windows xp and act softwareWindows XP, the operating system of choice for most PC users for the past ten years, is being officially phased out as Microsoft “sunsets” support for the product in all respects.  I loved XP but I’ve had no problem adjusting to my newer machines that have Windows 7 and 8.

So what does this mean to you?  First of all those “windows updates” that you frequently receive will no longer be available.  Secondly, you may encounter problems getting any new software or hardware to work on your old XP machine.

Customers currently using Windows XP should think about moving to a newer operating system such as Windows 8.1. The newer operating systems offer enhanced security, and are designed to work with the latest and greatest hardware and software that is currently on the market.

So what will happen if you refuse to upgrade and prefer to hang on to your XP dinosaur?  Nothing, really. You can continue to work as normal and there will not be any kind of limitations imposed on your usage. But there are a few facts to consider:

Security:

PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, should not be considered to be “protected.”  Without Windows XP security updates, your PC may become vulnerable to viruses, spyware, and other malware which can steal or damage your data.  Even your anti-virus software will not be able to fully protect you once those Windows XP updates go away.  Yikes!

Compliance:

Businesses that are governed by regulatory obligations such as HIPAA, PCI and SOX may find that they are no longer able to satisfy compliance requirements.  That covers just about anyone working in the medical or investment industries, or companies that accept credit card payments.

Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Support:

Many software vendors will no longer be able to support their products running on Windows XP as they are unable to receive Windows XP updates. For example, Office 2013 will not run on Windows XP, and it’s doubtful that the next release of Act! will work in an XP environment .

Hardware Manufacturer Support:

Most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on existing and new hardware. This will means that drivers required to run Windows XP on new hardware may not be available.  Most of the new computers on the market will simply not be able to accept the XP operating system.  It also means that your old printer and monitor probably won’t work with a new computer, and a new printer or monitor won’t work with your old XP machine.  Or, to put it another way, if you need to replace your printer you might have to dig your old Smith Corona out of the attic if you remain in XP.

The bottom line? Using XP after April 2014 is an “at your own risk” situation for users.

Act! and Windows XP:

So how does the sunsetting of XP affect Act! users?  Right now, it doesn’t.  All versions of Act! currently work in an XP environment.  However, as I mentioned earlier, I’m guessing that the next release probably won’t work with XP because the drivers needed by the programmers just won’t be available.

Act! and Windows 7 and 8:

So what happens if you wave the white flag and move kicking and screaming into the 21st Century by buying a brand-new, shiny, Window 7 or 8 machine?  Quite simply, you might not be able to get Act! to install properly, if at all.

The chart below shows you the Act! versions that will work with Windows 7:

windows 7 compatiblity and act software

Sage Act! 2013 with Service Pack 1 applied and Act! version 16 (Pro and Premium) are currently the only versions of Act! supported on Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Internet Explorer 10, and Apple iOS 6 (iPhone, iPad).  If you have a version of Act! prior to Act! 2012 and purchase a new computer with Windows 7 or 8 you will need to upgrade to a newer version of Act!.

Act! and Windows 7 and 8:

So what happens if you need to upgrade to a newer version of Act!?  I’m so glad you asked.  There is an Act! Windows XP Sunset Sale going on now through April 8th that will “help a brother out” by giving you a nice discount to ease the pain of upgrading.

Need to purchase a license?  Drop me an e-mail or call me at 561-470-5450 x1.

I look forward to hearing from you!