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Interview: End of an OS

Zafar Anjum | June 24, 2013
What is the impact of Microsoft XP and Office 2003 switch off next year which will see the end of support for the decade-old operating system? Michael Bosnar, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, AppSense, provides some answers.

Michael Bosnar

Michael Bosnar, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, AppSense

What is the impact of Microsoft XP and Office 2003 switch off next year which will see the end of support for the decade-old operating system? Michael Bosnar, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, AppSense, provides some answers.

Can you give us a little background on this Microsoft XP and Office 2003 switch off in April 2014? What does it mean for businesses worldwide?

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it will end support for Windows XP effective 8 April 2014. The announcement was made in line with Microsoft's Support Lifecycle Policy introduced 2002 to allow for a ten-year support of Microsoft products. With the Windows XP operating system surpassing its tenth year anniversary, the latest announcement essentially means that the XP operating system will no longer receive security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft after 8 April 2014.

While 600 million of the world's PCs are thought to still be running on the decade-old operating system[i], enterprises still predominantly using Windows XP and Office 2003 face the risks of security threats and subsequent data losses if they do not migrate to newer Windows operating systems.

As it stands, users of Windows XP with Service Pack 3 are three times more vulnerable than Windows 7 and 14 times more vulnerable than Windows 8.[ii] The security risks for enterprises still using Windows XP are clear - and with Microsoft withdrawing support, enterprises stand to find themselves in a situation where they have no one to call for support. However, a number of enterprises are looking at upgrading their systems or migrating to Windows 7 or higher, through virtualisation.

How will this move by Microsoft affect enterprises in Asia Pacific? What are the benefits of this migration? Are there any downsides?

In Asia Pacific, where over 61 million PCs are still running Windows XP systems, it is imperative that enterprises make a move to migrate or upgrade now. With countries like Indonesia and Vietnam still seeing over 40 percent of their PCs running the decade-old system, enterprises are increasingly pressured to find time and reliable solutions to migrate. While businesses have no other option but to embark on a migration process to protect themselves ahead of April 2014, the means of migration is equally important as IT departments need to take prudent approach to prepare them for future migration. This is where virtualisation comes in.

Through desktop virtualisation, users are able to completely manage the desktops, the set-up, configurations, lock-downs, application access controls, system resource entitlements, self- healings, licence controls and network controls. As a result, restoring and backing up data becomes simple, where data and apps can be rolled back and restored instantly in the virtualised area.

 

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