Still on Microsoft Windows XP? Key questions every business should think about as part of their migration planning

While Windows XP is no longer the most used operating system on the planet – Windows 7 surpassed it last year – the upcoming April 2014 deadline to receive support for older Windows XP devices raises the question for many businesses of what to do with their older technology as they look to protect valuable IP and customer information.
Business and personal technology has dramatically changed over the last decade. PC desktops are now commonly found side by side with laptops, and newer form factors like Ultrabooks, All in Ones, and tablets. Writeable CDsare 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. The newest version of Windows that Microsoft released this fall, Windows 8, reflects this evolution.
As businesses evaluate their migration path from Windows XP, there are a few key questions to consider:
●    What does support look like for the software applications you need for work? As Windows XP goes off into the sunset, many of the 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 one of the reasons why firms like IDC  predictthe longer businesses wait to move to Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8, the pricier custom support for Windows XP gets.
●    What kinds of form factors do your employees need to be successful? With an ever-increasing lineup of Windows 8 form factors to choose from – from notebooks, tablets and Allin Ones that use touch–you can replace older hardware with a newer Windows device that reflects the unique needs of your employees and how they prefer to work today.
●    How do you want to manage devices running on your corporate network? 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, all while ensuring security and compliance.