Is your software nearing its End of Life? Chances are your organization uses one of the many versions of Microsoft’s operating systems. As Microsoft releases new versions, the older versions are slowly dropped off the list of which operating systems they choose to update and support.
So how does this affect you? There are perhaps three versions that still have a massive user base that are being affected in the coming year; Windows XP, Small Business Server, and to some extent Windows 7. So let’s break this down.
According to statistics that show the current user distribution between operating systems, Windows XP has 31.22% of all computer users. What this means is that come next year, businesses will have to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 to avoid security problems that are bound to affect their business if they were to remain on Windows XP.
There are lots of implications associated with the end of life for Windows XP. For starters, those who will need to upgrade are being pressured by Microsoft’s support plan to move to Windows 8. Speaking strictly from numbers, it is clear that the majority of users have not wanted to make the jump to windows 8, at least not yet. Currently 46.64% of users are on Windows 7, while only 6.66% are on Windows 8, and a staggeringly low 2.64% on Windows 8.1 (which is a free upgrade if you already have Windows 8).
Small Business Server
This is one of the most popular choices for small businesses. While the 2011 version is not that old, Microsoft is dropping this product for what many believe and can speculate is a strategic move to get users to migrate to their 365 product line. It will now cost small businesses twice as much to host their own email compared to previous options.
As everyone considers moving to the cloud, Microsoft is trying to usher in the new standard by changing their pricing models to encourage their users to utilize their cloud services. While perhaps this is not necessarily a bad choice, it most certainly hinders the options that are available in the current infrastructure.
I want to be clear, Windows 7 is and will continue to be supported for a projected date of January 14, 2020. However, with that being said, they are no longer selling standalone boxes of windows 7, and the only way to still obtain a copy is by purchasing from an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer: or the person who builds the computer and then sells it premade) preloaded with a new computer. The end of their mainstream support is expected to stop on January 13th 2015.
The numbers speak for themselves; Windows users are fonder of the typical desktop environment operating system they are used to, and less fond of the operating system to target touch screen devices. This leaves consumers and businesses in a sticky situation; they have the option of either buying Windows 8, or upgrading their technology with a device that has Windows 7 preloaded.
As technology develops with new operating systems and a recent change into cloud computing (For more information check out our previous blog on cloud) it will become important to be increasingly more aware of when your software may stop receiving support. In the coming year, these major changes will put businesses in a position where they will have to make some decisions with their technology. Regardless of whether that change is to Windows 7 or 8, now is the time to begin asking questions and deciding which option will work best for budgets and specific business models. The silver lining to this is that there is support available to prepare both financially and systematically for these changes. If you have questions about how this will affect your office environment, reach out to your Fuse Technician for more details and support.