It’s been a great ride. Windows XP has been a well-loved and solid operating system that for more than a decade has provided the computing paradigm that health organizations needed. But a lot has changed since Windows XP and the health industry got together, and now it’s time to move on.

On April 8, 2014, support for Windows XP will end. What does that mean? Among other things, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, assisted support options (whether free or paid), or online technical content updates from Microsoft. Basically, instead of being able to get support off the rack, you’ll have to go get expensive, custom-made support.

It’s time to move on, not just because support for Windows XP is ending and analyst firms such as IDC recommend it, but also because the new Windows—whether Windows 7 or Windows 8—offers the opportunity to help you better meet the needs of today’s mobile health professionals.

As you make the transition, we encourage you to think about: What is going to best serve your staff given their current work environment? They will continue to use desktops, laptops, and computers on wheels, of course, but more and more they’re using tablets and phones. Windows 8.1 can help you support the mobile and collaborative needs of today’s health professional, while also making sure that sensitive data is protected on the various devices they use. It’s not just about upgrading your Windows XP desktops, but also creating the best environment to support the way health professionals work today.

To help you modernize your systems as smoothly and cost-effectively as possible, we have a vast amount of resources on the Windows XP end-of-support webpage.

We also realize that you may have environments and applications that are too old to truly migrate but are too important for you to turn off. So, along with our partners, we’ve worked hard to provide application and desktop virtualization solutions you can use to connect your old applications to new technology such as touch-screen devices.

Also along with our partners, we’ve come up with new ways of accessing information from existing applications so you don’t even have to re-architect or re-certify older applications. A great example of that is the work we’ve been doing with AirStrip. AirStrip solutions provide health professionals with a touch-based front end to access data from various applications regardless of the software the applications are based on. Watch Alan Portela, CEO of Airstrip, demonstrate these great tools.

In other words, there are a lot of ways to get the benefits of the new Windows and, at the same time, still be able to use your existing applications. See how Palmetto Health is doing just that.

If you haven’t done so already, get in touch with Microsoft or partners like HP and Dell that have fantastic offerings and services to help make your transition to the new Windows successful. And say goodbye to Windows XP, but say hello to more flexible and secure ways for health professionals to work.