As all good things come to an end: on April 8th, 2014 the Windows XP era concluded when Microsoft support for the product ceased. Of course, Microsoft had given ample notice and companies had been preparing for the switch for some years. Yet many questions had to be answered:
- Could a standalone XP system continue to run unaffected?
- What would happen if the XP system was integrated into another system?
- Would new hardware be needed and what would be the cost of this across the entire organization?
- What would the budget for the switch likely to be?
- Could virtualization fix the problem?
- What support would be available to migrate over onto a new system?
The answers to these questions were not always straightforward and easy, and it became clear that there were indeed significant issues raised by the end of XP support. The most significant issues can be grouped into four major categories, of which, security issues are the most critical.