Life After Windows XP

Last month we discussed the fact that as of April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer be supporting the Windows XP operating system. This means no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates. This may not be an easy transition, but it will be a transition that all of us will eventually face, whether we like it or not. This month we’ll continue to explore how to make this transition as painlessly as possible for your business.

The Not-So-Good-News: Simply put for most PC’s operating on the XP 32-bit operating system, there is no easy upgrade pathway to Windows 7 or 8. The odds are that you will probably need new hardware – even Microsoft is admitting this. New hardware will definitely make your transition to a new operating system easier and will put you well-ahead of the curve for being able to handle software updates using new PC technology

The Good News: PC Tech feels your pain and will help you through this process. The two big decisions facing businesses are 1. What hardware will best suit your business needs; and 2. What operating system to use.

The Hardware Choice: PC Tech is ready to partner with you to create the best hardware package for your business needs. We’ll take the time to understand where you are and where you want to be – then we’ll make our recommendations of what will be optimal for you and your business operations. We won’t recommend too much or too little – only what fits for your business goals and budget. You’ll find our pricing very competitive with retailers, and in some instances, even lower than local retailers. Also, working with PC Tech you will have a choice in which operating system to use (see discussion below comparing Windows 7 and 8) and in most cases, a 3-year warranty on the hardware. Working with a trained PC technician can help you navigate the maze of technology and come out with a PC system customized for your individual business needs…or you can go it alone…

Buying new hardware through a big-box retailer can be tricky business in the best of situations. Suppose you do actually get a salesperson who knows what he or she is talking about, the choices in hardware, operating systems and warranties offered to the customer are dictated by the company, not the needs of the customer. In most cases, the customer will not have an option of going with anything other than Windows 8 (see discussion below) and a basic warranty will cover only a year without paying more for an extended warranty. In short, customers could very well end up paying top dollar for an overpowered computer with an operating system not fitting their business needs and a short warranty.

The Operating Choice:
Windows 7 – You might ask, “Why would I go with 7 when 8 is the most current version?” PC Tech knows this is a crucial question and the answer depends on your business and the time you want to devote to transitioning to a new system. The jump from Windows XP to Windows 7 may be more manageable for many businesses at this point. Windows 7 is robust enough to handle any business need. While everyone will need to plan for employee training time to convert to a new system, the training time to learn Windows 8 is significant. Businesses will need to “count the cost” of losing employee time for necessary training.

Windows 8 – If you are ready to jump in with both feet, full-steam-ahead, then Windows 8 may be the answer for you. This system is great for those businesses using touch-screen hardware. The learning curve is steep, but not impossible for those businesses willing to put in the time to learn the system. PC Tech can walk your business through a demo of the Windows 8 environment to help with your decision of operating systems.

What Now?
Now is the time to start discussions and the decision-making process within your business. PC Tech stands ready to assist you in answering questions and guiding you in the choices that make sense for your business. Call us for an appointment to help get you started 636-464-2400.