Q

VDI, custom services mitigate Windows XP end of support

Even after the Windows XP end of support, many IT shops still use the OS. Virtual desktops and custom support can help, but is it time to bite the migration bullet?

How can custom support and VDI extend the life of Windows XP?

Now that the dust is settling from all the hoopla over Windows XP end of support, you can make better decisions about how to best move forward. A recent study found that 25% of computers are still running Windows XP, so you're not alone!

By "custom support," I assume you're referring to the many third-party services and software products intended to help keep Windows XP secure. If so, there are plenty of vendors in that space.Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) can certainly help as well. Desktop virtualization has proven to be a great means for standardizing and properly locking down workstations.

When something questionable occurs (with malware, for instance) on a workstation, an IT administrator can simply reboot and get a fresh image of the operating system. I think this approach could prove to be beneficial in an XP environment.

However, the question is if you're going to spend all that money and effort on VDI, why not just go ahead and upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.1?

Many people -- especially business managers or average users -- are resistant to change, especially when it comes to the functionality and usability of their endpoint devices. You still need to look at the bigger picture and make decisions based on what's best for the organization. You may be able to keep Windows XP locked down and on life support for several more years, but is that what you really need to do? What are the missed opportunity costs?

I believe that the Windows XP end of support is not the greatest risk in your desktop environment. Don't follow the herd. Rather, do what's best for your business given your own unique situation and risk factors. This is why it's so important to get others involved in making these types of IT and security decisions.

 

Next Steps

Five things to remember regarding the Windows XP end of life

As Microsoft ends Windows XP support, some migration steps to take

Review your options after the Windows XP end of support

Before jumping to Windows 7, have an XP end-of-life strategy

If VDI isn't viable, tools can ease moves from Windows XP to Windows 7

Post-XPalypse: How to survive a world changed by Windows 8.1

Simplify upgrades by integrating Windows 7 into VDI

Let it go: Why it's time to migrate from Windows XP

This was first published in August 2014
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Are you using VDI or custom support to maintain Windows XP systems? How has that worked out for you?

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