Lagos Nigeria, Microsoft, global devices and services giant has announced the official end of support for Windows XP, Windows XP Professional for Embedded Systems and Office 2003 by April 8, 2014 and therefore urged its customers and partners to migrate to Windows 8 and Office 2013 platform.

Businesses in particular are feeling the most pressure to stay up-to-date with an increasing need to protect their data and manage all their devices while ensuring security and compliance.

Windows 8 is Microsoft’s latest operating system for modern businesses, building on Windows 7 fundamentals such as speed, reliability and security while creating a modern platform designed for new generation of hardware experiences from tablets and innovative touch devices to traditional desktops and laptops.

With the Official End of support for Windows XP, Windows XP Professional for Embedded Systems and Office 2003, partners and customers will no longer receive security updates and technical support from Microsoft, which will result in vulnerability to security threats.

Awawu Olumide-Sojinrin, Acting Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria while speaking at a media briefing to announce end of support for the Windows XP and Office 2003 in Lagos, explained that Microsoft is proactive in communicating changes that are critical and important to our customers. As a result, she said Microsoft is taking its time to notify its customers and partners ahead of the April 8 2014 deadline.

“Migration is taken for granted until it is experienced. It is therefore wise for customers and partners to move with the changing technology trend by migrating to the Windows 8 and Office 2013 platform within the 8-month period.” She said.

In recent times, it has been observed that PC desktops are now commonly found side by side with laptops, and newer form factors like Ultra books, All in Ones, and tablets. Writeable CDs are today replaced by cloud-based storage solutions like SkyDrive.  Connectivity and accessibility once limited to offices is now possible at home, in the car or even on a beach.

Businesses can now achieve greater productivity and mobility through Direct Access in Windows 8 by enabling remote users to seamlessly access corporate resources over a secure VPN tunnel through the Internet.

“There are several re-engineering and attacks that needs to be catered for as a result of the changing technology landscape. Businesses stand to have huge risks if they do not migrate because there will be no security updates to meet security requirements,” said Oluyomi Alarape, Director, Solutions & Sales Datacenter Specialist at Microsoft Nigeria.

In addition, Windows 8 provides mobile security through Bit locker, Windows To Go, which is a full version of Windows 8 on a USB stick which readily support BYOD “Bring Your Own Device” initiatives.

As Windows XP goes off into the sunset, many applications that were originally written for it will cost extra in support costs- especially as independent software vendors increasingly stop supporting their newer apps running on windows XP. This is why firms like IDC predict the longer businesses wait to move Windows XP to windows 7 or Windows 8, the pricier customer support for Windows gets.Windows Xp

Abiodun Ogunjobi, Head, Marketing at Ha-Shem Network Services Limited, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner opined that technology is always changing and enjoined customers on the Windows XP and office 2003 to migrate to the Windows 8 and office 2013 platforms.

“Ha-Shem is intensifying efforts to ensure customers migrate to the Windows 8 platform and it is important that they know it is not all about the cost but about the security of their data and the risks of system failure and business disruption could increase because of the end of support and therefore urged its customer do not have to wait until their systems are infected before migrating to either the Windows 8 or Office 2013.”

Ade Famoti, Acting Director, Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft Nigeria explained “that for the SMBs space, Office 365 is a possible option businesses migrating off Office 2003 should be on whilst the license cost can be done on a per subscription basis.”

While windows XP remains the most successful operating system on the planet- Windows 7 install base beat Windows XP last year.