This week, Microsoft marked an important milestone in the evolution of its products, through moving Windows Vista and Office 2007 into extended support, and starting the countdown to the end of official support for Windows XP and Office 2003.
Two years from now, on April 8th, 2014, the older Windows XP and Office 2003 will reach the end of their updates lifecycle. Vista and Office 2007 still have five years of extended support to enjoy.
According to Microsoft, its customers, especially enterprises, should strongly consider migrating to newer products, such as Windows 7 and Office 2010.
Those companies still using Windows XP and Office 2003 internally are those who should kick off the planning of a transition to these products in the shortest period of time possible.
To help them, the Redmond-based software giant came up with a series of resources that should assist in all phases of the process, starting with the Springboard Series
on TechNet, where in-depth advice regarding deployments is available.
Additionally, there are tools to ensure fast migration to newer versions of the Windows platform or the Office productivity suite: - Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) can be used to help accelerate your deployments.
- Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) products such as Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) to simplify BitLocker Drive Encryption provisioning and provides compliance reporting that can help you quickly determine the status of the entire organization.
- Windows Intune, which offers PC management and security via the cloud, plus upgrade rights to the latest version of Windows – a great solution for companies that have groups of lightly managed or non-managed PCs.
- You can also make the move to Office 365 and get familiar Microsoft Office collaboration and productivity tools delivered through the cloud. Everyone can work together easily with anywhere access to email, web conferencing, documents and calendars.
At the moment, Microsoft is providing free security updates for Windows XP / Vista and Office 2003 / 2007, along with various other paid enhancements to companies who signed special agreements with it. Download Microsoft Deployment Toolkit