With Windows 10 to be launched on July 29th, all thoughts are drifting toward the inevitable upgrade to Microsoft’s brand-new operating system. However, we’d like to take a moment to travel back in time to last spring, when Windows XP expired. Remember how we warned that your business would need to shell out big bucks for custom support if you want to keep running Windows XP? It turns out that there are some who just can’t let go of the expired OS; including the US Navy.

There are some things that need to be let go, and according to Microsoft, one of those is unsupported operating systems. As ZDNet reports, the US Navy is spending an estimated $9 million this year on getting custom support from Microsoft for Windows XP.

$9 million. To emphasize how much cash that is, it has six – count ‘em, SIX – zeros. $9,000,000.

The deal is said to run for a maximum of three years, and offers critical security patches and updates for Windows XP, Office 2003, and Windows Server 2003, which is slated for expiration this July. The navy takes advantage of several legacy applications that aren’t compatible with more recent operating systems, which is making it difficult for them to upgrade. In the meantime, they’re doing what they can to improve operations, while shelling out the big bucks for continued support. The deal is expected to run until July 2016, but just in case, they have plans to continue until 2017. You don’t need us to tell you that it’s a huge expense that could have been avoided.

We realize we’re beating a dead horse by continuously nagging about upgrading away from Windows XP; and honestly, if you haven’t upgraded yet, you’ve already taken serious risks with your business’s continuity. In general, you always, always want to be using a supported operating system. Of course, this story about the navy emphasizes the consequences of running unsupported software, but it also presents a unique foresight into why some users might be reluctant to upgrade right away; namely, compatibility with legacy applications.

Some software is simply so outdated that it doesn’t work on newer technology. Sometimes these applications are absolutely mission-critical, and imperative to the success of your business. When this happens, you’re stuck in a conundrum; either upgrade and replace the solution, or run an unsupported operating system that’s vulnerable to the many threats that are found on the Internet. Such an agonizing choice can be avoided with proper consultation and foresight, like that which All Business Technologies offers.

With the end of Windows Server 2003’s support on July 14th, you can avoid a similar debacle by contacting All Business Technologies for a free IT consultation. We can examine your legacy applications and hardware to ensure that it’s compatible with a more recent server operating system. If it’s not, we’ll outline your choices and help you decide on a plan of action. Give us a call at 508-586-1000 to learn more.

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