Microsoft tells businesses to prepare for the end of Windows XP support

Microsoft tells businesses what to do before Windows XP support ends

There are just 60 days to go until Windows XP reaches the end of its support cycle. Despite the age of the operating system, there are still millions of people -- including numerous businesses -- who use XP on a daily basis. While there are some who are determined to stick doggedly with the old version of Windows, there are some who have simply postponed upgrading to Windows 8.1. To help with the transition, Microsoft has produced a guide to the tings businesses need to consider.

Two months may not seem like long for a business to upgrade its computer systems, but Microsoft's guide helps to keep things as simple as possible. It is possible that older hardware will be up to the task of running Windows 8.1, and a check can be performed by using the upgrade assistant.

As it is likely that anew computers will be required, Microsoft invites businesses to investigate the newer form factors that are available. There are obviously Surface device to consider, but Microsoft also highlights the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the Dell Venue 11 Pro. The blog post points out that as well as being underpowered, it is likely that older desktop computers are large, bulky affairs which ate very different to the small, sleek models that are available today.

Buying a new system always means having to migrate files and data, and this is something that is likely to be as off-putting to some business as the actual cost that will be involved in the upgrade. Microsoft has advice about how to bets go about this, but there are also helpful tips about planning ahead.

Anyone using an older system is also likely to be reliant on older software and there is no guarantee that this will work under Windows 8.1. Tools are available to help check compatibility, and there are also numerous resources to help make the move as quick and painless as possible.

There will be some who remain determined to stick with XP beyond April, but Microsoft is ready to retire the elder statesman of the OS world:

"We are proud of the value that Windows XP has offered to businesses for more than a decade and we are excited to help companies reach the next level of productivity with Windows 8.1 Pro."

Is your business ready?