It’s finally over.
Microsoft has announced that they will be discontinuing support of Windows XP (SP3) as of April 8, 2014. The decade-old operating system has finally been put in the recycle bin, with automatic update services to be turned off. It will also mean that services like the free Microsoft Security Essentials will no longer install, nor will it download updates if it is already installed.
But what does this mean, really?
Windows XP has long been known to be insecure. Microsoft has been continuously patching security holes for nearly ten years to stay one step ahead of hackers, scammers, phishers, viruses and malware. That support will vanish on April 8. Anyone still on Windows XP will be at a much greater risk of infection.
More than that though, is that this will be taken by the software industry as a sign to stop supporting Windows XP. Everything from Quickbooks to iTunes will soon cease supporting Windows XP, and before long, you won’t be able to update anything. This will increasingly lead to not being able to use programs and services you’ve come to rely on.
What about upgrades?
Very few computers running Windows XP can support Windows 7, and almost none can support Windows 8.1. You will definitely need to take a look at a new computer. Windows 7 is the spiritual successor to Windows XP, with most of the familiar elements you already know can be found. Windows 8.1 is a touch-based operating system, oriented around touchscreens and tablets, which may be beneficial if you prefer mobile computing. However, for most PC users, we’d recommend using Windows 7.
If you’re not comfortable with either solution, you could always check out the latest Apple products. Apple recently released OS X Mavericks, their latest operating system. The Apple-family of products are powerful, fast and intuitive to learn for new users.
No matter what route you choose to pursue, we strongly recommend getting away from Windows XP. If you have questions, our technicians would be pleased to assist in finding the right solution for you.