An End to an Era: Options for Microsoft Windows XP Users

FOX 17 NEWS (April 6, 2014) – As of April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP, almost 13 years after its release. This means there will be no updates or security patches for the operating system, and any problems with go unfixed.

“It’s just a matter of if antivirus software are going to be able to protect the holes in the operating system. So that’s the big thing. It’s not like come the eighth you have to change everything over, everything has to be done by that date, everything will work perfectly fine the eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh; just the increased risk of vulnerabilities are going to continue to grow and grow and grow,” said Casey Cochran, owner of Imperial Computer Solutions.

Cochran says antivirus software will continue to support Windows XP through 2015, but he says going online on a computer that still uses XP will be a problem: the computer will be much more susceptible to viruses, and the OS will not support new versions of Internet Explorer. However, Cochran added that Chrome and Firefox internet browsers will still support Windows XP until 2015.

“So you might go to your Yahoo Mail and you won’t be able to see the inbox, because they’re not supporting that browser anymore because they’re on Internet Explorer 10 or 11 or whatever the case is,” said Cochran.

Cochran says it costs about $130 to back-up your computer’s data and purchase a Windows 7 OS, otherwise he says it’s about $200 to buy a reconditioned computer that’s a few years old.

To see if your computer can handle an upgrade, first go to the start menu, then right click on “my computer,” then click on “properties.”

“If you have 2 gigs of RAM and you have what says here an Intel Core 2 Duo, if you have those two combinations, you can easily upgrade the machine, you don’t have to replace it,” explained Cochran.

Other than the average household user, many businesses rely on Windows XP. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, about 95 percent of the ATM’s in the world run on Windows XP. Bloomberg says most banks have a plan to upgrade the software, but it will still take up to several years.

For now, remember some of your home options.

“Your best bet again is to back up the data and then start new, or go to a reconditioned machine or just replace the machine,” said Cochran.

If you plan on buying Windows 7 or 8 and upgrading your computer at home, remember to first back-up your data, like documents and pictures, on an external hard-drive or thumb drive. Then load Windows and import all of your saved data from the hard-drive back onto your computer.

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