WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AN APPLICATION RETIRES

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that MS Paint, one of the applications that has been bundled inside Windows since version 1.0, was no longer going to be a part of the Operating System.  After a day of outpouring from people all over the internet, however, they changed their minds and have decided to just make it an application that needs to be downloaded from the Windows Store.

https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2017/07/24/ms-paint-stay/#lOzbGKDfs5WiSTSq.97

This brings to light the question:  "What do we do when the applications we rely on stop working?"

In many businesses across the world, there is a magical old computer that is running a very particular application that should never be touched, looked at, or breathed around.  This computer might be running an application that is over 10 years old and is the backbone of the business, but whose company simply isn't around anymore, or requires a substantial cost investment in order to upgrade to the newest versions.

Sometimes there is no choice but to try to keep that old machine running, but there can be other options.

1.  Virtualization
    If the application you need to use is too old to be able to run on a modern Operating System, sometimes you just have to make a "virtual" copy of the computer in order to be able to keep it running.  This method allows applications to run, but you still have to rely on an Operating System that can be non-supported and full of security risks.

2.  (Bite the Bullet and) Upgrade
    Sometimes if the company that makes the software you've been using has an upgrade, you just need to do it!  There are usually a variety of reasons why application vendors update their software.  Adding new features, increasing security, fixing problems.  If it is a vendor you have used and appreciate, upgrading can give you a stable base that will keep you running for a long time to come!

3.  Look for alternatives.
    Nobody likes replacing an application that has been a major part of their day/work, but sometimes that's exactly what we have to do.  If an application stops being supported, you can be left in a leaky boat without a bucket to bail yourself out with.  In these cases, finding an alternative can be the only way to provide you with the platform you need to keep running without issues.

Whatever your particular situation is, it is important to think about what the lifetime of the applications and hardware you use are.  If you've got a machine that you can't afford to lose, then you can't afford to not have a plan!  If you need advice on how to make sure the worst case scenario doesn't happen, give your friendly neighborhood iTologists a call today!

Cory Carson