11 years ago, in 2001, Microsoft introduced one of their most solid operating systems — Windows XP. They ended up releasing a Support Lifecycle policy so that there was more transparency and predictability for support of Microsoft operating systems and for other Microsoft products. This was mostly based on feedback from customers. Now, this policy states that most Microsoft software packages will receive a minimum of 10 years of support. It will consist of 5 years of good ol’ mainstream support and an additional 5 years if you stay up to date with all of the service packs.

Windows XP and Office 2003 will go out of support on April 8, 2014. If your small business organization hasn’t already started planning a migration, you are very late. Most enterprise deployments can take 18 to 32 months from business case thru to full deployment. Which means for a small business, it can take you about 3 to 6 months depending on the complexity of your network. Please make sure that you remain on supported versions of Windows and Office software. Begin your planning and application testing immediately to ensure you deploy before end of support.