When Windows 8 hit the market, users longed for the days of XP and 7. Sadly, Windows XP is no longer a viable and marketable operating system. In fact, Windows XP is far out of touch with what’s out there now in terms of hardware and functionality, it’s almost far-fetched to see how many computer users are still actively utilizing Windows XP in a hardware environment that hasn’t supported it in at least three years.
April 2014 is when Windows XP retires. What does this mean for you if you’re still using the OS? Not much. Your Windows XP license won’t suddenly shut off and your computer will still boot. Instead, if you run into a support issue – even with a valid XP license – Microsoft will no longer be providing support for you and your PC. That means if you have a catastrophic failure of your Windows XP machine, you’re on your own without a lifeline.
Starting in May 2014, Microsoft will ship out its last security updates to Windows XP. Considering how insecure XP has been in the last 18 months, this might be a good time to think seriously about upgrading to another Windows OS or looking at a Mac, Linux or other type of setup. By the summer of 2014, Windows XP will be fair game for hackers, scammers and phishers looking for loopholes thanks to Microsoft’s ending support.
Are You Prepared?
If you’re still game to use Windows XP after Microsoft ends support, there’s several things you can do to prepare your PC for April 2014. First and foremost, ensure you have made system recovery media. Make sure to have at least 2 to 3 copies handy. Once you can no longer get media from Microsoft support, if you don’t have your own system recovery media, you’ll be out of luck if you need it down the line.
Also, make sure you have an active, updated anti-virus, malware and spyware program on your PC. Ensure it’s updated every day, especially once you get to June 2014. After Microsoft sends out the last set of Windows XP security updates and patches, you’ll truly be on your own when it comes to keeping your system safe and secure. Using a heavy-duty anti-virus program with real-time protection is the key to protecting your system for as long as possible.
Make sure to back up and save everything you want on your Windows XP… on another machine or on removable media. This is essential should your system crash completely and it can’t be recovered or supported by Microsoft. Once your Windows XP machine dies, you won’t be able to get your files and data back very easily as more retailers move towards the Windows 8.1 marketplace. By backing up your pertinent information, you can keep it safe in the event that you no longer can use that Windows XP machine.
If you’re still using Windows XP, what’s stopping you from at least upgrading to Windows 7? We’re not prodding you in the direction of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, per se, but Microsoft is. You can still buy Windows7 and get a similar, upgraded experience to Windows XP and still get support for the OS you’re used to. If you’re still not sure you want to make the leap to a new OS, pretty soon you might not have a choice if something comes up with your Windows XP machine.