Originally published: February 19, 2014
Last Updated: March 19, 2015.
According to its Support Lifecycle policy, on April 8, 2014, Microsoft ceased providing technical assistance and automatic updates for Windows XP.
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What This Means for You
If you continue using Windows XP after April 8, 2014, your computer will operate, but it will be vulnerable to security risks and viruses because new security updates will not be available. In addition, you could possibly experience negative effects with updating any software that you continue running on Windows XP, including your ACS, HeadMaster, or PDS software.
Internet Explorer 8
Windows XP is not capable of running a version of Internet Explorer higher than Internet Explorer 8. Continuing to use Internet Explorer 8 beyond the end-of-life date exposes you to additional security vulnerabilities that will no longer be corrected by Microsoft. However, you may be able to download and install the latest version of Google's Chrome™ browser or the Mozilla Firefox® browser.
ACS Technologies Software
ACS Technologies recommends that you upgrade to the latest version of our software products. Upgrading ensures that you take advantage of the latest functionality and security enhancements we offer, which positively affects the productivity of your organization. In order for us to dedicate resources to providing the best experience on modern operating systems, browsers, and computer equipment, ACS Technologies will shift development, testing, and support away from Windows XP and Internet Explorer 8 after April 8, 2014. Update 12/9/2014: Due to recent, global security threats, customers using outdated browsers will experience service interruptions as of 12/29/2014 when accessing our hosted solutions. View complete details, including a list of software and websites affected.
What Should You Do?
We don't want your organization to experience any negative security and compliance issues regarding Microsoft’s ending of support for Windows XP or Internet Explorer 8. Therefore, we recommend that you upgrade your Windows operating system.
- Verify that your computer meets the minimum system requirements to run Windows 7 or the latest version of Windows 8. Microsoft provides a tool for this called the compatibility assessment tool. If your computer doesn’t meet the system requirements, consider purchasing a new computer with Windows 8 or higher.
- If your computer meets the system requirements, back up your computer before upgrading your operating system. Be sure you include a backup of your ACS®, HeadMaster®, or PDS® data. Once you have a verified backup, upgrade your operating system to the latest version of the Windows operating system you selected to install.
- If your computer doesn’t meet the system requirements, you may want to consider purchasing a new computer with the latest version of Windows 8.
- Make a list of printers, scanners, cameras, or other important hardware you use with your Windows XP computer. Next, check the manufacturer's website to be sure there are drivers available for the Windows operating system you plan to upgrade to.
- Once your new or upgraded computer is ready to go, you can install the latest version of your ACS, HeadMaster, or PDS software, and restore the backup you made before upgrading your computer.
- For added security, turn on Windows automatic updates and disable SSLv3 support in all of your browsers. Updated 12/9/2014.
Consider Moving to OnDemand
If you are faced with upgrading network servers, this might be a good time to consider moving to online software. We'd love to talk with you and help you assess whether now is the right time for your organization to consider moving to OnDemand.
Get Started With These Additional Resources
Major Security Vulnerabilities
- Heartbleed - discovered April 2014, it is a flaw in encryption technology, thought to have affected 500,000 computers.1 Google "Heartbleed" or read more here.
- Shellshock - discovered September 2014, a "deadly serious" bug potentially affecting more than 500 million computers, servers, and devices.1
- POODLE Attack - documented in October 2014, "the third major security flaw discovered this year".
- FREAK Attack - announced March 3, 2015, it allows hackers to "steal or manipulate sensitive data". Update all of your browsers as soon as possible.
1 Lee, Dave, Shellshock: 'Deadly serious' new vulnerability found, BBC News Technology, 2014, December 8, 2014, <http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29361794>.
Consistent Computer Bargains Inc. (CCB) provides software to nonprofit organizations at a discount.
Getting started with Windows 8 or higher
- Microsoft has provided a series of Getting Started tutorials for Windows 8.1.
- Upgrading from Windows Vista or Windows XP to Windows 8.1? View instructions.
- Upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1? View instructions.
- How to Make Windows 8 Feel More Like Windows 7 by Erin McManaway, Assoc. Technical Writer, ACS Technologies
More about Windows XP End of Life
- Windows XP Users: Time is Running Out by Mark Thompson, Sr. Technical Writer, ACS Technologies
- Support is Ending Soon, Microsoft Corporation
- R.I.P., Windows XP – How XP’s End of Life Will Affect You by Jeff Brown, Lieberman Technologies
- If you upgrade your operating system, for example from Windows XP to Windows 8.1, you must reinstall the OnDemand program or web plugin.
- View the OnDemand system requirements.
Make sure you are using the supported browsers for Realm and The City.
- ACS Backup and Restore
- Installing ACS
- ACS 11.7 Release Notes
- Help for the latest version
- ACS System Requirements
- Backing Up and Restoring Data
- Installing HeadMaster
- Release Notes
- Help for the latest version
- HeadMaster System Requirements