Microsoft urges companies (again) to dump Windows XP

Microsoft has been trying to get large businesses to upgrade their PCs from Windows XP to Windows 7 for the past few months. The company made a plea back in July on its official Windows blog and did so again in September. Now a new post on the official Windows blog takes the time both celebrate Windows XP on the eve of its 10th anniversary while at the same time asking businesses once again to strongly consider updating to the Windows 7 operating system.

The post, written by Microsoft's Rich Reynolds, praises Windows XP for its many features that are now standard for anyone who wants to get work done on a PC. He states, "Windows XP offered a new user interface that helped people more easily find what they needed. One of the most notable advances was it democratized digital photography. Windows XP made it easy to get images from digital cameras, manage and print pictures from your PC, with broad support for a range of cameras and photo printers. Wireless also became the given with built-in support; plug and play became the standard. It was a great OS for its time."

But there are also things that Windows XP can't do but that Windows 7 can. Reynolds says, "I recently experienced this on a trip back from Dallas to Seattle. I had an urgent project I needed to work on and by using the in-flight WIFI, I was able to securely access a folder on my corporate network, work on my presentation, and collaborate with a colleague of mine who happened to be traveling in India at the time – all from 30,000 feet thanks to DirectAccess in Windows 7 Enterprise, and Lync. There’s no way I could have done this 10 years ago."

Reynolds repeats what Microsoft has said before that official support for Windows XP is scheduled to end on April 2014. But what if businesses want to just wait until Microsoft releases the upcoming Windows 8 OS? Reynolds takes a quote from the Gartner research group who said in a recent report, "With support for Windows XP ending in April 2014, we believe it would be dangerous for organizations now running XP to attempt to skip Windows 7 and move directly to Windows 8. Organizations running Windows XP and working on Windows 7 migrations: Continue as planned; do not switch to Windows 8."

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