Goodbye XP

Goodbye XP

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A baby with spiky hair and sad expression waves goodbye.
For businesses, saying goodbye to XP can be painful.

For businesses, saying goodbye to XP can be painful.  A lot of businesses, especially small and medium ones, depend on bookkeeping software or niche industry software that was created for Windows XP, and doesn’t work with more up-to-date versions of Windows. These businesses don’t want or are anxious about the change to newer software because not only is it an expensive purchase, it’s also a major interruption in the way they do business.

The transition involves not only the upgrade cost of the niche software itself which can be substantial, but also the research and skill involved in picking a replacement, installing the new software on the server and workstations, customizing the new software to fit their individual needs, exporting and importing data from the old software to the new, learning the new software, and training the staff to use it.  Many of these business owners or managers have poor computer or IT skills and learning a new procedure and all its processes is a major challenge.

Is it any wonder they are resistant?  They really don’t have time for all that, they are running a business. They would prefer to do what they’ve always done, for well over a decade in many cases, and resent being pushed by Microsoft into changing over to an application that works with newer versions, Windows 7, 8, and now 8.1.  What they have now with Windows XP works fine.

Yet change they must.  Even though XP and the industry niche software that run on it are still working after April 9, the problems associated with staying with XP are growing and will soon be myriad.

These are some of the problems:

  • Security will be more and more of a risk and a liability since fewer anti-viruses will run and update on XP.  Also Windows security updates for XP have ended.
  • Replacement hardware such as printers and scanners, including receipt printers, will be more difficult to find unless replaced with used printers.
  • Workstations themselves that run on XP will be difficult to find since there will be fewer and fewer drivers for their hardware components that are XP-compatible.
  • Wifi security is being upgraded all the time and eventually newer forms will not work on XP.

One solution is to use Windows 7 XP Mode.  Windows 7 offers XP Mode which basically runs a virtual example of Windows XP that might be utilized for legacy applications.  Windows 8/8.1 also has its version of this, a Program Compatibility Troubleshooter that helps you run programs that just work in earlier versions of Windows. Unfortunately, these don’t work 100 percent of the time, and the unreliability might be too costly. Yet these compatibility solutions offer a stop gap measure while businesses move to newer industry niche and bookkeeping applications.

One way to ease the transition is to hire a local it support company such as Ducktoes, if you are in Calgary.  We can provide the necessary new hardware and install everything for you.  We’ve done this for several businesses now.  Call and ask for a quote. You can also call your software provider and see if they have newer versions to work with newer Windows and if they provide support to upgrade.  Many will work with you or your IT company at no extra cost.  They also may take support calls as your staff and you learn the new software.

Ducktoes also does computer repair for Calgary business.