Despite the fact that Windows XP was released back in 2001, it is still a great operating system. It’s stable, has a start button and gets the job done. This is why it is still installed on literally hundreds of millions of computers. In fact, it is so popular that it is the second most widely used operating system in the world, only slightly behind Windows 7.
Unfortunately, this is not very good. The reason is that Microsoft. So far, Microsoft has extended the deadline for ending support for Windows XP, but now it seems like they’re really going to kill it. On April 8, 2014 Microsoft will completely end support for Windows XP. This is big news because in about 4 months, millions of computers will be vulnerable to hackers.
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End of support means Microsoft will no longer provide technical assistance to businesses or consumers to troubleshoot Windows XP. Also, and more importantly, Microsoft will no longer provide any security fixes or updates to the operating system. Plus, you won’t even be able to download Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows XP, free antivirus software, after that date.
This is really bad news for anyone who has Windows XP installed after this date, because literally hundreds of security vulnerabilities are discovered in Windows XP every year, and once support ends, all of these security holes will be exploited by hackers. and there will literally be nothing to stop them.
Several Microsoft executives have also said openly that businesses and users who do not update the operating system or buy a new PC will be open to a host of new attacks. One possible solution, if you still need to use XP for any reason, is to disconnect your computer from the Internet. Obviously, the computer can still be infected through the local network, but you will have a better chance than if it was connected directly to the Internet.
Any business that needs support for Windows XP after the April 2014 deadline would still be able to install Windows Server 2003. Windows Server 2003 uses the same kernel as Windows XP and can therefore run all the same apps without any compatibility issues. Support for Windows Server 2003 will not end until July 15, 2015, so you can get an additional year to update your applications to a newer operating system.
As for consumers, according to the official statement from Microsoft, they would do it. gladly updated to Windows 8.1.
Another reason to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8 is so that you can use the latest software and devices on your computer. XP is so old that many new programs simply don’t work on it. In addition, some new devices and gadgets may not be properly recognized by the system.
Upgrading your old PC to Windows 8 is not a bad idea. I wrote a post a while back on how to revive an old computer by installing Windows 8. The system requirements are pretty low, which means you can install it on fairly old hardware. Of course, you’ll have to buy the Windows 8 upgrade, which currently costs around $ 119, but that might be a better option than buying a new computer at all.
If you do install Windows 8 and get any processor incompatibility error, check the link. I have personally installed Windows 8.1 on a couple of old desktops at home and they work great for web browsing, email, watching videos, reading news, etc. In Windows 8.1, you also get the Start button back, so if you have is held back due to the lack of a “Start” button, in 8.1 it is no longer so bad.
Whatever you do, if you don’t upgrade your Windows XP computer, make sure you don’t have important data about it, because everything will be at risk. However, if it’s connected to your local network, a hacker could still take control of the XP machine and then wreak havoc on other computers on the network, so it’s best to get rid of Windows XP completely. If you can’t, tell us why in the comments!