I think the trouble with buying any new type of technology, whether it is the latest phone, tablet, television, or computer system, is the second you take the technology from the shelf, software developers are a day away from announcing another updated version. And it’s happened again. In case you haven’t heard the news, Microsoft has announced there will be no further technical assistance for the Windows XP system as of April 8, 2014.
Since this includes the automatic updates that help protect your PC, what does this mean for those of you in this predicament? Do you still have any sort of options, or do you need to go spend a couple of paychecks to ensure reliability?
First off, will your computer still work after April 8, 2014? Of course it will! It just means that you will be more at risk for security threats and viruses. As with everything, this also means that future products and applications will most likely not be compatible with the software. Meaning you will be stuck with what you have in place if you don’t purchase something more functional.
How do you stay protected?
One option is that you can upgrade your current computer system. Not all older computers are going to be compatible with this option (Windows 8), and there is a Windows Upgrade Assistant on the Microsoft site that can be run to see if your PC meets the minimal requirements. Another option is to use Laplink, a free data migration solution, to move all of your old files to a new operating system. The following link will tell you more on how to go about either option.
As for web browsers, Google Chrome will continue supporting Windows XP until at least April 2015, while Mozilla Firefox has no announced plans to stop supporting Windows XP. If you need to, make the switch to Google Chrome or Firefox and you’ll have a secure, modern browser.
Is it time to move on?
Everyone is different, and has different needs and different budgets. My best advice is to log onto the Microsoft website and start reading some tutorials on what the most efficient and practical options are for you.
On the bright side, it can be really fun to go out and buy something new with unique upgrades! Heck, Microsoft has provided support for the XP system for 12 years now, and there is a whole new world out there. There are touch screen monitors and options that turn a tabletop computer into a tablet. New innovative programs and applications are always a learning adventure!
If you feel that you can’t afford a new computer at this time, then maybe an upgrade is your future. Google the nearest tech store and go discuss options with the experts. The nice thing is that there are always financing options and we are in the season of tax returns...a new computers can be a fun reward for all your hard work in 2013!
If you haven’t done so already, you still have time to get your research on! Take some time in the next month or so and explore your options. Talk to your IT Department and pick their brains on what your options might be at this time. Just remember, the world isn’t ending and you always have options in situations like these. Stay calm and start considering what the best choices are going to be for the next 12 years of computer technology support.