XP in Context

It’s one thing to measure a lifespan in dog years. It’s another to measure it in technology years. If a 12-year-old dog is like an 84-year-old-person, then a 12-year-year-old operating system is truly older than dirt. Here’s a look at XP’s timeline.

Most of you will remember Sept. 11, 2001 forever. As grave as that day was, six weeks later, Microsoft issued the XP operating system.  We can all remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and a field in western Pennsylvania.

Do you remember what technology you were using at the time?

You are likely reading this article on the Internet, which you reached either by a Wi-Fi connection to a high-speed, broadband network or by a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet.

In 2001, the Internet was nothing like it is today. You probably accessed it through a dial-up modem as a customer of AOL, CompuServe or a local provider. DSL service was in its infancy, usually only available to phone carrier customers who lived less than two miles from a switching facility. Internet access by cable TV companies was also in its infancy.

While both industries could offer Internet access, you still used the phone company for telephone service and the cable company for TV. Today, either company can provide Internet, TV and phone service with speeds and capabilities only imagined by a few scientists. And more people are using the Internet to bypass those companies for all of their services.

Think about your smartphones and tablets. Cell phones in 2001 were clunky devices that you could only use for talking. And, it didn’t take too much mobility to be outside your service area and racking up roaming charges. Your phone? It could have been a Nokia. That was the leading manufacturer in 2001.

Today, more and more people have no landlines in their homes, and many business people on the road use cellphones as their primary phones. And the cellphone itself? In addition to being a telephone, it keeps calendars and contacts and provides access to email and the Internet.

If you have a tablet, can you imagine life without it?

Some people thought X-10 was a cool way to control the lights in their houses from their desktop computer. Now, you can control lights, appliances and door locks – and answer your doorbell – with a mobile device.

Video conferencing through Skype or any number products may have done more than any technology to shrink the world.

All of this change happened since 2001, during the life of XP. Our technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. XP really did withstand the challenges of its time and more. But when you look at everything you want to do with computers and devices, your needs have outgrown the capabilities of a technology that dates back more than 12 years.

If you still have XP, you had a good run. Now, it’s time to catch up. We’re available to help you. Just call us (973-433-6676) or email us.

This article was published in Technology Update, the monthly newsletter from Sterling Rose LLC.

Preparing for the End of Windows XP and Office 2003 Support

Support for Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 ends on April 8th, 2014. Are
you ready? After support ends, there will be no new security updates,
non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online
technical content updates.

If you continue to run Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in your environment after
April 8, 2014, you are exposing your company to potential security risks, as
unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security threats.
Further, independent software vendors (ISVs) and hardware manufacturers are
less likely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP as we near
the retirement date.

For many, migration efforts are well underway to get current. For those that
require additional assistance, Microsoft offers in-depth technical resources,
tools, and expert guidance to ease the deployment process. To learn more about
migration and deployment programs, and to explore solutions if your current
migration plans extend beyond April 8th 2014, please contact your
Microsoft Support Professional. We are dedicated to helping you remain secure
and are here to assist you every step of the way.

Visit the Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 end of support site
for more information on resources available to help with your migration.

For additional insights on the security risks of running on older operating
systems, see the Microsoft Security Blog on Operating System Infection Rates.