Windows 8.1 is around the corner – a reshaping of Windows 8, which received a lukewarm reception since its October 2012 launch. However, critics warn that the key question for businesses will be migration from Windows XP, when support for that operating system ends in early 2014.
Considering the poor economic conditions of much of the world, particularly in Europe, there are plenty of companies who simply cannot afford to, or do not want to, upgrade from their Windows XP boxes. But they will have to.
UK based IT efficiency company, Sumir Karayi, believes that Windows 8.1 could well be the post-XP iteration of Windows that businesses will seriously consider.
As support runs out for XP, these organisations will be faced with sky-high support costs or migration to a newer operation system, and as such, most should be planning a migration strategy, Karayi says.
Aside from the daunting financial risk in keeping XP on life support, Microsoft will no longer be patching critical security flaws. As such, companies still running XP could find themselves exposed to disaster.
“Most large enterprises are unaware of all the software applications they already have, let alone how many are actually being used, and how many licences they should pay for during a migration process,” Karayi warns. “The licensing issues surrounding software applications are complicated”.
“There is little consistency in the agreements and businesses are often left paying for far more than they actually require,” Karayi says.
As companies upgrade, then, they should make sure their migration strategies are compatible with their software licences.
The message, then, is “loud and clear” according to Karayi – if IT decision makers are to avoid shooting themselves in the foot, organisations must move away from XP before the deadline’s up.