Windows Vista may have been a dud — a sluggish operating system that had some hefty system requirements and didn’t always play well with other software — but for most lawyers it was a nonissue. They, and their firms, happily stuck with Microsoft’s earlier operating system, Windows XP. And why not? XP was proven, worked fine, and was regularly updated with all the security patches and bug fixes anyone needed. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it, and all that.

But Microsoft, it turns out, has done some fixing. It took a hard look at Vista, figured out what worked and what didn’t, tossed or tweaked the latter, and created Windows 7 (or, as one law firm chief information officer calls it, “Vista that works”). This operating system has gotten good reviews and developed a solid reputation in corporate circles. Law firm CIOs and managers took notice, too, and started wondering if they should make the move. They didn’t have to wonder for long. Microsoft has made the decision easy by announcing it will end all support for XP in April 2014. No more security patches. No more bug fixes. The stay-with-XP strategy had a good run, but time’s up.

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