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Interview: End of an OS

Zafar Anjum | June 24, 2013
What is the impact of Microsoft XP and Office 2003 switch off next year which will see the end of support for the decade-old operating system? Michael Bosnar, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, AppSense, provides some answers.

The benefits of migration are simple: security, reliability, and support. The downsides, if handled incorrectly, not only negate the benefits of migration but also stand to cost the business significantly in terms of the time it takes for the migration to be implemented and the cost of such an initiative.

How are enterprises/SMEs responding to this switch over? What kind of action are you seeing on the ground?

One of the ways that Microsoft is encouraging SMEs to migrate from the Windows XP system is to offer companies with up to 249 users a 15 percent discount on the combined price of Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013 upgrades if they purchase before the end of June 2013. This has been quite effective in attracting the attention of businesses in Asia, as we see a decline of XP usage across Asia in the last 12 months from 41.58 percent of the market share in June 2012 to 32.05 percent in May 2013, according to StatCounter.

While the migration number has been promising, the impending deadline means that enterprises and SMEs need to have a solution in place long before the deadline, to afford for any troubleshooting in the updated systems. One of the ways that we have seen our SMB customers respond to this upcoming XP switch-off is increased adoption of virtualisation solutions. The XP desktop is saved in a completely customisable, virtualised space where it can be accessed from any device. With a virtualised desktop, users do not need to spend valuable time trying to re-learn how to navigate their new systems, but instead, can maintain their old desktop. 

Tell us about AppSense. How does it work and what does it offer to the companies that are affected by this switch over?

AppSense enables IT to manage policy across devices, apps and data. With people-centric IT approach, we provide user virtualisation solutions that transform organisations into productive mobile workforces securely governed by IT. We work with partners to offer our customers solutions to implement a seamless Windows 7 Migration before Windows XP's end-of-life date on 8 April 2014. Through the AppSense DesktopNow and DataNow solutions, we enable companies to effortlessly gather all user related persona and data assets, centralise them and stream the assets back into any new desktop without user disruption. In addition to these technologies, we also offer our customers support through our Desktop Enablement Partners, especially as many companies are now looking to move to the latest version of Windows in the coming months.

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