University Chief Information Office Memo

Memo from Brian Cohen to all CUNY CIO's on the migration off of unsupported computers running Windows XP and /or Office 2003



To:                        Chief Information Officers

From:                   Brian Cohen, Associate Vice Chancellor and University Chief Information Officer
Robert Berlinger, Chief Information Security Officer

Subject:               Migration off of Unsupported Computers Running Windows XP and/or Office 2003

As you may be aware, as of April 8, 2014, Microsoft will end its support of the outdated Windows XP operating system and Office 2003 productivity suite (Word 2003, Excel 2003, etc.). Consequently, after April 8th, Microsoft will no longer issue updates to address new security vulnerabilities that are discovered to affect this software.

 Computers that continue to use Windows XP and/or Office 2003 after April 8, 2014 are expected to be significantly more vulnerable to security risks and viruses, even with anti-virus protection. Further, use of unsupported commercial software is not in compliance with CUNY IT Security Procedures, may violate contractual terms of use and poses the additional compliance risk of an adverse finding in an internal or external audit.

We urge you to prioritize resources as necessary to replace, upgrade or remove from the network all such affected computers before the April 8th deadline. Priority should be given first to identifying vulnerable computers in the areas of highest risk of data theft or loss – e.g., areas handling personally identifying and non-public university information such as finance, human resources, procurement, admissions, bursar, registrar and student health.

Further, faculty, staff and students who may use their own Windows XP devices to access sensitive information are also vulnerable.  Please communicate with your campus community the risk of continuing to run this software on personal and locally-managed systems so that they take informed action to maintain the security of their information and tools.

To help support CUNY’s migration effort, Deputy CIO James Haggard has arranged for the VMware Horizon Mirage desktop virtualization tool, a migration aid, to be available at no charge to campuses. Campuses were invited to participate in an introductory session explaining the tool, held on January 13, 2014.  Should you have any questions regarding Mirage, please contact Tatiana Zarmehrbaksh of CIS at

Your support and cooperation in helping to maintain the security of CUNY’s information assets is appreciated.


The Horizon Mirage desktop virtualization tool offered by the University CIO would require York to have major changes done to it's Network infrastructure which at this time would not allow us to move forward and meet the deadline of the impending sunset of Windows XP.  We instead will be replacing and upgrading existing systems to Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010.