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Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP. After this
year Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, assisted support
options, or online content updates for Windows XP. Upgrade your nonprofit or
library's operating system to stay current and protected.
Microsoft products, including Windows and Office
products, generally receive a minimum of 10 years of support (5 years
mainstream support and 5 years of extended support, such as service packs).
Those ten years are up; Windows XP (as
well as Office 2003) will go out of support in early 2014.
What does this mean? Once support ends, there will be no
further security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support
options, or online technical content updates. You can learn more here. If you haven't already, your organization should begin
planning to upgrade any computers that are currently running Windows XP,
Windows Vista, or Office 2003.
foundations, and libraries can now request donated upgrades of Windows 8 Professional
and Enterprise editions through the Microsoft
Software Donation Program at TechSoup.
With a new, mobile-friendly design that features sleek
tiles in the place of conventional icons, Windows 8 features a new take on the
traditional Windows environment. It keeps some aspects of what we're all used
to from Windows XP and Windows 7. But it drops the "Start" button in favor of a
new app-integrated look and easier syncing with cloud-based services. There are
also numerous improvements "under the hood," such as a smaller memory
footprint, faster performance than Windows 7, and reduced disk-space
If you have received a donation of a Windows operating system
through TechSoup that included Software
Assurance (and it is still current), you can
upgrade to Windows 8 for no additional cost.
Windows 8 is good for multilingual organizations, as users can easily
switch between display languages, and additional display
languages are available.
Windows 8 is unlike any operating system Microsoft has ever released.
Many of the basic tenets of Windows — like the Start menu, desktop experience,
and the eponymous windows — seem to be gone. Don't fret! Below Windows 8's new
interface, you’ll find a desktop experience as Windows 7. And the new Windows 8
interface feels like the mobile tablet and phone interfaces most of us are now
Plus, Windows 8 offers some new features that may help your
staff's productivity as well as the performance and longevity of your
organization's computers. To help you decide whether Windows 8 is a good fit
for your organization, we've
come up with four questions for you to consider.
To help you manage your Microsoft donations, we've created the Microsoft
Donation Center. Organizations can easily track
what donations they have received so far, what remains of their software
allotment, when their cycle resets, and the value of their Microsoft software
donations to date.
Not sure if your organization is eligible for donations
from Microsoft? Log in to your TechSoup account, and take
our Check Eligibility Quiz.