Still on Windows XP? Here’s Some Bad Advice
Windows XP is dying. On April 8, Microsoft will stop supporting the ancient operating system that was released in 2001 — and at one point was used by 400 million people.
Bill Gates introducing Windows XP in October, 2001. Photo: Getty Images.
You might think that an operating system that was actually engineered in the late 90s would be fully obsolete and unused by now. After all, since XP came out, Microsoft has released several major replacement versions: Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 (recently upgraded to Windows 8.1).
But there’s something about Windows XP. It’s basic, stable, fast enough, and good enough for a lot of people. It’s still running on more than 10 percent of the world’s computers, and it’s huge in China.
Still, it’s time. It’s hard to keep an operating system this old up to snuff in today’s online environment. XP works, but it’s not built to the same security level as modern operating systems. Microsoft doesn’t want to keep writing new security upgrades for it, so on April 8, it’s stopping. No more security updates. No more support. Your XP computer will still work, but Microsoft won’t help you anymore. Microsoft is pretty harsh about it: “XP cannot be considered safe to use after support ends.”
Microsoft urges you to upgrade. There’s even a site that tells you when your XP world will end: AmIRunningXP.com. Microsoft also has more info on what "end of support" means. To be fair, moving off XP would be a smart thing to do. Newer operating systems are easier to use (at least most of them), they run the cool new apps, and they’re definitely safer. But how do you move from an old computer that’s running XP into the modern era? I’ve heard a lot of advice on how to make the transition. Not all of it good. Here are your options. Bad ideas first:
The Windows XP desktop you may know and love.
Bad idea #1: Just don’t worry about it
It’s not like Windows XP computers will magically stop working on April 9. So don’t worry about it; just keep on using it.
Why is this a bad idea? The problem with an old operating system is that it’s not up to speed with modern attacks. Operating systems need to be patched (updated) frequently to keep them safe from data thieves, scammers, viruses, and the like. After April 8, there will be no more updates coming.