R.I.P. Windows XP – How Microsoft ending support for Windows XP and Office 2003 could affect you.
Well for a start if you are using Windows Vista, Windows 7 or the newest Windows 8 operating system then nothing here relates to you and you can carry on using your PC for many years to come. However if you use Windows XP then hopefully we can help you understand what is going to happen and how it affects you.
When Microsoft released Windows XP in 2001, no one could have predicted that it would still be in use today on many PC’s especially as it is over a decade old. Windows XP has remained popular because it was stable, fast, powerful, and relatively simple to use. What’s more, many people still run XP simply because that is what they got when they bought their last PC.
But everything must eventually come to an end and for Windows XP and Office 2003, that date is April 8, 2014.
What does that mean for people still using XP?
In the case of Windows XP, “end of life” signifies the end of Microsoft support for everything; from new updates, security patches and customer support.
So how does this affect you as “end of life” sounds pretty final, well the good news is that your XP computers will still continue to work after April 8, 2014. However, there will be no security updates from that point forward. Any security flaws exposed by hackers will no longer be fixed. Additionally, once Microsoft stops supporting XP, it is likely other software companies will follow the trend with their own products and eventually newer versions of the software you use, may no longer work in XP. For some products this may not be a problem, but in areas such as accounting or payroll for example this may become a problem for you as updates are released.
What if I continue to use XP once support has ended?
Because it will still operate after April 2014, you will still be able to use XP, but it will be at your own risk. Third party security software from anti-virus companies will provide some additional protection, but as time goes by even this software may be unable to protect you. Additionally browsing the internet will become more difficult as the last version of Internet Explorer that runs under XP is version 8. Some websites are already using features that do not display well in that version, but some of this can be overcome by switching to a more modern browser that still supports XP such as Google Chrome or Firefox, but how long these products will continue to fully support XP is not yet known.
If you continue to use XP for now our advice is to start planning to upgrade, this does not need to be done immediately on April 8th but at a timescale to suit you.
If your PC is also nearly as old as XP itself, then we also strongly advise that it is time to buy a new PC rather than just upgrading your operating system and software to new versions as it is unlikely to run well on a PC that old even if it is compatible. A PC that old was not designed to meet the needs of more modern software and often came with insufficient memory or processing power to support the features a more modern operating system requires.
Remember don’t panic, if you’re happy to continue using Windows XP in spite of the above changes everything will continue to work as it did before April 8th.
But if you have been thinking it’s now time to let XP and your old computer rest in peace, we can help you to transfer of all your documents and images to the new PC and setup your email account and all the other tasks that an upgrade requires. If you are one of our annual support customers we would be happy to transfer your current support contract over to your new PC so that you are covered for any issues you may have during the initial set up from day one. As always if you are unsure about any aspect then, Contact us here at Tec Tamers. Where we can help you assess which options are right for you.
As always, Tec Tamers are happy to provide advice. Contact us or call us on 0800 880 6609.