If You're Using Windows XP You Need To Read This


On April 8th, Windows XP officially becomes an ex-product.  Microsoft will no longer support it, or offer security patches for it, or provide updates for its Security Essentials product running on XP.  In addition, because Windows XP will no longer be an official product, other software companies will be under no obligation to support it, and it will become progressively harder to find programs and device drivers for it.

If you're still running XP, it's a good idea to think about replacing it before April 8th, or as soon as possible after.  This means upgrading your PC, or at least your version of the operating system, either to 7 or to 8.1.

Check out Vic's handy story at http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/changing-windows-xp-free-help-mi... which provides details of a program that can help you migrate your files.  And you can read the official Microsoft death certificate at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/endofsupport.aspx



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XP can still serve a few more years. It's just about avoiding weak spots.

1. Uninstall MS Office, replace with a free office suite. Kingssoft Office and SS Office suite (from ssofficesoft.com) do not require java or .NET to run.
Geek uninstaller (geekuninstaller.com) is a handy tool to install without having lots of remains.

2. Replace os embedded email client (if using it) with Thunderbird.

3. Retire Internet Explorer, go for Firefox. Or Chrome (I have SRware Iron in addition to Firefox). I've only used Explorer once a month the past 11 years: When visiting windows update. Internet Explorer cannot be uninstalled but, can be tamed a bit by going to options panel, changing days-to-keep-in-history to 0, etc.
Unfortunately, IE serves as a search hook when using other browsers; Microsoft wants to log our whereabouts on the net. Daily runs of CCleaner will remove logs and surf clutter.

4. Remove Java unless you are sure you absolutely need it. Most of us do not need Java at all. If you do run some software that does require Java to be installed, then maybe it's time to look for a non-Java alternative?

5. Entirely remove .NET framework, all it's editions. Do any of us really need .NET?

6. Why would Microsoft take steps to make sure MSIE still protects us stubborn XP users? That's bad for business! Replace with Avast, Avira or any other free AV with good detection.

7. The same goes for the firewall. The embedded XP firewall was *perhaps* good enough until April 2014... A better two-ways firewall being updated will protect XP.
Privacyware's Privatefirewall and Comodo will still support XP.

8. Use another free media player. I last used Windows Media Player around the turn of the century. VLC is a good replacement and, there are other alternatives.

9. One also needs to go through the service panel and shut down every unneeded service running. A properly configured XP runs much more smoothly than win7 and win8.1. Windows update can be permanently disabled from April 2014.

The only reason to buy a new computer is to get newer and better hardware, imo.
Nevertheless, my good old XP dating back to Feb. 2007 is still my favorite and my main computer (laptop), much better than win7 (2011) and MUCH better than win8 (2013). I originally intended to make the last one (win8) become my main laptop - BUT, soon found out that I much preferred my good 8 year old and aging XP :)

Very good post, esme... congrats! :-)

Quoting your own words, let me put focus in one of the most important things around this subject:

"A properly configured XP runs much more smoothly than win7 and win8.1."

Any system well configured and correctly used runs more smoothly, more protected and with more security. The keyword is: KNOWLEDGE. Or education, by extension.

The Windows updates are not neither never were the most important thing to ensure protection and security.

There are four old laptops and two old desktops in our household, all running XP with no problems. Obviously they won't run Windows 8 (they are all over 7 years old). Even The cost of Windows 7 is more than each is worth.

It is unethical to send perfectly serviceable equipment to landfill. I will keep my browsers and antivirus updated and stick with XP!

I don't blame you at all! So long as you're sensible, you should be OK.

This might be a small point, but I get tired of hearing that April 8th is the drop-dead date. On April 8 (Patch Tuesday), Microsoft will release its final set of patches & updates for Win XP. It is the NEXT Patch Tuesday (May 13th) that Win XP users will start to feel the effects of no more support. There won't be any updates on that Patch Tuesday as there always used to be.

Yes, I know, Microsoft sometimes issues out-of-cycle patches, and these will stop as of April 9th. But for all practical purposes, XP is likely to run just as well on May 12th as it does on April 7th. And if you are the type of person that doesn't apply updates right away, that May 13th date will come and go without fanfare.

Of course, the older XP gets, the more vulnerable it becomes since it won't be updated to account for new exploits. And as Rob said, other software vendors will cease their support XP. I still use XP. I don't really want to spend $$$ replacing a system that still works reasonably well. It's not just the OS. I'll need a whole new PC and printer/scanner at minimum. Plus the time to migrate everything I have to the new system, and to go through all the set-up BS, and to learn yet another way of doing things in the new OS. I'm sure many other people are in the same position. I'm going to hold out as long as I feel comfortable, and I think I ought to be good through the 2nd quarter of this year, at least.

my biggest gripe with LINUX is the hassle of trying to get my
3 computer home network working.
That is....until I tried ZORIN OS. WOW ! No more complaints
there! I selected the option to run Zorin next to winXP.
That is the EASIEST program to setup and use immediately.
So I said...what about my windows software?...setup the "Wine" program and now run my windows software...no problem.

So I now have XP as a backup & Zorin to surf on the net. cool.

Good point. Configuring my two network connection types is always a bit of a lottery when I'm trying out different Linux systems. Worse still, I sometimes lose this ability after an update but thankfully this is rare. Overall though, most of the well known distros new migrants from Windows might be interested in all connect to both my DSL and mobile broadband accounts. Zorin of course was designed specifically to be a Windows replacement and is certainly worthy of consideration. There's even a "lite" version for lower powered machines and no doubt a new LTS release is not far off. MC - Site Manager. http://zorin-os.com/ http://zorin-os.com/free6.html

If you're browsing on the web via XP, now might be a good time to start using Sandboxie.

This article is partially incorrect. Its states that MS will no longer "provide updates for its Security Essentials product running on XP." This is incorrect. Microsoft announced in mid-January that it would continue to provide Security Essentials updates on XP through July 14, 2015:


Do I think that is reason enough to stay with XP? No. But the article needs to accurately reflect the current state of affairs.

Thank you for the info, rob! And for all of you who posted so good opinions here, of course! ;-)

But I make mine the words of Niloc214 (below)... almost all of those words! :-)

Just reinforcing with another words: keeping the Windows systems updated is NOT a must.

It is not neither NEVER was. That is: the fact of M$ is giving the back to XP is not a REAL threat.

Hallelujah, No more annoying XP updates!

And now, just annoying Win7 or Win8 updates!... With Microsoft, there's no escaping it.

There is a plus to hanging on to XP. Hackers will give up on it. Not enough targets for their sick sport.

I have a computer at a summer cabin. XP will continue to run it as its only use is for media files and existing games; no net access.

If it aint broke, don't fix it.

"There is a plus to hanging on to XP. Hackers will give up on it. Not enough targets for their sick sport."

Quite the opposite, I think. XP systems are still roughly 28% of online Windows users. People with XP who do not upgrade are easier marks; they are, as a rule, less technically inclined.

All XP users are not a technically illiterate grandma and grandpa, but the technically illiterate grandma and grandpa are more likely to use XP than anything else. And technically illiterate grandma and grandpa who use their XP box to buy things from Amazon for their grandchildren have money in the bank, and their credit card info is probably in their browser.

They are, simply put, high value targets.

And hacking is no longer a "sick sport". I read an article a while back showing that something like 97% of the hacking that the security outfits are seeing is coming not from kids in basements, but from organized crime.

If you're running an XP box with no network connectivity, sure, there's no issue. The same is true if you're running Windows 2.0, too. But if you're on the net, that's a different story.

Even the best firewall programs can not stop virus/malware getting into a WIN XP machine that does not have the latest security patches from Microsoft.
So when Win XP support ends and no security patches are issued this will open up an XP machine
to numerious virus and malware attacks.

I would strongly suggest that XP users who do not want to switch to WIn 7 or 8, Change to a Linix based system. Why do this ? The most popular distributions Like Mint and Unbuntu are free. Mint 13 the mate edition has a 5 year support cycle, after that you can do a free upgrade to the latest long term support edition. Mint has the same look and functionalty as Win XP. Mint comes with Libre Office the equivelant of MSoffice.

If you want a Mac like interface try Unbuntu it has the same features as Mint along with excellent support for new users.

So let's say you have to use a program that requires WIn XP. You can run WIn XP in a program called vitural Box (VB) on your Linix based computer. It like running a one program inside another.
VB is free program with lots of easy to read documentation.

Thanks for Reading my post....Jim

Jim, if you run XP within VirtualBox (or any other virtual environment) you're no more secure than if you were running it natively.

Regarding switching to Linux it's worth noting that the Long Term Support (LTS)Ubuntu/Xubuntu (where I'll continue) /Lubuntu 14.04 release date is April 17th. Looks like it will be supported for five years.
@Guys and Gals, thanks for the usual excellent contributions! :)

How easy is it to find and install programs for Mint?
I dabbled with Linux on an old laptop for a time but it just didn't seem as user-friendly as Windows.

I would be willing to give it a go again. How geeky do you need to be to become proficient with Mint?

mint comes with a software manager
on my 64bit pc there are 64000 available packages
see screen shot http://pix.toile-libre.org/upload/original/1394001127.jpg

once you have your choice selected its done automatically

suggest you use virtual box to trial what you need /like

Really for me mint with mate desktop is the most user friendly.
I installed it on my wife's new laptop without saying anything and she didnt bat an eyelid.(she is not pc literate, in the sense she cant sort out issues, be it windows or Linux or android phone. (which by the way is linux under the hood)

I'm stuck at Windows XP because an application we use is not compatible with 7 or 8 (even on the compatibility mode it has weird bugs). So until we can develop one (not in near future) I need some temporary solution. So my current solution is to "freeze" the OS using Windows SteadyState (free, or you can use paid one like Deep Freeze).

Please note that Windows SteadyState for Windows XP is discontinued too. You may need Google to find one, or pm me if you can't find one.

I too have, for the past year, trying to wean myself off XP - both personal and business. Installation issues of old (really old!) favorite programs
(late '90's !) had a great breakthrough for me yesterday.
In those days, the only real internet connection program for software developers was Internet Explorer. The key point is that it is embedded in the original windows platform - not deletable - so all of the "updates" etc are "on top" of the original Windows (and Dos) programming.
IE 9, IE 10, and especially IE 11 upgrades have "disabled" many of the earlier IE's abilities to handle old programs when they "upgrade" -- and their "Compatibility Centre" does not address the real issues - like being able to utilize the early 16 bit installers
Solution ? Revert back to (at least) IE 8, by going to Uninstall Programs in Control Panel -- extreme top left is "view installed updates"
Open and uninstall the IE 11 "update" (or lower). Reboot and the complete lower IE is available. Repeat - until you show IE 8 as operational. Now load your "stuff" and after installation, you can upgrade back up to IE 11

Robolinux has a no muss/no fuss virtualisation mode for running Windows in a virtual machine.

I haven't tried it myself (yet) but it apparently works quite well.

Might try that.

To get the full features, as I understand it, Robolinux is not free. You have to "donate" to get the VM installers. MC - Site Manager.

Yeah, that's true. Hadn't thought about that.

I have the same issue. But i converted all my machines to linux mint as well as pc illiterate wife. we both lovin it. as for the stuck program. install oracle virtual machine. I have it (windows) in a saved state with the prog i use running. to start it (windows) takes approx 6 secs. and u wont know the difference.

I've successfully converted machines to Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Bodhi, openSuSE, and Puppy. At work I collaborate with guys still stuck on Windows 7 or XP, no problems. My 7 year old machine with Mint Cinnamon does all I need to do (presentations, movie editing, Gimp).

So don't complain about buying new PCs or how terrible Windows 8 is. Pay up or convert to Linux. You have a choice.

Hasta la Vista, Microsoft!

I totally agree. I am happy I have exactly done that - Linux Mint on one machline and CentOS on another. I wish I had done it long back. I still use Win XP for of-line work for applications I got used to for quite some time. Those who are hesitating to move to Linux for any reason must give it trial.
Ultimately you would like it.

Good points (vandamme). I have an old desktop that Windows of any description will not run on and yet an old version of Bodhi installed two years ago and runs error free so I left it alone. My two working desktops are both dual booted with Windows7/Linux. One has SuperX and the Other Centrych. My laptop is low end and maybe not suited to KDE so I have this dual booted with the W7 Starter it came with and Trisquel. Obviously my personal solution and won't be shared by everyone but nothing ventured etc., and maybe this could be an opportunity for a few others to experiment? We have quite a few Linux related threads in the forum if anyone is so inclined to dabble and needs advice. MC - Site Manager. http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/linux/