In case you have missed it, Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system will not receive any new security updates beginning Tuesday April 8th.
Yes, this is a true statement. So, how does this impact you?
Keep in mind that Windows XP will continue to run after Tuesday. It just means that Microsoft will not be pushing out any new security updates for the product after this date. Nor will Microsoft provide technical assistance. This could be an issue for people using Windows XP in regulated industries, such as legal, financial or medical. Microsoft, of course, is recommending that you to move to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
MICROSOFT SECURITY ESSENTIALS
Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is Microsoft’s free anti-virus software. If your XP computer has MSE installed, you may already have seen popup windows warning you support for the XP operating system is ending. These warnings may lead you to believe that MSE will stop working on April 8th and that your computer will not be protected. But that is a false assumption.
If you already have MSE installed, Microsoft will continue to upgrade anti-virus definitions for that product for another year! However, after Tuesday, if you have Windows XP, and you try to install MSE, you will be blocked from doing so.
THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE
Since Windows XP will no longer be a “supported” operating system after Tuesday, it is possible that various third party software companies may also choose sometime in the future to stop supporting or selling their product on Windows XP. If you have a specific concern about a particular product, you should contact the vendor of your software.
SHOULD I UPGRADE?
Windows XP was released 14 years ago. A lot has changed in that time. Look at it this way: perhaps you have a 14 year old TV or car or washing machine. Not only does it still work, but you’ve grown to accept and understand it’s little quirks. It’s become familiar to you, and you would like to keep it for as long as you can.
The thought of getting a new TV or Washer or car may be frightening to you because all these new items have all sorts of fancy new features and gadgets that you’re not sure of. Moving from Windows XP to Windows 7/8 will be a similar challenge.
Yes, it is possible to install Windows 7/8 onto your current Windows XP computer, and not lose any data. However, if your XP computer is more than 3-4 years old, I would NOT recommend doing so. It’s like putting new wine into an old wine skin. That old wine skin is apt to break sooner than later!
The other issue is to determine whether the various software programs you are using on your XP workstation will run under Windows 7/8. To help you in this process, Microsoft does provide a Windows Upgrade Compatibility tool that will check all your software and hardware, and let you know which will work and which may need to be replaced or upgraded if you move to Windows 7/8.
Read more from Microsoft:
If you have questions, please contact me and we can determine the best solution for you.