Windows XP, Office 2003 support ends next year

Windows XP had faced deadlines before, but could this be the absolute end to its protracted 12-year run?

By April 8 next year, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, hot-fixes and free or paid support for its well-loved operating system Windows XP and productivity suite Office 2003.

“If your organization has not started to migrate to a modern desktop, you are late,” wrote Stephen Rose, senior product manager for Windows Commercial in a blog post. “Based on historical deployment data, the average enterprise deployment can take 18 to 32 months from business case through full deployment,”


By modern desktop, Rose means operating systems such as Windows 7 and Windows 8, later versions of Office such as 2010 and 2013 and browsers such as Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10

He said in order to ensure organizations continue to operate supported versions of Windows and Office, companies should begin planning and application testing immediately.

A simple upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 is not enough either, according to Rose. He said administrators or users need to make a clean install.

“This means you will need to migrate the users’ data and reinstall or repackage all their applications for the new OS,” Rose said. “This will take some time to test all of the hardware, peripherals and applications to ensure they will work with Windows 7 or Windows 8.”

Because end of support means that there will be no new security updates, no non-security hotfixes and free or paid support for Windows XP, organizations that insist on using the OS after April 8 next year are exposed to security and compliance risk, said Rose.

For instance, this could result in officially recognized control failure by an internal or external body which could lead to suspension of certifications and/or public notification of the organization’s ability to maintain its systems and customer information.


2,125 Canadians want to save Windows XP
Users desert Windows XP in near-record numbers
Dell says financial woes caused by Windows 8

In June of 2008, Microsoft stopped selling XP through retailers in a move to encourage users to switch to its successor OS, Vista.

More than 2,100 readers supported a ComputerWorld Canada Save XP campaign earlier that year. Companies also complained to ComputerWorld Canada that upgrading to Vista would be too expensive for them.

The end of Support for XP was extended to January 31, 2009. The introduction of netbooks also created a boost for XP sales, winning the aging operating system more users and earning it more extensions.

By January last year, however, XP usage began shrinking as more people started to abandon the decade-old OS for the newer Windows 7.

Microsoft is currently having a hard time getting users to switch over to the successor of Windows 7. The company is currently struggling to bump up adoption of its new touch-enhanced operating system Windows 8.

Get the tools and information you need to upgrade here

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now