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On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will end support for the decade-old Windows XP. This means you will no longer receive updates, including security updates, for Windows XP from Microsoft. Support of Microsoft Office 2003 will also be ending on the same date. So how will this impact businesses still running Windows XP?

Security Risk
Without critical Windows XP security updates, your PC may become vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal or damage your business data and information. Anti-virus software will also not be able to fully protect you once Windows XP itself is unsupported.

Software Issues
Many software and hardware vendors will no longer support their products that are running on Windows XP as they are unable to get the Windows XP and Office 2003 updates. For example, the new Office leverages the modern Windows and will not run on Windows XP.

No One to Call
When problems arise, online and phone-based technical support will unfortunately no longer be available from Microsoft to assist you or your IT partner, leaving you on your own to deal with the problem.

Down Time
The risks of system failure and business disruption could increase because of the end of support, lack of supported software, and the increasing age of hardware running Windows XP.

 So what are you options? Well, there are a few different routes you can take:

Your best bet though is to start with your IT partner and determine the most cost-effective and least business impacting route to take.