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GCN : February 2014
36 COVER STORY an excellent shot at hitting the April deadline --- while reducing risks and cashing in on important operational benefits of a more modern OS. e key is to develop a comprehensive, step-by- step migration strategy and to capitalize on the advantages of outside expertise. Adapting to a Modern Windows For many organizations, procrastination isn't the main reason they still rely on Windows XP. In its day, this classic OS set the standard for reliability and productivity, which made it a solid foundation for mission- critical applications. But that time has passed for a number of reasons, ranging from essential new capabilities available from new Windows versions to the security problems that can arise from the use of outdated technology. "Staying with Windows XP is like driving a car that you can't buy parts for anymore," says Jay Paulus, Microsoft's pril has always been a favorite month for procrastinators: Tax day gives adrenalin junkies the chance to run their 1040s to post offices at the stroke of midnight or hit send on their e-version to meet the deadline or incur painful fines. In 2014, some serial stragglers will have the opportunity for an added dose of excitement. On April 8, IT organizations must complete their migrations from the venerable Microsoft Windows XP operating system to either Windows 7 or Windows 8. If not, they'll face the costs and risks that arise once Microsoft no longer provides security patches or updates for the aged OS. e looming deadline may look daunting to organizations still running this workhorse OS. After all, Gartner and others estimate that it typically requires a year or more of preparation and testing for an organization to make A the move to a new Windows version. "IT managers can get caught off guard if they think this is just an operating system upgrade, with only some hardware devices to update," says Kathi Grumke, a solutions manager at CDW. "Addressing application compatibility is the most time-consuming aspect." Fortunately, there's good news for IT managers feeling the migration heat. Many organizations still have Move from Windows XP to a modern desktop and move into the future. APRIL 8 WINDOWS UNDER THE WIRE