The only realistic option to move from Windows XP to Windows 10 is to perform a clean installation.
Under the right circumstances, it is possible to perform a leapfrog migration in which you migrate from Windows XP to Windows Vista to Windows 7 and then to Windows 10. But Microsoft doesn't officially support a leapfrog migration, and it locks you into using a 32-bit platform. A clean installation is the only officially supported way to transition from Windows XP to Windows 10.
The most tedious task that most organizations will likely face is application readiness testing. Your organization will need to compile an inventory of the applications that are in use in the Windows XP environment, and then test those applications to see if they function properly in Windows 10. Although many Windows XP applications do work with Windows 10, you are likely to find that some applications must be updated to a new version. You may even have to replace applications with something different due to compatibility or licensing issues, or missing installation media.
You must also consider hardware compatibility. Windows XP is 14 years old and was designed to run on different hardware than Windows 10. As such, you must evaluate your organization's hardware readiness prior to making the transition.
Finally, you must assess the current state of user data. Is data stored on any of the users' PCs, or is it all on the network? If data is stored on PCs then you must come up with a plan to back up that data before you move forward with the migration.
Pitfalls of the XP to Windows 8 migration path
Windows XP migration best practices
Windows 7 migrations win in XP shops
Related Q&A from Brien Posey
There are some instances where IT should manually upgrade to Windows 10, including when the desktop runs older software for which IT does not have ... Continue Reading
Backup security varies across different storage media. What works for tape-based backup may not work for disk backups, so plan your data protection ... Continue Reading
Errors in NAND flash memory can be corrected, but that becomes more difficult as NAND reaches the end of its life. Are you utilizing every available ... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.