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Windows XP: The End of an Era

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 by | Filed Under: Security Help, System Tune-Up Help
 
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kevin_death_of_xp_2

Resistance to change is universal, with even the most innovative among us determined – at some point – to maintain the status quo. This resistance is especially evident in users’ loyalty to the Windows XP operating system. Released in October 2001, XP became – by September 2003 – the most widely used Windows OS, and remained in the lead until July 2011, when it was finally overtaken by Windows 7 (released October 2009). The long-anticipated – but wildly unpopular – Vista (released in 2006) barely registers in usage statistics.

However, as of April 2014, Microsoft will discontinue XP support. What this means, according to Microsoft, is “…there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.” There has also been, and will likely continue to be, a lack of XP support from independent software and hardware manufacturers.

So, while an unsupported Windows version will continue to function, in the increasingly dangerous and complex world of technology, in order to remain safe, it may be time to prepare for the inevitable, and consider other options. One of them is to upgrade an existing system. To determine whether your system will support Windows 7, Microsoft offers the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, which scans for compatibility issues and offers recommendations. Of course, another option is to purchase a Windows 7 computer, or wait for the release of Windows 8.

For an interesting view of the history of Windows, click here.

~Kevin

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12 Responses to “Windows XP: The End of an Era”

  1. Ron Hoffman says:

    Am I getting to the point where I need to drop this newsletter. I will stay with Windows XP till 2014 or beyond. It depends how I like Windows 8. If you are only going to have Windows 7 items then let me know so I can stop your newsletter. Thank you.

  2. Tofara says:

    You left out other options that have been embraced by many large organizations and many individuals. Simply change to other operating systems such as Linux.

  3. Bill Leach says:

    Yes but then there is the option of installing something like Linux Ubuntu. A machine running XP is certainly good enough to run Linux and now days there are not likely to be any hardware issues except with some notebooks and netbooks.

    Of course Linux is not for everyone. If you are primarily a gamer (what are you still doing on Win XP?) then Linux is not a good choice (though for World of Warcraft the game sometimes actually runs faster in Linux/Wine). Also, there are still some types of software that just aren’t there for Linux (TurboTax type software for example).

    But if you are a user that primarily just does e-mail, facebook, e-bay, browsing, document work, etc. then Linux is quite a viable option.

  4. Kevin says:

    Ron, This wasn’t meant as an endorsement of Windows 7, just a note of caution to XP owners. While I’ve spent many hours with Windows 7, my home computers are a desktop XP and a “wildly unpopular” Vista laptop. Both have served me well.

    Bill, You’re absolutely right about other options, including Linux, but as this article was about Windows machines, I decided to just offer Windows suggestions.

  5. Geek Hillbilly (@GeekHillbilly) says:

    As XP Ages(gracefully) The usefulness of this OS will continue long past April 2014.I echo what others have thought and Ask Mircosoft to release XP as FOSS (Free Open Source Software) after April 1,2014.

    As Windows 8 is shaping up to be a worse disaster than Vista for desktop PCs,Micro$oft would be well advised not to burn it bridges or else they will lose out to Apple & Linux.

  6. Barbara Pickett says:

    Kevin, I went to the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, downloaded it, and had to choose to download 3 other items as well…long story short, I’m a novice when it comes to updating, etc., but…this advisor didn’t work for me…it never showed me anything, and now I have a number of problems with my pc…very slow speed, lack of items showing, etc. I’m going to try to undo what I did and try to work my way back out of this. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    My next question is, ‘when am I going to learn to stop trying WS tips/tricks?’

    • Kevin says:

      Barbara,
      I’m sorry you had these problems. It had been a couple years since I’d installed the Advisor, and didn’t remember having any problems but, after reading your note; tonight I installed it again on my Vista laptop. The Advisor did as promised and provided a report on my system’s ability to handle the upgrade. However, during installation, I was asked if I wanted to install 3 other items (none were automatic, and had to be selected). I chose not to do so. They were Internet Explorer 9, a Microsoft Office compatibility pack, and the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. All of these, including the Advisor can be uninstalled, although this may mean following another WorldStart tip (I hope you haven’t really decided to stop using them). Search our site for the words, “uninstall a program”, and the first on the list of WorldStart tips offers details on how to do just that.
      I hope this helps.

  7. Hemachandra says:

    Hi there,

    I am a 73 old model and have been using XP from the past 10 years without any hassels. I have XP service pack 2. It is working like a dream for me. Now after April 14, where should I go? Should I abandon my desktop? Na. There should be some loophole wherein I can still retain my desktop which I adore. Hope MS will introduce some gimmic through backdoor for users like me. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  8. [...] for everyday tasks. There is a dark cloud on the horizon for happy XP users, though. Microsoft is discontinuing support of XP in April of 2014.  What that means is that there will be no new security updates, free or paid online support [...]

  9. Richard Cancemi says:

    I think this decision to abandon “loyal” Windows XP users is a bad P.R. stunt. The only motive I can see is to force one into buying another operating system. I hope they change their mind about not supporting XP users, particularly in these hard economic times.

  10. [...] 40% of Windows users are still running XP. A whole lot of people still use Windows XP. Microsoft is ending support for XP in 2014, but that doesn’t mean your operating system will suddenly stop working. It just means that [...]

  11. John Phillips says:

    You write as though Windows 7 was an improvement on XP which it is not.
    It may technically be more efficient but the layout is more confusing.

    I have XP 32 and XP 64 on desktops so will I have to upgrade both?
    XP 64 is not as complete as plain XP 32 (no Service Pack 3).

    I have Windows 7 already installed on a laptop but I don’t like it.
    For example the Control Panel is all over the place whereas in XP the layout is simple and easily understood. In Win 7 I have to look everywhere to find what I want. Also the Programmes in W7 are all in one long list including Accessories etc., whereas in XP programmes are grouped and easily located.

    The same goes for other topics, the only advantage being some automatic error corrections such as network and system conflicts.

    It seems to me that when Microsoft try to improve they only make things worse by making things more complicated.
    I would not advise people to update to Windows 7 unless they really have to.

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