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Updating Your IT – Part 1 – Compatibility & Support

Posted on July 08th, 2013 by Emily

This week’s topic of choice is something that’s actually more important than it may seem – keeping your IT equipment up to date. We’ll look at three key areas, and explain why you should keep your IT up to date, and how it can affect your business if you don’t.

We’ve all been there, and seen how slow, old or poorly performing IT can make things take far, far longer than they’re supposed to. Having to keep customers on the line longer than necessary because your system is running at a crawl, or not being able to access information or use a device that you need to because it’s not compatible with your hardware.

Just as an example of things in the technology world moving on, Microsoft will officially drop extended support for Windows XP on 8th April, 2014. This means there will be no more security patches, no more bug fixes, no more updates for XP users after this date. Specific manufacturers may continue to release updates for their software on the Windows XP platform, but there will be no more updates from Microsoft for Windows XP itself. Support and updates for Office 2003 will also cease on April 8th 2014. Windows XP was the biggest advance in operating systems since the jump from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95, but it’s now very outdated and there have been many improvements and advances made. Even on older hardware, Windows 7 or 8 may run better, but if your hardware is too old to support those, it’s almost definitely time to upgrade.

What’s the point of upgrading then? Well, that’s what we’re here to help you understand. From a support point of view, there have been many improvements made to operating systems which help us to help you, particularly remotely. Improved diagnostic tools also help greatly when problems do arise.

Operating systems, software and hardware built in more recent years are made to take advantage of things such as broadband internet and enhanced networking. USB 3.0 is also a good example of this. It’s much faster than USB 2.0, which is a plus when you are, for example, transferring large amounts of data to or from an external drive – but obviously, it doesn’t run at full speed on a USB 2.0 port, although most devices will still function due to included backwards compatibility. A lot of device manufacturers are also dropping support in their drivers for older hardware and operating systems, which means when you buy an item, it may not be fully supported, or may not work at all if your system is ageing.

Sometimes our customers have software or hardware that’s designed for older systems that they need to keep. That’s usually not a problem – Windows has many features we can use to make it backwards compatible, to make your software or hardware usable even if it was designed for an older machine.


If you’re worried or have any questions, or would like to get a quote for upgrading your systems, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us!

Give us a call on 0845 234 0580 or email us at and one of our team will be happy to help.


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