Posts Tagged: ‘windows’

The Final Countdown to Microsoft’s April 8th Deadline

Posting Date: 02/20/2014  |   Filed Under: Security, Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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In 2002, Microsoft presented its official Support Lifecycle Policy that was based on detailed customer feedback. The predictability of support services was cited as a very important issue for Microsoft’s customers. Microsoft responded accordingly by alerting customers years in advance that the XP operating system and Windows 2003 have an “end of life” date scheduled for April 8, 2014. Although XP and Windows 2003 have been very popular, Microsoft will no longer support these products after the April 8th deadline. This information has been well-publicized by Microsoft for many years. There are still over 600 million worldwide XP users and it seems that many have chosen to simply ignore these repeated notifications. We can assume that users who have not upgraded by now fall into one of two categories. The first group includes those who are willing to take their chances and plan to continue using Microsoft legacy products that are no longer supported. The second group is XP users who are truly unaware of the deadline. Do you fall into one of these two groups?

The Final Countdown is Now!

The Final Countdown is Now!

After years of these “end of life” warnings, XP and Windows 2003 are now in the final days of the deadline countdown. Surprisingly, one of Microsoft’s latest strategies has been to ask for help. Geeks On Call recently posted a story on our Facebook page about how Microsoft had begun taking a grassroots approach to spreading the word. Microsoft resorted to asking for help by seeking volunteers to remind business owners, friends, family and colleagues about the upcoming XP deadline. Via their blog, Microsoft asked experienced and technically savvy users to help others understand why it is important to make the switch to Windows 8 and to make the upgrade now!

Ignoring this Deadline is Not an Option

Some users claim a variety of reasons for resisting this XP upgrade, but don’t forget that there are a few key reasons you cannot ignore this deadline. The issues for residential users can be serious, but the consequences for businesses hold additional threats and even possible legal ramifications.

Here’s How You and Your Business Can Be Impacted by Not Upgrading

Here’s How You and Your Business Can Be Impacted by Not Upgrading
  • Security Risks: Without the security provided by an updated operating system, all of your business data and personal information are vulnerable to harmful viruses and spyware. Malicious viruses will very likely be unleashed on XP’s “zero day.” Undefended computers can be completely immobilized with viruses quickly spreading over the net to PCs still operating on XP. No business owner wants to think about a virus spreading through all of their computers. All of the data that keeps your business functioning will be placed at risk.
  • Compliance Issues: Businesses that continue to operate on XP can actually face compliance issues. Resulting compliance issues can lead to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to securely maintain its systems and customer information. Compliance problems can place your business in legal peril and seriously damage your business’ reputation in the process.
  • Upgrade Expenses: If you think a system upgrade is just too expensive, Geeks On Call urges you to reconsider this viewpoint. Many technical experts consider using an unsupported product such XP, as an act of irresponsibility on the part of the business. Remember that the problems that are likely to arise can cost your business significantly more than the upgrade. Don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish when it comes to investing in an upgrade.
  • Custom Support Available for a Price: In fact, there will still be some support available to XP users after the deadline, but at the annual cost of $200 per device. Depending on the number of computers your business is using, it’s not much of a bargain. In reality, this is only a temporary, contingency plan.

Upgrade Today!

Playing “chicken” with this deadline is tempting fate and there can be serious consequences. You can find yourself in the cross-hairs of cybercriminals on April 8th and potentially face business compliance problems. If you are still using XP, take action today. Call Geeks On Call and one of our experts can help you understand your XP migration options and work with you to develop an upgrade strategy. Call Geeks On Call before it’s too late. The final countdown is now! Are you prepared?

Why you should upgrade from XP today!

Posting Date: 02/17/2014  |   Filed Under: Consoles, Internet, Security, Technology  |   No Comments
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3 Features get an Upgrade with the Windows 8.1 Release

Posting Date: 12/18/2013  |   Filed Under: Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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There has been much scrutiny and opinions about Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, and with the launch of the 8.1 upgrade there is no end in sight.

We have looked at three improvements that are part of the 8.1 upgrade, so if you are in the market for a new computer or have Windows 8 and are thinking about the upgrade you will be better informed about these 3 improvements that Microsoft has put in place.  These are not the only improvements they have made, but in trying to keep this blog post to a reasonable length so we choose to look at three.

 

Return of the Start Button (sort of): Users reacted swiftly and loudly when they realized Microsoft removed the Start Button from the new Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft listened to the users, and brought back the Start Button with the 8.1 upgrade.  The new Start Button won’t work as it did in past operating systems, but it will give you a shortcut to the tile menu and when right clicked it will display a contextual menu with additional options.

Snap is Overhauled: If you have not utilized the Snap feature on Windows 8, or are running an previous operating system it can be extremely useful.  Snap allows you to have multiple app screens open at the same time. This is an extremely useful feature, but they missed the mark with execution in Windows 8. In the 8.1 upgrade they fixed the issues and you are now able to resize smaller winders to just about any size with a simple swipe.

Optimized Search: Windows 8 unveiled a new search feature, but like many other new features within Windows 8 it did not meet user expectations.  The search function allowed you to begin typing on the Start screen and search for settings, apps, and information on the web.   With the 8.1 update, Microsoft’s Smart Search powered by Bing, provide search results that are more organized in a visually results driven page.

 

Is the upgraded Windows 8.1 flawless?  No, but a number of the user requested fixes and features upgrades has improved user experience between a tablet and a desktop.  Most felt as if Microsoft had launched Windows 8 to just the tablet market overlooking its place in the desktop market and angering users.

Microsoft is listening to the users, and created solutions to many of the issues that caused complaints and frustration, so hopefully it will be a little easier to take the plunge to Windows 8.    Consumers looking to purchase a new computer will have little choice when it comes to an operating system since all pc computers are coming standard with the Windows 8 operating system.  And, with the Windows XP deadline quickly approaching in April, 2014 many people will soon be in the market for a new computer and will be forced to take on Windows 8.