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In July 13, 2010, Microsoft will officially end product and security support for Windows 2000, Windows Vista and Windows XP operating systems. There are several articles available online covering this end-of-life event, many dating back to last year.
In this article from ZDNet, titled "Support end dates for Windows Vista, XP SP2, Windows 2000: Mark your calendars" Mary-Jo Foley provides the links to information you'll need to get started upgrading to a new operating system.
If you don't start now, you could be jepordizing more than may realize. The end-of-life to support means that malware, viruses, trojans and other nasty stuff can reside on your computer with little or no way to protect yourself and your data.
Bottom Line: If you're a small- or mid-sized manufacturer - or anyone reading this, for that matter - and you're running any of these operating systems on your business' computer(s), it's time to not only look at upgrading, but to call the vendors of any ERP or other support software you run and engage them, as well.
If you do nothing, you won't notice anything - at first. But the risk is in the degradation of performance and loss of data security. And, eventually, those systems will fade into ineffectiveness.
Start making calls, and get busy now if you haven't already.