Windows XP, one of the most widely used, and well known operating systems to ever be created. In 2001 Microsoft released the fifth edition of Windows and little did they know it would turn out to become extremely popular.
When released, the OS was top notch. Having access to the internet, powerful hardware, and a very user friendly user interface it was hard not to like XP. Microsoft was now beginning to compete against its only competitor, Apple, in the operating system market.
Windows XP was quickly picked up by both businesses and consumers around the world; you could even say it was the standard of the world for operating systems. As the first release of Windows XP had quite a lot of bugs and security holes to fix, Microsoft ended up creating three massive service packs for Windows XP making it very stable and very reliable.
When the next Windows operating system, Vista, was released five years later, people had become accustomed to the UI and functionality of Windows XP, and, therefore, refused to upgrade. Windows Vista was a huge UI improvement and brought many new functionalities to Windows. However, Vista shipped with more bugs and issues than XP did. Vista also ended up receiving two service packs, slowing the performance down. With the massive number of bugs and not seeing the potential of Windows Vista, many businesses and consumers chose to stay on their Windows XP operating systems, making it even more popular.
Twelve years and three new Windows operating systems later, we have finally reached the end of support for the once loved Windows XP. Microsoft has been consistently reminding users around the world that Windows XP will be losing all support from Microsoft on April 8th 2014.
So what does this mean if you’re still on a XP PC? Well, with the end of support, Microsoft will be stopping all Windows Updates to any XP device. This means your PC will be open to many security holes, bugs will not be patched, and expect to not be able to use new hardware/software.
If you are still on a PC with Windows XP, I would advise that you either upgrade the PC to a modern OS such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 if your machine has the physical capability, or checkout our TSF Build Guide to build yourself a brand new PC to today’s standards.
Ever since the announcement, people on the internet have been planning malware attacks for people that wish not to upgrade. Unless you use a PC that is not connected to the internet, chances are high that you will soon be seeing malware on your PC.
Also losing support is Office 2003. Just like XP, this version of Office is out-of-date. Users will lose patch updates along with the security patches for Office. As both Office 2010 and 2013 (aka 365) are extremely popular you should advise looking into upgrading Office as well as XP.
If you are a business that for some reason refuses to switch to either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 you still may be in luck. For $200 per PC per year, you can pay Microsoft to continue offering support for your business PCs. At this point, however, you’re better off buying a new PC, as Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8.1 has a built in compatibility mode to run programs in Windows XP mode.
I hope that after reading this you are either looking into purchasing a new Windows OS or looking at our TSF build guide for a new PC. As Windows Updates accrue ever second Tuesday of the month, you should enjoy your second-to-last Windows XP update. You can learn everything you need to know about the ending of support for both Windows XP and Office 2003 here.
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