End of Life for Microsoft XP, Office 2003 & SBS 2003

Posted on: Tuesday 27th August 2013

Why is Microsoft ending support for Windows XP & Office 2003?

end of life XP & Office 2003


In 2002 Microsoft introduced its Support Lifecycle policy based on customer feedback to have more transparency and predictability of support for Microsoft products. As per this policy, Microsoft Business and Developer products, including Windows and Office products, receive a minimum of 10 years of support (5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support), at the supported service pack level.

Thus, Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 will go out of support on April 8, 2014. If your organization has not started the migration to a modern desktop, you are late. Based on historical customer deployment data, the average enterprise deployment can take 18 to 32 months from business case through full deployment. To ensure you remain on supported versions of Windows and Office, you should begin your planning and application testing immediately to ensure you deploy before end of support.

What does end of support mean to customers?

It means you should take action. After April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.

Running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in your environment after their end of support date may expose your company to potential risks, such as:

  • Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.

How do I begin my migration?

Enterprise Customers: Microsoft offers large organizations in-depth technical resources, tools, and expert guidance to ease the deployment and management of Windows, Office and Internet Explorer products and technologies. To learn more about migration and deployment programs, please contact Sentinel who are a Certified Microsoft Partner. Learn how to pilot and deploy a modern desktop yourself, download the free Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and begin your deployment today.

Small to Medium Business: There are many options for small and medium businesses considering moving to a modern PC with the latest productivity and collaboration tools. Small to mid-size organizations should contact Sentinel who are a  local Microsoft Certified Partner to understand the best options to meet their business needs. If your current PC meets the system requirements for Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can buy Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8 Pro Sentinel who are a Microsoft Certified Partner. If your PC does not meet system requirements, consider purchasing a new business PC with Windows 8 Pro.


Small Business Server 2003



If you’re a company still using Small Business Server 2003 then it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to discuss your options since Microsoft will actually be stopping the support and updates for SBS 2003 by the end of 2013.

So what does this mean for your SBS Server? Well other than SBS 2003, the other SBS versions will still work, be supported and updated by Microsoft for some years. However, SBS 2003 will certainly need to be upgraded to a newer version on newer hardware to prevent your data becoming at risk from hackers and the many other threats that could seriously disrupt if not bring down your business. This is unfortunately a must.

If you do not know which version you are running, give us a call on 01772 673087 or fill in our call back request form and we can help identify which one you are currently running on your network.

A good rule of thumb is if your server is more than 5-6 years old, chances are it’s running SBS 2003.

It is important that companies running Small Business Server 2003 consider their options for upgrading before Microsoft axe sales of SBS 2011 in December 2013.

In some cases it is more beneficial and cost effective for companies to continue with the SBS rage than upgrading to Server 2012 and a hosted Office 365 solution.

If you would like to discuss both options for the upgrade your servers please give us a call on 01772 673087, email sales@sentinelitservices.co.uk or use our  call back request form and we will be happy to give you a free consultation and quotation.

IT Support Preston, Serving the whole of the North West
Contact & Support
Sentinel IT Services 01772 673087 Fairfield, Bradshaw Lane, Kirkham, PR4 3JA Get In Touch