Monthly Archives: March 2014

Will Smartphones and Tablets Kill the PC?

With Windows XP support ending soon for millions of PCs, many companies are considering a variety of replacement strategies.  The adoption of smartphones and tablets is clearly on the rise.  According to IDC, PC shipments are expected to decline by 6% in 2014, and that trend is expected to continue.  Meanwhile, shipments of tablets surpassed shipments of PCs in 2013 and are expected to outpace shipments of PCs by 2015.  Does this mean death to the PC?  Likely not, here is why…

The Case for Smartphones and Tablets

The portable form factor of smartphones and tablets allows users to access corporate applications and their data at home, while traveling, and out in the field.  Because of the touch-screen interface, they are operated easily without the need for a keyboard or mouse.  This makes smartphones and tablets ideal applications for employees who are standing or travelling without access to a desk.  Because these devices typically connect via WiFi cellular network and run on battery power, they don’t have the wires, cables, and plugs associated with a PC.  Tablets and smartphones find their way on retail counters that may have limited workspace. They may also be easier to clean when they may be exposed to biohazardous materials, dust, or dirt.

Smartphones and Tablets vs. the PC

If you require a large monitor to view spreadsheets, create powerpoints, or edit documents, a PC may be right for you.  While many touchscreen smartphones, tablets, and convertible PCs connect with a keyboard by using a variety of interfaces, such as bluetooth, there are clear design tradeoffs for office productivity and mobile productivity.  PCs and laptops, combined with keyboard, mouse, and monitor, increase the productivity of your workforce while in the office.  Accountants, writers, and designers will quickly choose a Desktop PC or Laptop with a monitor to get their work done efficiently and effectively.

Because Windows XP support will quickly end, millions of PCs will retire in the coming months.  Many cash registers, factory controllers, and other industrial devices running Windows XP may quickly be replaced by tablet computers.  Other laptops and some desktops may be replaced by tablets, smartphones, or convertible PCs with touchscreen interface.  Some workers may find themselves with multiple devices that connect to one another via Cloud Computing.  This trend may not accelerate the growth of the PC to the heights of smartphones and Tablet PCs; however, expect both the desktop computer and tablet to have a place in our IT infrastructure for a long time to come.

Windows XP Updates to End on April 8

According to Microsoft, support is ending for Windows XP after April 8, 2014.  Technical assistance, including automatic updates that help protect your PC, will no longer be available after this date. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP.

When Microsoft withdraws support for Windows XP updates, many businesses will need to migrate to Windows 8.1 or modernize their IT Systems to another platform.  With Cloud Computing and Mobile Computing, there are a variety of options available.  For those who choose to stay on Windows XP, here are some considerations:

Windows XP Updates for Security Discontinued

Microsoft’s discontinuation of automatic updates and security patches for Windows XP may leave you vulnerable to Malware and viruses, which may cause IT Security risks for your PC and network.  Remember: your network is only as secure as its weakest link.

ISV and Software Support for your Popular Applications

The latest versions of your applications may not be available for Windows XP.  Web conferencing applications, office productivity applications, and other business applications may not be supported by the software developer when Microsoft discontinues its XP support.

Maintaining Compliance on Windows XP

After April 8 your Windows XP machines will no longer have O/S patches. Without O/S patches, your ability to comply with your IT policies and procedures for industry and regulatory requirements, including PCI and HIPPA, could be compromised.

Consider these tips to keep your IT Systems up-to-date and keep your business running in a secure and reliable manner.  Migrating from Windows XP with the help of an IT Service & Support Professional can help you get the most out of your IT Assets while avoiding IT security risks.  Don’t hesitate to contact your business technology advisor for strategies to migrate from Windows XP.