Still Using Windows XP? Here’s Some Bad Advice
Microsoft Windows XP still works even though Microsoft has given us several replacements in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. But some users won’t give up XP. Why? Because it works! It’s stable, fast, and good enough for most people. Over 25 percent of the world’s computers still run on Windows XP (as of July 5, 2014).
Regardless, it’s difficult for Microsoft to keep an operating system this old as secure and fast as it needs to be in today’s online world. You can still use your XP computer today, but it will become less and less secure as Microsoft no longer releases security updates for the old operating system. They do, however, urge you to upgrade.
With that in mind, we wanted to address some of the advice, bad and good, about the lack of support for XP and whether or not you should upgrade.
- Bad Idea #1: Don’t worry about it – it’s not like XP computers stopped working on April 9 so don’t worry about it, keep using it. Why is this a bad idea? Old operating systems need to be updated often to keep them safe from data thieves, scammers, viruses, etc. After April 8, no more updates will be coming.
- Bad Idea #2: Upgrade to Windows 8 – why not get the latest Microsoft operating system? First, it won’t likely work. Your old XP system doesn’t have the power, space, or hardware to run Windows 8. Secondly, you’ll likely hate it. Windows 8 has two interfaces. One is the comfortable desktop-like version but you have to go through the touchscreen based interface to get to it. That’s great if you’re working on a tablet – not optimal if your XP machine is not a tablet.
- Bad Idea #3 – Move to Linux – the geeky operating system that is fast, cheap, free, and will run on your old XP machine better than Windows 8 will. The problem with Linux is that it’s really a platform for nerds and/or programmers. Nobody you know – unless you know programmers – will be able to offer support and none of your Windows software will work on it.
- Bad Idea #4 – Get a Chromebook – the cheap new laptops by Google. These are neat because they work great with online apps and are easy to share but most functions and apps don’t work when you’re not on the internet. Chromebooks won’t run regular Windows programs, either.
So, what are you to do then? Here are some better ideas:
- Good Idea #1 – Upgrade to Windows 7 – a very stable operating system that is similar enough to Windows XP that transitioning is not difficult. It isn’t perfect, and you may still need to upgrade your system, but it’s still a good option.
- Good Idea #2 – Get a Mac – Mac’s OS X is so conceptually similar to XP that it does not take most people long to adapt. Most good apps are available in Mac versions, too, and your data should transfer easily. However, Macs are not cheap. The cheapest new Mac costs about $600 for the Mac Mini while laptops start at $1,000 and desktops $1,300.
Still not sure if you want to upgrade or what you should upgrade to? Contact the staff at Stewart and Son Computer Services, LLC and we will be happy to talk with you about the pros and cons of upgrading and give you an estimate for transferring your data and getting you setup. Mark, Dave, Thony, and Wade are looking forward to hearing from you! Don’t delay, the longer you wait, the less secure your Windows XP machine becomes.
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Content Copyright Wade Stewart (C) 2014
Labels: advocacy, computer, hardware, small business, windows 7, windows 8, windows XP