6. Maybe Mac OS X Is a Better Option

By Don Reisinger

2. Think About Security

Now that Windows XP is running Service Pack 3, it's far more secure than it was. However, it's still not as secure as Windows 7 or even Mac OS X Lion. If security is one of your top priorities -- and it should be -- think seriously about ditching XP for something new.

3. Windows XP Mode in Windows 7

Many companies say that they want to keep XP because it works with all the applications and accessories they use. However, with the launch of Windows 7, that's not a good reason anymore. As long as you deploy Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 7 Enterprise edition, you'll get a virtual version of XP included. Say good-bye to incompatibility.

4. Don’t Get Locked Into Windows 8

The last thing you want to do is wait too long to deploy a new operating system and get caught with Windows 8. Right now, we know that Windows 7 is a winner and a worthwhile enterprise option. But the jury is still out on Windows 8.

5. Employees Are Used to Newer Operating Systems

Now that Windows 7 has been out for a couple years, chances are, your employees are well-versed in how to use it. That's a good thing. Because of their knowledge, you shouldn't need to worry about training or seeing a drop in productivity.

6. Maybe Mac OS X Is a Better Option

If you don't need Microsoft's OS conduct business, think seriously about dropping XP for Mac OS X Lion. Apple's system is more secure than XP, well-designed, and thanks to its App Store, supports many of the applications you need. At least keep it in mind.

7. PCs Are Affordable

Too often, CIOs have limited budgets, and can't invest in everything they want. But with the PC market slumping, it's a good time to make deals. Vendors like HP, Dell, and Lenovo are trying to attract new customers with good prices. Ditching XP now might just be less costly than you think.

8. Windows Vista Isn’t a Concern

If you stuck with Windows XP to avoid Windows Vista, you don't need to worry. Windows 7 is not Windows Vista. It's a high-quality operating system with several features you'll like. Don't lose sight of that.

9. The Competition Is Moving Away

As a CIO, you need to think about the competitive landscape and what your company's chief counterparts will do next. They're likely thinking about deploying a new OS in their operation because of all the benefits new software offers over XP. The last thing you want to do is give them an advantage. And sticking with XP is doing just that.

10. It Future-Proofs You

There's no telling what the future holds. But if anything is certain, Microsoft is moving forward, and developers and accessory makers will move with it. By ditching Windows XP now, you can future-proof your business no matter what products come along.

This article was originally published on 11-15-2011