Windows XP Support ending in 2014 – What it means for you

A large number of my customers are still running Windows XP on their computers. Many of them have an older computer that came with Windows XP, and some  do not want to learn a new operating system. Others are running software  that is not compatible with newer versions of Windows. Whatever the reason is, XP users seem to love it and do not want to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.

winxp

Microsoft has announced that support for Windows Xp will end on April 8, 2014. What exactly does that mean?

You have probably noticed the balloon in the system tray near the clock from time to time telling you new updates are ready. These are the free updates Microsoft has been creating to patch security holes, and you won’t be getting them for Windows XP after April 8, 2013.

updates xp

 

You can keep using Windows XP just like you did before, and download all the old updates, but make sure you have an antivirus product, update it frequently and check to be sure it’s running scans regularly. New security holes are discovered all the time and without new patches from Microsoft your system is going to be vulnerable to them.

kaspersky-at-risk

In addition to stopping security updates, Microsoft technical support will no longer help you with your XP problems. Microsoft doesn’t want to teach new techs older operating systems, so you will have to call a local computer repair shop like mine if you need help with Windows XP.

Windows XP will become more and more unsecure over time as new vulnerabilities are found. Hardware manufacturers will stop making drivers and software for XP as well, so replacing a damaged printer for example, will be impossible.. Third party software vendors will also stop making software and games that will run on XP at some point.

If you have software that will only work on Windows XP, you can still upgrade Windows and use those programs in Windows XP compatibility mode. This feature is included in the Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions of Windows 7, and creates a virtual Windows XP installation in the new operating system. You can run all your old programs and play all your old games, while gaining the security features of Windows 7. It’s like having a computer inside a computer, right on your desktop.

compatibility

Most long-time users of Windows XP that switch to Windows 7 are very happy and find the transition to be easier than they thought.

Microsoft is hoping that Windows Xp will account for 10% or less of its market share by the time it ends support.

If you need help upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8, please contact me and I will do all the heavy lifting for you.