Office of Information Technology Newsletter

Time to Retire Your Windows XP Computer

Due to a Support Lifecycle policy that Microsoft introduced in 2002, Microsoft products have more predictability and transparency on how long they will be supported for. Microsoft Business and Developer products, such as Windows and Office, receive at least 10 years of support at their latest service pack level. 

Microsoft has announced that Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 will reach the end of their support lifecycle on April 8, 2014. This means that no new security updates and hotfixes will be released for those products after that date, and no support from Microsoft will be available.

As a result, AU will no longer be supporting Windows XP and Office 2003 beginning in May 2014, after the completion of the Spring semester. Computers running Windows XP will not be able to use the AU network after that time. 

The Office of Information Technology has already begun the process of migrating all AU-owned computers to Windows 7. Older computer models running Windows XP that are eligible for replacement and are not Windows 7 capable will be replaced with newer computers. Newer computers running Windows XP will be upgraded to Windows 7.

It is extremely important that Windows XP be phased out at AU for two main reasons:

  • Security & Compliance Risks: Continuing to use unpatched and unsupported software puts personal and AU data at risk of exposure by cyber criminals.
  • Software & Hardware Incompatibilities: There is a risk that updates to many software applications widely used at AU will result in them no longer working on Windows XP. Also, hardware manufacturers are releasing newer models of computers that no longer run Windows XP.

If you are an AU faculty or staff member, and you work on a Windows XP computer or have any questions, please contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550 or email helpdesk@american.edu. The Help Desk can then determine whether your computer needs to be replaced or upgraded to Windows 7.


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