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

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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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I've read the comments & feedback on using XP, not just on this site but others too.

Generally, I believe there's a lot of nonsense talked about the terrible dangers of continuing to use XP, when MS stops supporting it. I've been using it for many years, in my 'triple-boot' PC (Win98SE, XPpro & Win7), on my laptop & Netbook. In all cases, I have disabled Windows updates, as they only serve to fill up the hard drive & slow down a computer. So I have never wanted or needed Windows updates, in spite of all the dire warnings !

Instead, to keep my computers secure, I've made sure I have good security: Zone Alarm firewall, Avast anti-virus updated daily, WinPatrol updated regularly, & the best safe-guard of all, Process Guard - which sadly was never upgraded for Vista, Win7 or 8. I'm really surprised you don't suggest that users of XP should download & install the free Process Guard, as it protects against every kind of attack.

I also only use the latest version of Firefox, with these add-ons: Web of Trust, Avast WebRep, BitDefender Scan, & NoScript. I also use DropMyRights so all browsing & emailing is done as a Limited user.

I've been building, upgrading & repairing computers since the early 1980s, & haven't had a malware attack to date, so I plan to continue using not only Win98SE (of no interest to hackers etc), but also XP for many more years to come! I certainly won't be buying Win8, 9 or 10 etc.

A superb post, well timed and well expressed. For the record: due to a cocked-up Windows Vista 'patch' which Microsoft was never able to sort out, my computer's Windows Vista licence became. . . Unlicensed. So no Windows updates have been possible since 15th December, 2010.

It's now March 4th, 2014. This Dell Studio PC is still functioning perfectly well. It runs, simultaneously, and without any performance impact, Malwarebytes Pro, WinPatrol Pro, and Panda Cloud AV. Tiny Firewall is also operative. I don't open links sent in spam emails and I tread carefully if venturing towards the more dangerous shores of the Net.

My Windows XP laptop is running similar protection to this, with the virtue of being far more up to date, patch-wise. In fact, it's now on XP SP3. On April 9th next, Malwarebytes Pro will not stop functioning. WinPatrol Pro will not stop functioning. Panda Cloud AV will not stop functioning. TinyWall will not stop functioning.

I'll stick with Windows XP, regardless of whether or not Microsoft -- in an act of massive commercial stupidity -- decides to alienate an XP user base that runs into millions worldwide. . .

. . . and regardless, too, of the scare stories about why those who continue to use XP computers are all, somehow, doomed. I don't want a new laptop or PC, don't need a new laptop or PC, and am damned if I should spend even an extra penny just because Redmond says I should. My XP laptop will be around a darn sight longer than Balmer . . .

Over the years I've prolonged the life of a number of old computers using Linux. Currently I have two laptops still in use that way.

So if you have a very old machine running XP that you don't think has the specs for Windows 7 or 8.1, why not consider that option?

To use an analogy that I guess is meaningful only to UK readers, switching to Linux is a bit like going to Aldi after Tesco: you can get most of what you want but most of the brand names are unfamiliar. If you don't use the machine to run any very specific Windows software, then you can still have all the common uses of a typical computer.

I had some problems switching to Linux Mint, but Ubuntu has never given me any problems.

I'd also add that I have two laptops running Windows 8.1 (they both came with v8) and this is truly dreadful after Windows 7. One had to be completely reinstalled after 6 months. Avoid Windows 8 if you can.

I also TWICE had to reinstall windows 8 on my last laptop, bought late June 2013. Counting the two times I upgraded to 8.1, that means reinstalling FOUR TIMES in only a bit more than half a year. Yeah, I do expect more trouble with it..

That's why I keep my stuff on the XP laptop.

@severn:

What in detail is so dreadful about Windows 8? IMO all the dread about Win8 is uninformed hype, sorry!

If you don't know about Classic Shell (or others) I could sort of understand this; but these free programs exist and work well.

Almost ALL of my many dozens of computer illiterate customers with Win8 run it always in desktop mode, they never see the garish Metro interface - or whatever Micro$oft wants us to call it now.

Windows 8 is widely touted as the worst Microsoft OS ever released. I accept that new users will quickly adapt to it but what about the legions of folks like myself with Windows 7 who are expected to pay for it? Makes no sense at all, especially when I have to then spend time installing third party apps and pimping it to achieve what I already have with Windows 7. MC - Site Manager.

Started useing linux mint find i can do most of the tasks that i need running on old lap top 1GB of ram no problems

AS malc_b points out there is too much XP out there now to changeover. I have a machine at work that runs DOS. No way, I would update it. The good news is that Microsoft has changed its mind over killing Windows XP this April and announced it would continue providing updates to its security products such as Microsoft Security Essentials, which will still get updates after full support ends for the operating system until Jult 2015. However, you will not be able to download Microsoft Security Essentials on XP soon so anyone intending to run XP, I would suggest getting MSE now. George. J: At work, we are Microsoft partners, so we get the stripped-down copies, having seen it, I would not get too excited about their free windows_8 product.

This is interesting. My laptop is still running on XP. I am reluctant to change or abandon it, although I have toyed with going over to Linux (of which I have no experience). But my main concern is security. I rely currently on MSE (with MalwareBytes and SuperAntiSpyware as periodic checks). It's good that MSE for XP will be kept updated until July 2015.

But my question now is - will any of the other freeware security programs, like Avast, Avira or AVG, maintain their XP-versions beyond that date? If so, I may want to shift to one of them before the date when MSE-for-XP expires.

This is not a very useful article. Saying "just change to windows 7 or 8" ignores the fact that some hardware is too old to run more than XP and some programs too old to run above XP. In fact what about windows 7 (professional) which came with XP mode. Is XP mode now obsolete? Seems like it is so my main reason for paying the extra for professional windows 7 was just been deleted. Can I have a refund then Micro$oft?

A more useful article would include links to AVs that still run on XP and other programs. That is how to keep XP running safely or how to continue to run XP programs safely.

You really don't understand the reason for XP mode do you? If you have a program that won't run on 7 but it did on XP you could try XP mode and it has a good chance of running. Because XP is being axed doesn't mean that XP mode is also being axed...XP mode isn't XP running within Windows 7. Sure Microsoft would love people to upgrade to newer products because said products could have vulnerability (and NO OS fixes vulnerabilities within a 3rd party program), but on the other hand Microsoft understands that some companies make their own programs or use programs that are now now around anymore so they keep XP mode alive.

You can always Bing or Google Anti-virus, XP 2014 and you may get a list of AV's that will run on XP. But even though you get an AV that will work on XP doesn't mean that there won't be vulnerabilities within XP or other programs that won't support XP that will have vulnerabilities. A client of mine tried to install Chrome on her home XP machine because IE8 was running slow and couldn't, but was able to install Firefox (but for how long will Mozilla continue making Firefox that runs on XP? Will Flash be updated for XP anymore? Companies may not want to continue to put extra resources on to a dead OS and you can't expect Microsoft to keep updating XP forever.

Microsoft has updated XP longer than apple updated any of their older OS'. So get over it.

You say "XP mode isn't XP running within Windows 7". Actually, that's *precisely* what it is. A complete (almost) copy of Windows XP, running as a task within Windows 7. When you're running in XP mode, you're pretty much running a copy of XP, so you need XP-aware security software, antivirus etc for your XP mode IN ADDITION to what you have for the outer copy of Windows 7. When Windows XP goes away, your ability to protect whatever's running in XP mode will diminish, because the software you need to run in order to keep XP Mode secure will start to go away.

I'm sorry but it's you that doesn't understand how XP mode works. If XP is axed then so is XP mode. XP mode is just XP running as a virtual PC in windows 7. Typically the XP desktop is hidden and windows 7 just shows the application window, not the full XP desktop. BUT, XP is there underneath and so should have security patches and AV, especially if the old XP program has internet access.

Since XP mode is part of windows 7 then it should be supported as long as windows 7 is. And if you read the press release given in the article you'll see MS say XP mode will no longer be supported.

I have a feeling that Mirosoft's golden age is over and done with. They absolutely have to do something to get customers back.
But, will we...?

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