End of Good Times?
Well, as operating systems go, it was a good one. It had a great life, and everyone loved it. Heck, I still have a hard time convincing people to get off it. The cold hard fact of the matter is that as of April 9th 2013 (i.e. it’s already too late!) Windows 7 is no longer supported.
Hey, wait a minute – did he say Windows 7??
Yes. OK, let me be a little more specific, Windows 7 RTM – i.e. those systems without SP1. As per lifecycle policy, and therefore it should come as no surprise, support has now ended.
All is well, you good people, (as I’m sure you are), as you will have been good boys and girls and of course installed SP1 ages ago, so all is well. That’s if you are not already using Windows 8 of course. In fact, Windows 7 has many good years of life left in it yet, until 2015 for mainstream support, and until 2020 for extended support. Phew!
But the passing of this date does draw into focus a slightly more worrying deadline that I fear many are going to fall foul of. That being the 8th April 2014. Yes, that’s not far away, less than a year as of the time of writing. 347 days to be exact. This time I am talking of course about Windows XP. Again, this should not come as a surprise, it has been well documented for quite some time.
The thing that worries me (and I’ll stop short of saying it keeps me awake at night), is that many companies are either a) blissfully unaware – spot the deliberate pun? or b) they know this, but simply haven’t started rolling out a replacement yet. Many are in the pipeline, but if you have not yet started, please be aware, the average company takes between 12-18 months to complete a rollout of a desktop operating system from envisioning the plan to actually supporting it out in the field.
This unfortunately doesn’t give much time to get out of the situation of being unsupported. There is good news of course. There is a wealth of information and experience out there for IT Pros to tap into, and a whole bunch of tools that make deploying Windows way simpler than you think. Start by visiting the Springboard site which is a dedicated portal for IT Professionals to make understanding these kinds of key technologies.
Also well worth a visit is the deployment module on the Microsoft Virtual Academy. Great for learning at your own pace the tools and techniques that are used in deploying a modern operating system. Feel free to comment with questions.
One idea for the weekend for you is to pilot a VDI solution. This allows you to deploy virtual machine based Windows clients, thus accelerating your upgrade pathway out and away from XP.
Let’s face it folks, XP had a great run for it’s money, and before the coffin gets laid to rest next year, it will have had 12 years of support from Microsoft, but every dog has it’s day. Do yourself a favour and get onto Windows 7 or Windows 8. You won’t regret it.
For more information on the lifecycle policy click here.
More info and links on the countdown and what you can do about it can be found here.