April 2014 will spell the official End of Support for Windows XP and Office 2003, two widely-installed products from Microsoft. What this means for anyone using these products is simple – you won’t be getting any more updates for them, and eventually, newer programs won’t be designed to work with them. Both of these packages will still work by themselves for as long as you wish to use them.
For Windows XP users, understand that new software you buy may NOT work with that Operating System – so it will eventually become an issue you have to deal with, if you plan to upgrade or install new software or hardware on your PC. If the ONLY thing you’ll ever use the machine for, is to work with Office 2003 applications and the same printer you have now, no worries. If you use it to browse the web, or if you get a new printer, or need the new Quickbooks…now you might have issues.
You have time to consider options – it won’t SWITCH OFF at midnight on April 14.
For most business users, or those not using a touch-screen device, an upgrade to Windows 7 is probably less jarring than Windows 8. If you balk at paying Microsoft in excess of $300 for a version of Office 2010, or $200+ for Office 2013 , you can either go the FREE Open Office route, or opt to buy the new Office 365 (the web based version requires an Internet connection to work costs $5 a month, while the one that installs the program to your PC is $12.50 per month.)
As with all software, we recommend a TRY BEFORE YOU BUY strategy – make sure you like the version you’re planning to buy, and that it will run well on your current machine.
Don Shadrake, CIO The Reserves Network