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XP is Dead…Long Live Windows 7!

Well, not quite dead. Sales of XP in computers with XP preinstalled ended in October of 2010, but support for XP continues for awhile longer. Microsoft announced that it will stop supporting the XP desktop operating system in 2014. Their website A says: “ Even though we ended the sale of Windows XP on October 22, 2010, we still plan to provide support for individual users and businesses until April 2014.”

With over 400 million copies of Windows 7 having been sold now, Microsoft is moving forward with new innovations for the Desktop. Windows 7 was designed with more security, better performance, and a more intuitive interface to improve user efficiency, and it’s been a strong success. It’s stable, works very well and meets the needs of home and business users. That said, even though the workstations currently running XP operating systems are still functioning, it’s time to make plans for their replacement.

One might well ask, “Why does the operating system matter anyway?” After all, it’s the applications that are running on the operating system that really perform business functions. So, if users can launch their applications what difference does it make what operating system is supporting them? There are several reasons why it matters. A few are listed below:

• The Speed and performance of the applications depend upon, and are directly related to, the speed and capability of the operating system underlying them. A faster operating system means more applications can run simultaneously on a desktop, more monitors can be used to display them and that means greater user productivity and more profit for business.

• Better security is possible with the current operating systems. They take advantage of lessons learned and incorporate better security, less vulnerability, and that’s translates into fewer problems for users and less maintenance costs.

• State of the art business applications can be utilized as software developers create new and better applications for businesses. Software developers build applications for operating systems that will be available for the longer term. That means that businesses can only take advantage of state of the art applications if they can install them. Windows 7 is, and will be, the targeted desktop operating system for software developers for some time.

• Support and management of the desktop is moving toward a centrally managed ‘cloud’ based management system. Having a centrally managed, enterprise wide desktop solution saves businesses significant time and money when supporting users. The latest operating systems, as well as those to come, will incorporate that functionality to make support of the desktop simpler and more efficient.

Information Technology is never static, but it is, and will continue to be, ever changing, growing, and generating new innovations for business productivity. That means that businesses that stay competitive will need to have a current operating system on their desktops. Long live Windows 7!