IT distributors are urging resellers and retailers to redouble efforts to drive Microsoft upgrades.
With support and security updates for Windows XP and Office 2003 ending on April 8th, customers still using the operating system and software suite need to start thinking about their options. “This is a major opportunity for resellers and one that could trigger a surge of upgrade business,” said Gemma Horsell, Microsoft business manager at Tech Data UK.
“Most organisations have become much more mobile since they installed XP and Office 2003, and many will now also have tablet devices in use as well as laptops. Depending on their needs, they may want to consider moving to a mix of Windows 7 and Windows 8, and making use of Office 365 as well as Office 2013.”
Ellie Farley, Microsoft product specialist at Entatech, added: “If end users are currently running XP, there is a high chance they will also have a legacy estate of servers, software and PCs, providing a fantastic opportunity for resellers to make a sale whilst keeping their customers up-to-date.
“Should customers choose to not upgrade to a newer operating system, they could potentially incur future costs to maintain their estate, whilst also becoming vulnerable to Malware and spyware attacks, with security risks and viruses also increased.”
Marc Lucas from the Microsoft OEM team revealed at a recent EntaLive event that 31 per cent of computers still use Windows XP as of October (according to NetMarketShare), and likened the danger of using the operating system after April 8th to “driving a car with a faulty airbag that you can’t get spare parts for”.
A Microsoft spokesperson told PCR: “While Windows XP was a great operating system for its time and introduced some great anti-malware and security features, it’s no longer enough to defend against the onslaught of modern threats that organisations face.
“With every new version of Windows we have made substantial security updates from the previous versions and both consumers and organisations can get advice on how to upgrade to a more recent operating system at www.get2modern.com”