Tom’s Tech Tips

Tom’s Tuesday Tech Tip: Upgrade or Die?

In line with our talk about the wonders of the Windows® operating system, I’ve got a mixed bag of news. On April 14 of this year, Microsoft® will end support for Windows® XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003. For the majority of the Certified Legal Nurse Consultants out there, it’s the support for XP and Office 2003 that will hurt.

What does this mean to a busy CLNC® consultant? Well, the endless stream of bug fixes and service packs that flow from Microsoft will finally cease – for the two products you’re likely to be using (Office 2003 and Windows XP). Microsoft will still issue security updates for these products, but only updates that Microsoft, in its infinite wisdom, deems to be critical.

Should you be scared? No. Both programs will still run just like they do today (and tomorrow and the next day) and you’ll have plenty of time to consider your next move – upgrading to a new computer that runs Windows Vista (or Windows 7 if you wait long enough) and Office 2007. The older programs are still good and will remain in service for some time. I know a number of major law firms that haven’t upgraded to Office 2007 due to compatibility issues with their legacy software, computer hardware and Vista. A lot of small businesses and consumers (that’s us) will just ride it out until our next (scheduled) upgrade (i.e., when our computer craps out). If you’ve got the cash, you can buy an extended support agreement from Microsoft, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

If you do decide to panic and upgrade, or simply to upgrade, make sure your new computer has 2GB or more of RAM (memory), a fast 2.4+ GHZ dual-core processor and a big ‘ole hard drive to hold all those medical-related case reports for your CLNC® business. Conversely, you could always just buy a Mac® and only have to worry about upgrading every 3-4 years.

Keep on techin’,


6 thoughts on “Tom’s Tuesday Tech Tip: Upgrade or Die?

  1. I upgraded to Word 2007 by purchasing Office Home and Student at Costco. I saved hundreds over the full Office Suite, and yet it has the software I use the most (Word, Excel and Power Point). I know there are complaints over Word 2007 but I prefer it to 2003!

  2. Hey Susan,
    I upgraded to Microsoft Office 2007 a few months ago and I love it. I got the Professional version and love the Publisher software included. I got it at a giant discount (about the cost of Office Home and Student), or I would have never been able to afford it. I almost didn’t get it because of all the negative reviews, but I have really enjoyed working with it a lot. I guess it does frustrate me sometimes, trying to learn new software, but I purchased Microsoft Office 2007 for Dummies and I find it very helpful.

  3. I am still dragging my heels trying to figure out what I need to do. I just installed ACT on my XP in January and then later advised by my computer tech that I should be thinking about a new computer. When I do finally decide to whip out the credit card, I will go ahead and purchase Microsoft Office 2007, but it won’t be until later in the year. I’ll call you Judy to help me out, plus get the Dummies book.

    Tom thanks for helping keep things in perspective or I would probably be one of those panic-stricken individuals you were writing about. I have plenty of time to decide.

  4. Diana,
    I will be glad to help you out in any way I can. When you are ready to make the plunge, call or email me and I might be able to help you get a good deal on the software.

  5. I needed a new laptop and just bought a MacBook. I love it. I am able to open anything sent from Windows software, and can save any Mac documents in Word format. I have all the Mac software that is comparable to Office software, but am also installing Office for Mac. There is only one program I use for business that is not Mac compatible, but I have two choices. I still have my desktop which is a PC, and I can also partition my MacBook to run Windows. Great options, user friendly, no viruses and wonderful tech support. I highly recommend it. It’s a big change, but if you are ready to take the plunge, it is well worth it.

  6. I upgraded in November of 2008. It was time to buy a new computer and software (my old computer was a “no code”). I got a new HP laptop (a Cadillac compared to the old dead computer) and Microsoft Office 2007 (and the dummy book) and I LOVE both. My husband, who is a computer whiz (he is the one who helps me when I know what the computer can do but can’t get it to do what I want) even refers to “the dummy book.” I think you can’t go wrong with Microsoft Office 2007. It does have great publisher software too. I highly recommend it to help you produce an extremely professional product for your clients.

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*The opinions and statements made by Vickie Milazzo, the founder of Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc. are based on her experiences and expertise, should not be applied beyond the specific context provided, and do not guaranty or project actual results. Vickie Milazzo is no longer involved in the operations or management of the business, but is involved as an independent education consultant.

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