Update Computers With Windows XP or Office 2003

On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer support the Windows XP operating system or any of the programs in its Office 2003 software suite, which includes Word 2003 and Excel 2003. Specifically, Microsoft will not offer bug or security fixes to users of these products from that date forward.

This lack of technical support will create a serious security issue for computers running Windows XP and/or Office 2003. Computer security experts believe that hackers are targeting that date to unleash a wide variety of malware, which can include computer viruses, “Trojan Horses”, or “worms”, which can invade a computer’s system and cause serious damage.

The Office of the State Auditor strongly recommends that any local government offices with computers running Windows XP, Office 2003, or any prior versions update your computers to a supported operating system and software before April 8, 2014.

It is important to note that because of the security issues that may occur due to the lack of technical support for Windows XP and Office 2003, the OSA’s State Auditor’s Form Entry System (SAFES) will no longer accept documents saved in the default file format created by Office 2003, which includes Excel files with the extension “.xls”, after April 8, 2014.

More information is available on the Microsoft website at:



Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 1/17/2014