Ask Deemable Tech: Support For Windows XP Is Ending Soon
It’s estimated that nearly 500 million people around the world use the Windows XP operating system on their computers. If you’re one of those people, you need to be aware of an important change coming soon from Microsoft.
On April 8, 2014, the software giant will end their support for Windows XP. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that your computer will suddenly stop working on April 9. It will, however, start to be a lot riskier to keep using.
Windows XP was released in 2001, and because of its worldwide popularity Microsoft has continued to support it with updates, bug fixes and security patches for the past 13 years. As the company begins to focus on newer versions of the Windows operating system, they’ve decided to stop releasing these updated security patches for XP. This means that there will be nothing to guard you from hackers finding new ways to break into computers running XP and stealing personal information from victims.
Now, the chances are that your copy of Windows XP will still be relatively secure on April 9, but that will change as it gets older and older. To protect yourself, we recommend that you upgrade your operating system. Microsoft, of course, is happy to help, and have created a page with all of the information you’ll need to know. There, you can download a program that will check your PC to see if it is compatible with Windows 8.1, the latest version of Windows.
You may have heard about Windows 8 getting a bad rap due to a new interface and the fact that initial versions didn’t include the classic Start Menu so many of us know and love. But the truth is that you can still run the classic Windows desktop in Windows 8, which looks and feels a lot like what you’re used to.
We should note that upgrading to a new operating system will cost money, and that an upgrade to Windows 8.1 costs $199. That’s a lot, and that’s the reason most people buy a new computer with Windows already installed on it. In fact, you can get a new Windows 8 computer for as low as $249.
If those options sound too pricey or if you’re just not ready for Windows 8, we recommend checking out Windows 7. Microsoft has stopped selling it officially, but you can still buy copies of the home version from many third party vendors like Best Buy and Amazon.com for around $100. It is a great operating system, and we would go as far as to say it’s the “new” Windows XP in terms of it being easy to pick up and use.
Whatever you decide to do, you need to start taking steps to update that old copy of Windows XP right now. Having an outdated, unsecured operating system might cost you more than any new one ever could.