14 October 2012

Windows XP And Office 2003 Support Stop

Last Friday Microsoft announced that the company will stop supporting Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 by April 8, 2014. Peter and Jayant, CEO and Lead Developer at Business Solutions, had a virtual meeting and decided to do the same.

Upgrade doubts because of Vista
HelpDesk OSP iconWindows Vista, the operating system that was meant to replace XP, had a number of bad solutions and problems, and therefore many users decided to stay with XP, which worked fairly well. I think this situation also made people hesitant to upgrades in general, which affected the much better Windows 7 and made users avoid upgrading. Now it is soon time for Windows 8, and after it is released Microsoft obviously does not want to bother about XP anymore.

KBase iconWhen it comes to Office, the introduction of the ribbon in Office 2007 and the more extended use of it in Office 2010 make the 2003 version feel very old. When Office 2013 has been released the difference to 2003 will be even more pronounced.

IDC White paper
Making organizations leave Windows XP will probably be more difficult than to get them to upgrade Office. Introducing a new operation system is a bigger step, and because of the Vista failure the resistance is bigger. Maybe it is therefore Microsoft has sponsored an analyze on the consequences of keeping XP made by IDC (International Data Corporation).

Folder HelpDesk iconNot surprisingly the ICD report "Mitigating Risk: Why Sticking with Windows XP is a Bad Idea" can be used by Microsoft to persuade doubtful XP fans. IDC draws the conclusion that staying with XP means serious disadvantages and higher costs for support. “Organizations that continue to retain a Windows XP environment not only are leaving themselves exposed to security risks and support challenges but also are wasting budget dollars that would be better used in modernizing their IT investments.”

History of backward compatibility
Document Tagger icon Business Solutions software has always had a good backward compatibility. We are aware that all users do not upgrade when Microsoft releases a new version, and as most of our products are licenses with a subscription system it is important to not only sell new products but above all to keep the customers we already have. But when the giant Microsoft stops supporting its own products we see no reason to continue doing it.

Kanban Task Manager iconWelcome decision
Today all our applications can be used with Windows XP, and Calendar Browser, our resource booking tool for Outlook, is the only one which does not support Office 2003. However, for the developers and QAs the decision to follow Microsoft and stop supporting both Windows XP and Office 2003 is welcome news. This means that they can concentrate more on making the applications compatible with new versions of the Microsoft products they build on.

TimeCard iconWindows 8 is not a big issue for the products, and most of them are already compatible, but Office 2013 will require some rebuilding. Our developer team has already begun preparing for Office 2013, and then it is a relief not having to consider Outlook 2003.

Long transfer period
For the development the decision means that major new versions of our applications will not be tested with Windows XP or Office 2003, and when products are rebuilt we will no longer make sure they can be used with XP and 2003.

Calendar Browser iconWe appreciate that Microsoft made their decision public so far in advance of the actual stop date. This will give users plenty of time to upgrade. If you are using one of our products with Windows XP and/or Office 2003, you are welcome to contact us with any questions about compatibility and upgrades. We will do our very best to make the transition as smooth as possible.

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