive events at www.entaonline.com/entalive-2014-register.htm.

Ingram Micro gets modern

Ingram Micro’s ‘Get to Modern’ campaign focuses on support ending for Windows XP as an opportunity for resellers in the market to increase sales of Windows 8.1 devices and upsell with Office 365.

“With more than 25 per cent of the SMB market still running Windows XP and Office 2003, this is your opportunity to help upgrade customers and show them how 10 years of innovation in both Windows 8.1 Pro and Office 365 can help their business – not to mention the additional revenues gained from new hardware, devices and mobile technology,” Ingram Micro advised.

Resellers who participate in the campaign will have access to video content, supporting collateral, offers and end-user marketing templates to help them make the most of the opportunity leading up to and following the end of support.

Resellers interested in taking part can visit microsoft.ingrammicro.co.uk for more information.

Profit from the BYOD boom

One of the trends that XP cannot support is BYOD. With Windows 8 available on mobile and desktop platforms, retailers can take notice of the explosion in BYOD enterprise policies and advertise services and products suitable for the growing sector.

Firms could consider advertising the interconnectivity between devices to sell larger-scale B2B orders and support.

Get embed with Avnet

For businesses using Windows XP in embedded systems, another danger looms following the end of life.

“A consequence of the withdrawal of support for XP is that payment devices that run on it will no longer be compliant with the demands of the PCI,” explained Nick Donaldson, software director at specialist Avnet Embedded.

“PCI can fine businesses up to £400,000 for non-compliance.”

Security may also be compromised by out-of-date embedded operating systems.

“In the case of embedded platforms, a system upgrade is difficult or even impossible,” warned Kaspersky Labs security researcher Marta Janus.

“The embedded versions of Windows XP have an extended support date (end of January 2017 for XP Embedded, end of December 2016 for XP Professional for Embedded Systems), which gives three more years of security updates.”

Donaldson added that using a dedicated embedded version of Windows – such as Windows Embedded Standard (WES) 2009, 7 or 8 – can keep firms safe from fines.

WES2009 may be of particular interest, as the OS is built on XP’s kernel and therefore requires no hardware refreshing to port across existing systems.

“What’s really worrying is that [non-embedded] Windows 7 and 8 will not necessarily be PCI-compliant – even on devices that they do support,” he said.

“Embedded holds the trump hand because support for it will continue long after support for XP has been terminated – it is a neither a security risk nor a PCI compliance risk.”

Vendor boost

Several vendors are offering businesses the chance to plan ahead of the switch-off and assist them with moving to the Windows 7 or 8 operating systems.

HP’s Mobility Transformation Services for Windows scheme provides reseller services including strategy and readiness assessment, infrastructure design and implementation, deployment automation, enterprise-wide rollout and education services.

Further offers provided by vendors include payment deferrals, the ability to lease and resell devices, customised financing and region-specific promotions.

Some vendors and distributors are advertising various incentives to convince users to update their systems.

For example, Toshiba is providing up to £100 cashback to consumers who purchase a new qualifying Windows 8 business PC – and firms stocking eligible devices can capitalise on customers who trade in by selling additional software and accessories on top.

Other retailers could even consider offering their own trade-in deals for Windows XP machines, and make the most of the increased footfall or web traffic in order to showcase additional new products and services.

For more information, read how to prepare for the end of Windows XP

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