Selene from Georgia asks:
When are they going to discontinue Windows XP?
Good question! Microsoft designed the Windows XP operating system to work in desktop and laptop computers, as well as in media centers. It first made an appearance to the computer world in August 2001 and became one of the most popular versions of the Windows operating system. Due to it’s extended life, people often wonder when they are going to discontinue Windows XP. Ever since Windows 7 came into existence, more and more consumers have started to make the switch to this new system.
Computer operating systems are constantly being updated, which means there will always be something newer and better right around the corner. The most difficult part is getting used to the new system without dealing with a few frustrations now and then.
The ‘XP’ in Windows XP is short for ‘experience’ and this type of system has multiple editions, two of which are the home and professional editions. The home version is, of course, for basic household use. The professional edition has extra features that may be too advanced to be considered necessary for use on a home computer. These additional features include; remote desktop server, an encrypting file system, 2 CPUs, and offline folders and files, just to name a few.
Even though this system has been the most popular version for nearly a decade, Microsoft has decided to do away with it. The homepage for Windows XP even has a link that connects consumers to a page listing the top ten reasons to switch over their computers to Windows 7 including:
1.Quicker Access to Content
2.Easier to Manage
3.Faster to Locate Files, Emails, or Other Programs
4.Can Share Information Among Other Computers
6.Create Movies that Can Be Shared
7.Connects Quickly to Wireless
8.Faster Response Time
9.Runs Most XP Programs
10.Offers Better Protection for PCs
This does happen to be a fairly impressive list of reasons to make the switch. The chart that allows consumers to compare the XP, Vista, and 7 versions of Windows is actually a better view of why there’s no reason to continue selling and servicing Windows XP. The latest Microsoft operating system for PCs that is offered does everything that the previous editions are capable of, but includes nearly twice as much capability.
Windows XP users don’t have access to Windows Search, which enables programs and files to be located instantly and it takes more than a couple of clicks to open these features once they are found. Navigation through open windows is much slower and sharing music, photos, and other files with additional household PCs isn’t possible. It’s also difficult to manage external devices and organize easily with the XP edition. In addition, connecting to wireless networks takes some work, and the XP edition doesn’t have parental controls – which most parents find necessary today with the plethora of information available on the Internet.
Movies and games are a big part of many people’s lives. Windows XP doesn’t have the capability to provide game graphics that are as vivid and realistic as the newest version is able to offer. Creating and sharing movies within minutes after they are made is also impossible with Windows XP. Music collectors aren’t able to stream their music around the house with the XP operating system and, since traveling is also becoming more integrated with most jobs, portability is the new priority. Since many computer users store most of their data on their home desktop, taking this on trips is near to impossible. Being able to remotely tap into this information source from locations away from home is possible with the newest operating system, but not with Windows XP.
Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP with SP2 (Service Pack 2) due to take place on July 13, 2010. Once support is discontinued for this edition, there won’t be any additional security updates coming through making your system more vulnerable to malicious viruses that can easily destroy a PC unless you have a free combination of Avira, Malwarebytes, and SUPERAntiSpyware.
There is a service pack for Windows XP that will buy users a bit more time with this operating system. Service Pack 3 is available for consumers who just aren’t ready to make the switch over to Windows 7, but support for that will end April 8th, 2014.