As Microsoft phases out Windows 7 in January 2020, there will be significant implications for XPOS users, and any retailer, currently on an old operating system. If you think this might be you, help is at hand.
It’s 15 years since Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows XP and Vista, and, in just a short few months, the software company will also be ditching support for Windows 7. But, what does this mean for retailers who still rely on these systems to manage their hardware and business resources? Chris Hobart heads up the XPOS Support team and offers up advice to XPOS customers.
What’s Microsoft up to?
Microsoft is just making improvements in the software and can’t continue to work with everything it’s ever made. When we talk about ‘end of life’ for an operating system, like Windows 7, it means Microsoft won’t be continuing support for anyone using it. This includes bug fixes and, more importantly, security updates. Basically, Microsoft has new software to launch, with better technology and features.
Back in 2009, the company offered a 10-year support period to Windows 7 customers, but that is now at an end. XP and Vista are even older. Microsoft actually stopped supporting these systems in 2014, so if you’re still using them, you’re working with incredibly outdated software.
If it works, why change anything?
We are finding more and more of our customers are having problems with their software systems and XP and Vista are too old for us to support. It’s not that we don’t want to help, but the software is no longer compatible with modern systems. Recently the software we use to provide our remote support has stopped working with Windows XP, making even the most basic assistance impossible. I think we’ll have the same issues with Windows Vista in the near future.
What kind of things can go wrong?
With an old operating system, security will be virtually non-existent. This leaves the shop business very vulnerable to viruses and hackers. You might not even know that something’s wrong with the system until it’s too late. There are viruses that can sit dormant for months. A hacker could also access your system remotely and take your data: a GDPR nightmare.
How do retailers know if they’re using an outdated Microsoft system?
You wouldn’t be alone if you didn’t know which operating system you were using. The easiest way to tell is by looking at the bottom left of your screen. If the start button looks like one of these in the picture below, you’re on one of the old systems.
Does this affect XPOS?
We’re rolling out XPOS V2 over the next few months and are getting really positive feedback from users. V2 really is a dramatic change from the original XPOS and a far better user experience. There are slick, contemporary screens, and an online area, making it easier for retailers to manage their business from anywhere in the world, and from any device.
To develop V2, we took advantage of the great features in Windows 10 and, whilst this is a real benefit for our customers, it means that the software we use for V2 simply will not run on Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7.
Does XPOS V2 work with an outdated Microsoft OS?
No unfortunately not. The majority of PCs running these operating systems would be over 7 years old, so even updating the operating system wouldn’t be an option.
What should retailers on old operating systems do?
The only option is to update your hardware and invest in a new PC.
The great thing is new hardware would come with Windows 10 64-bit (the latest release), so you’ll receive all the benefits of better security features, significantly better speed, updated software, and support from Microsoft: including new features, bug fixes and security updates.
If you think you're affected, what next?
The XPOS Support Team is here to offer advice and guidance to all our customers. We also buy in lots of hardware for customers, which means we can get preferential rates. It’s always worth asking us for a quote. However, you don’t have to get your hardware from Crossover, and we’re here to advise customers on any purchase or decision-making, so I’d say to just get in touch.
The best way to contact the Support Team is via the CHAT button on the website, or simply by emailing email@example.com. We’re also available on Twitter. You can also DM us on Twitter @CT_HelpTeam, or call 01454 418 395. We'll go through your options, help you upgrade to a more modern system and get your shop system-ready for the exciting XPOS V2.