Windows XP is Microsoft’s oldest running operating System that is still supported! Debuting at the end of 2001, Windows XP was the Operating System windows users were looking for. It had great features and was built on an entirely new platform from its predecessors. This meant 2 things: Reliability and a great user eXPerience.
So fast forward 12 years later and here we are. Microsoft has since released 3 new operating systems (Vista, 7 and 8) and is now ready to finally cut XP loose. Microsoft will officially be dropping support for Windows XP in April of 2014. So what does this mean to the many who still use Windows XP every day?
The Reality Sets in
Without support, Microsoft will no longer release security patches for all those little vulnerabilities that are found every day. This means that someone who is using the operating system after April will subject themselves to countless viruses and pieces of malware that can cause all sorts of havoc on a machine. Furthermore, since Microsoft will have dropped support, many software vendors, too, will do the same. Without vendors to create and update antiviruses, your computer becomes a sitting duck.
That isn’t even the half of it! Hardware issues will increase as well. There will be no chance to get that new printer working with XP since its manufacturer won’t release a driver that is compatible. Any new hardware purchased after the drop of support will be a complete gamble in terms of its use in XP. So with this being said, with all this trouble, why doesn’t everyone just upgrade now and be done with it?
The biggest problem people have with just upgrading to a newer machine or newer operating system is software. Many businesses spent a lot of money on applications and programs built for Windows XP. Because of this, there is no way to upgrade to a new operating system without buying all new software as well. This could make the cost of upgrading sky high. Businesses in these positions need to start budgeting for new software or work with existing software vendors to see if they have an updated version that will run on newer Windows operating systems.
What to do
For all of those who are still using Windows XP for no particular reason, it is time to let go. It is time to embrace the newer versions of Windows and let XP rest in peace! Windows Vista may not have been the Operating System everyone wanted, but Windows 7 was fantastic and Windows 8 is even faster and more reliable than that! With a little more than 6 months before the end, there is plenty of time to budget and plan and see if you can upgrade your current system or if you need an entirely new computer. The best thing to do is start planning early, especially if money is an issue. Waiting to the last minute could be a nightmare!
For the rest of the XP users who are locked into it due to hardware or software constraints, it is time to look at all the options. Is there a better software you can be using that has a more current development process that is actively updating its software? Does the vendor of your current software have a newer version you can use? Switching to a new version or different software entirely is a daunting task, but it can be done and now is the time to start.
Good luck with your switch over to a new Windows system either Windows 7 or Windows 8.