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Preparing Your Veterinary Hospital for the XPocalypse: The End of Windows XP is Coming Soon

0 Comments Posted by Alyssa Noonan in Business Info, General, Technology on Thursday, February 20th, 2014.

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Originally released in October 2001, Windows XP has clung to the technology tail for 13.5 years. Rarely does any operating system receive software updates or security patches for so long but, to everything there is a season, and XP’s final episode is about to air.

Come April 8, Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft. What does this mean if you and/or your veterinary hospital still rely on Windows XP? It means you need to start planning on migrating to a new operating system- fast. Ignoring the inevitable places you and your hospital in a very vulnerable (and detrimental) position.

Risky Business
With Microsoft no longer providing security updates or technical support for Windows XP, holdout users leave themselves open and vulnerable to security threats, exploitations by malware and non-compliance with regulatory obligations. (Running software that is unsupported by the vendor violates a number of regulatory requirements.)

Because computers running Windows XP after April 8 will not be protected, it is important to migrate to a current supported operating system such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

A failure to do so will leave you not only wishing you had migrated but also feeling frustrated as a greater numbers of apps and devices will not work with Windows XP.

Migration Acceleration
To protect yourself and your veterinary clinic and to take advantage of productivity enhancements that more recent Microsoft operating systems have to offer, you need to migrate. Here are three tips to make the transition as painless as possible:

  • Upgrade your computer- Windows upgrades (Windows 7 Professional and 8 Pro) are much more powerful operating systems than Windows XP. Thus, they run best on modern hardware. If your computer is somewhat of an antique, perhaps now is the time to consider upgrading it at the same time as you’re upgrading your operating system.
  • Upgrade your programs- If new hardware is not financially possible right now, consider upgrading your existing devices by downloading and running either Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor or Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant. Remember to secure all components connected to your PC (mice, keyboards, hard drives, printers, etc.).
  • Keep your head in the clouds- Cloud-based services serve as a good option for replacing outdated programs. For example, if your old version of Office won’t run on one of the newer Windows programs, try the online Office 365 or Google Docs instead.

If nothing else, visit your PC manufacturer’s website to learn more about updated drivers and hardware compatibility. Not every individual or company budget can afford to replace computers so upgrades may be the most financially prudent and advantageous route to take.

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Crossroads
The time is now to make a change. With proper preparation and action, you and your Windows XP-friendly veterinary hospital can prepare for the end of Microsoft’s Extended Support and prevent yourselves from experiencing an all-out XPocalypse. For additional blogs or information on veterinary hospital marketing and industry trends, visit VetNetwork’s full website.

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