The Microsoft support ending dates have been announced for Windows XP, Server 2003 and Exchange 2003.
Microsoft is going to stop providing support and security updates for Windows XP after the final March update in 2014. The PCs will still work but security vulnerabilities may occur at a rapid rate and could put your personal and client data at risk. Windows Server 2003 and Exchange 2003 support will also end in June 2015.
The upgrades can be done in stages but there are interesting compatibility issues to contend with:
- Office 2003 (which may be on your XP machines) cannot connect to the newest version of Exchange (which includes Office 365)
- Office 2013 cannot connect to Exchange 2003. However, for the time being at least, you can buy the Office 2013 license and call Microsoft for a downgrade license code.
- Office 2013 cannot be installed on Windows XP. The Office 2010 downgrade will work.
The most important thing to accomplish is to remove exposure to the Internet of outdated Exchange server software. This can be done by either upgrading your onsite Exchange server or migrating to Office 365.
The most current support information for Microsoft software can be found on their lifecycle page. It includes information on how long support support will be provided for each product.