If you haven’t done it already, then on the very top of your 2014 to-do list should be upgrading from Windows XP. Microsoft has scheduled to end support for its popular decade-old OS on April 8, 2014, which is only a few short months away. Here are five tips that will help you with upgrading from Windows XP.

Don’t Delay Upgrading any Longer
The need to upgrade from Windows XP is an urgent one. When a software developer like Microsoft stops providing security patches for an operating system, then the old OS becomes a huge security risk that will leave the doors of your network wide open for hackers to come in and do their worst.

Perhaps you haven’t yet upgraded because you’re super familiar with XP’s interface and believe yourself to be an XP expert. If this is the case, then you will love the similarities between Windows XP and Windows 7, and it really won’t take you long to master Windows 7, and we think that you’ll actually enjoy the Windows 7 upgrades! Or maybe you haven’t upgraded yet because you’re waiting till the last minute. Now is the last minute. You should understand that the closer it gets to April means the more vulnerable Windows XP will become. Plus, you will regret waiting last minute to upgrade in the event that something goes wrong and you’ll be under the pressure of the clock to fix it.

Be Sure to Backup Your Data
When you do upgrade from Windows XP, you will want to take a few precautions. First off, before you do anything, be sure that all of your data is backed up. This is a critical step recommended by Microsoft and it’s meant to safeguard your company’s sensitive information in the slim chance that something goes wrong with the upgrade procedure. Additionally, you should have a backup solution in place anyways because the web is full of security risks like malware that can delete your data.

Perform a Software and Hardware Audit
You will also want to make sure that all of your old software is compatible with your new OS. You don’t want to find yourself in a mess from completing your upgrade, only to find out that the software your business depends on isn’t compatible. For the most part, Microsoft has done a good job at making old software compatible with its newer operating systems, but when you’re dealing with a decade-old OS and third-party applications, there’s a chance that you may have something on your hands that’s not compatible. Before you upgrade, perform a software audit to determine which application is and isn’t compatible. You will want to perform this same compatibility audit with your hardware as well.

Keep Track of Your Software Licenses
When you upgrade your OS, be sure that you have recorded all of your software license keys in an accessible location. When you reinstall your old software on your new OS, you will be asked for these licensing keys. Without them, it will turn the task of upgrading into a major headache. In some cases, you may be required to download the latest version of the software in order to keep your license.

Decide on a New OS
You will want to choose which OS is the best platform for your business. Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, all of these operating systems are substantially better for your business than Windows XP. You may come to find that certain systems will lend themselves to certain advantages pertaining to your organization’s unique needs.

Upgrading from your OS can be a very involved process. You will want to know what you’re in for before you tackle the task. To receive professional assistance with upgrading Windows XP so that your upgrade will go off without a hitch, which can include having us do it for you, call Think Tank NTG at 800-501-DATA.

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