April 8th 2014. You may want to add that date to your diary as it is the end of support date for Windows XP. If you are still on Windows XP after that date you will not get any further security updates from Microsoft and your systems will be vunerable to all sorts of nasties if they are connected to the internet.
But that seems ages away so why should I worry right know?
True it is still a while away but it is always better to start planning these things early so you don’t end up struggling to make the switch right at the end. Another thing to think about is will your software run on Windows 7 (or even Windows 8)? Getting systems for employees and training them up on the new operating system is one thing but not having a piece of business critical software running correctly (if at all) is a BIG problem.
If you start thinking about what software you use now, along with slowly upgrading your systems then the cost in terms of training and system outlay can be spread out.
OK so you know what software you currently have and what you will probably need in the future but how do you go about testing it with Windows 7? You have the following choices.
1. Go out and purchase a system with Windows 7 and install the software on it. Use the software over a period of time (personally I would say one month) and try to accomplish tasks you would do on a daily basis. This should give you an idea how the software performs on the new operating system.
2. Install Windows 7 as a virtual machine on your existing system and test the software as described above. The advantage of this method is that you only have to purchase a copy of Windows 7 and not a complete system.
3. If your software is not able to run on Windows 7 you can try either running it inside a Windows XP virtual machine, running it in XP Compatibility Mode or you may have to purchase a similar piece of software which does run on Windows 7.
Whichever method you chose I would strongly suggest you start thinking about testing your software sooner rather than later. In doing this any teething issues that you weren’t expecting can quickly be resolved (my printer doesn’t work with Windows 7 — argh!!).
About the Author
Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.
For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.