Advice: Move away from Windows XP

Many business across Lancashire are still using Microsoft Windows XP on their computers, however support for Windows XP is soon to stop.

Released in 2001, Windows XP has been the mainstay of many business systems but on April 8th, 2014 Microsoft will no longer offer technical assistance, support and automatic updates for Microsoft Windows XP. Data from a survey by IDC and Flexera Software shows how over 50% of businesses have not even started their migration process to Windows 7 or later operating systems leaving many business in a vulnerable situation.

With regards to what this means to your business, Andy McCall, Managing Director at Ascentico Limited stresses "Its unlikely that you will be able to purchase newer software for your systems for example the latest versions of Microsoft Office are incompatible with Windows XP and vendors such as Sage may well drop Windows XP support. Security holes and bugs will no longer be patched by Microsoft and if a security hole is found viruses and malware can take advantage and cause instability to your systems, steal data, take control of your computer or worse." Within the IT industry it is expected that a number of exploits will soon appear for Windows XP following on from April 8th.

Although the latest version of Windows is Microsoft Windows 8.1, many businesses have opted to use the more mature Windows 7 due to its wider hardware and software support. If you've purchased your computer within the last few years it may be up to a high enough specification to run a later versions of Windows, such as Windows 7 or 8.1, in this case you need to contact your IT service provider and arrange an upgrade. You may also need to upgrade other older software or hardware at the same time.

"If you are running on older hardware it is likely that purchases new computers will be the easiest way to upgrade."

Ascentico has been driving change through many organisations and stresses that in addition to the new computers, operating systems and software there is often an element of the business workflow that also needs changing to fit with the new systems.

Depending on your requirements, an upgrade of a single workstation can take anything from a few hours to a whole day. Larger deployments can take days to weeks to upgrade and can involve hours or days of planning. Many IT service providers have work already booked and if your unable to obtain an IT service provider that suites your timescales you may find your business vulnerable after the 8th of April.

Ascentico is now helping businesses move their IT systems forward across Lancashire. Ascentico is an IT services, technology and solutions provider. More information about Ascentico can be found on its corporate website, located at