Upgrade Today: Two-Year Countdown to End of Support for Windows XP and Office 2003

Back in October we celebrated the anniversaries of Windows XP and Office 2003 and took the opportunity to remind everyone that on April 8, 2014, we will officially end support for these versions of Windows and Office. Today, we want to acknowledge the two-year countdown to the end of Windows XP and Office 2003 support, which was this past Sunday. If you still have some PCs running Windows XP and Office 2003 in your organization, now would be a good time to start migrating them to Windows 7 and Office 2010.

Windows XP and Office 2003 were great software releases for their time, but the technology environment has shifted. Technology continues to evolve and so do people’s needs and expectations. Modern users demand technologies that fit their personal workstyle and allow them to stay productive anywhere anytime, while businesses have an ever increasing need to protect data and ensure security, compliance and manageability. It is in a company’s – and its employees’ – best interest to take advantage of the modern Windows and Office software that is designed with these needs in mind.

Now you may be asking yourself – should I wait to upgrade until the next versions of Windows and Office are available? We don’t recommend waiting. Not only is it important for companies to complete deployment before support runs out, but they should also be aware that by upgrading to Windows 7 and Office 2010 today they can gain substantial results today while laying the foundation for future versions of these products. And with over 525 million Windows 7 licenses sold since its release, many customers are already taking advantage of everything Windows 7 has to offer.

If you haven’t yet already, we do hope that you take this end of support countdown as an opportunity to migrate your PCs to Windows 7 and Office 2010 so that your business and employees are more productive and secure. Below are some tools and resources we offer to help you with your migration. Additionally, in the coming months both my team and the Office team will be posting tips on deployment guidance so you can get the most out your new software.

Tools and Resources to Help with Migration

  • The Springboard Series on TechNet include a lot of great in-depth advice to help you with your deployments.
  • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) can be used to help accelerate your deployments.
  • Look at the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) products that we offer, which include Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) to simplify BitLocker Drive Encryption provisioning and provides compliance reporting that can help you quickly determine the status of the entire organization.
  • Also consider Windows Intune, which offers PC management and security via the cloud, plus upgrade rights to the latest version of Windows – a great solution for companies that have groups of lightly managed or non-managed PCs.
  • · You can also make the move to Office 365 and get familiar Microsoft Office collaboration and productivity tools delivered through the cloud. Everyone can work together easily with anywhere access to email, web conferencing, documents and calendars.