The Final Countdown
Scott Bidwell, President/COO
Nope, I'm not talking about the final countdown of summer, though it's hard to believe it's practically here. The countdown to which I refer is the retirement of Windows XP.
After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will stop supporting its most popular operating system (OS). When operating systems are no longer supported it means no security patches are developed for flaws found in the OS making it vulnerable to security breaches.
This announcement of Microsoft’s “planned obsolescence” of XP promises significant security and compliance issues for individuals and businesses alike. (The only exceptions will be companies and other organizations that pay exorbitant fees for custom support.) Cost, security and compatibility with new software are three critical areas that will be impacted for any records center or shredding operation running their businesses on Windows XP after April 8, 2014.
Planned obsolescence is the conception, design and production of a product with the intent that it should be useful, functional or popular for a limited length of time. It’s nothing new in industry, whether it be technology, automobile, or other. In its simplest form, a paper cup is an example of planned obsolescence. A certain tech company named after a popular fruit has taken planned obsolescence to a whole new level, embracing it as a business strategy (as Jimmy Kimmel demonstrates in this hilarious comedy sketch).
As a mid-sized software company, ASI also has to limit how long it can support certain operating systems. An example is VCKweb.NET which requires SQL 2008 as a minimum. We no longer support SQL 2005. To try to continue to do so stretches resources too thin to continue to support current applications and to develop more robust applications and solutions for customers.
Getting back to Windows XP…. Is there a disaster in the making for businesses running XP?
The concern is that many businesses will trade security for the comfort and familiarity of XP and its ability to continue working on out-of-date hardware. Obviously, PCs running the OS will continue to work just fine. Some (present company excluded) even think Microsoft will step back from its announced support expiration date.
Yes, it will take time, effort, and cost to migrate from XP to Windows 8 (or even Windows 7), which some records center and shred company owner/operators may consider too great for the short term. For long-term viability, it’s an effort that MUST be undertaken. The risks to not do so are simply too high.
To read more about the potential impact of Microsoft's decision to stop supporting Windows XP, check out these articles:
XP's retirement will be hacker heaven
Microsoft warns of post-April zero day hack bonanza on Windows XP
China has a massive Windows XP problem
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Tana's Tech Tip: Pin It with MapPoint
Tana McAtee, QA Manager
The MapPoint routing logic offers even more accuracy and flexibility. Along with saving an address, it now accommodates longitude and latitude values that have been saved for an address. Once saved, these values are used to find the waypoint on the map, rather than using the address.
Any location added to a map/route can be treated as a “push pin” regardless of whether it has been added based on its address or its coordinates. When a user moves this address on the map/route, the new location (i.e. the coordinates) will be automatically saved into the address setup, so that future mappings of that address within MapPoint reflect the most recent positioning of the push pin.
Common Examples of Planned Obsolescence
Planned obsolescence is inevitable for some products. Consumer electronics, cars and software are some of the more obvious examples. Here are a few more that cause us to scratch our heads:
Am I the only person who thinks it's ridiculous that
I can purchase a new printer for less than the replacement ink cartridge?
Before my kid (or I) even master Super Mario Bros, the next "must have" version is being released. Oh...and I'll need to upgrade our gaming system to play it!
Even though very little is changed in the "updated" version, that's the one the school requires... usually at an "updated" price too!
What you buy this season, is definitely not what's hot next season. Need I say more?
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