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Tim Fisher

Still Using Windows XP? Consider Upgrading Soon

By April 16, 2013

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Windows XP Pro BoxshotWindows XP was a hugely successful operating system and is still used by millions of people all over the world. Unfortunately, it's been in use for over 12 years, has been succeeded by three Microsoft operating systems (first Windows Vista, then Windows 7, and then Windows 8), and is approaching its "retirement" of sorts.

When I talk of the "retirement" of Windows XP, I mean the end of support for the product from Microsoft. The self-service Microsoft Support site will still be available for Windows XP (probably forever) but there will be no more free, or paid, support for the product.

In other words, no more security-based updates on Patch Tuesday, no more bug fixes, no more service packs. You're certainly welcome to continue to use Windows XP as long as you'd like but you'll probably find that newer software will be less and less likely to work properly. As many software makers have already done over the past several years, most or all will stop making sure that their product works with Windows XP.

See Microsoft's 365 Days Remaining Until XP End Of Support. The Countdown Begins article from last week for all the technical details.

When Does Windows XP Support End?

Support (security patches, bug fixes, etc.) will end on April 8, 2014. Until then, Windows XP will will still be supported in Microsoft's monthly patches.

What Are My Options?

The easiest option is to do nothing. However, as I mentioned above, you run the risk of a less useable computer as time goes on. You also run the risk of being open to Windows security vulnerabilities that are discovered in the future.

The other option, assuming your computer hardware meets minimum requirements, is to upgrade to a newer version of Windows. Windows 7 or Windows 8 makes the most sense.

I'll be reminding you again here in my blog, and via social networks, as the support-end date approaches.

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Comments
April 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm
(1) carlisjery says:

A veteran is retiiring with all it’s challenges and fun loving command trouble shooting style. It really served well but like his predecessors and other great veteran OS, it must take his last bow and lay to rest. Window XP class, Farewell!

April 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm
(2) Jesse says:

Obviously Microsoft is getting as greedy as the politicians in Washington. Yes, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and 8 are out but they still have problems. Microsoft does not fix their problems but recommends you buy the fixes from one of their lackys. Decent product gone to hell. But that is the American way!

April 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm
(3) mes Maria says:

When I tried Windows 7, I was being forced to give up access to Windowx XP on my laptop. I’m a historian. Some of my documents are still valid yet over 20 years old. I could not use them in Office 7. They were considered suspect. I could not update and save a drug list which originated years ago. I had to “fix” the menu to be able to use it. I can not see menus with backgrounds. I am disabled, using the new “features” were to me a backward step. Basically Windows 7 was not usable for me. I stepped back to XP for a usable system and Office. When my applications break free of Windows, I would prefer to go to Linux systems. Then maybe I will see systems that really support the disabled older user. Today, most of my databases do not support later versions of Windows. I am concerned what will happen to the rest of us who can not use Windows later than XP. I just had my father complain about the spell checker in Windows 8. He could not turn it off nor would it allow him to spell check when HE wanted. So, I am sorry to see the support end. I will have to continue without it. I feel I have no choice.

April 20, 2013 at 6:12 pm
(4) Margaret says:

I am sorry to see XP go away. It has been a good little worker for me all these years.

I do not want to update to a new system. I do not want new bells and whistles, I just want my little puddle jumping computer to keep doing what it has done for me the last 12 years.

I have records on here that will not be compatible with an updated system, how do I keep that information to look at down the road? I still have records on diskettes that I need to see once in a while, This computer has a diskette drive, to update to a new system I have to buy an entire new computer.

Why do updates make everything previous obsolete? How the heck, if we do not keep paper tracking, which is why we had computers in the first place, keep the information we need. Don’t tell me to transfer the information to the new computer. I tried that with the last one I had and I could not get the files to move, neither could a tech person do it for me, they just did not work with one another and I lost quite a bit of information.

It is the same thing with all electronic mediums today. The big companies have planed in the obsolescence to make everyone buy more consumer goods. It stinks. I mean like rotten fish stink, stinks! I am soon turning 60 and I liked it when things worked well together way back when. I liked it when you could use a machine, like a phone for 30 years and it never broke and hey, if they updated it with a new version, it still worked with your old hardware. I wonder what troubles I will be having when I am turning 72 and the new system is then out of date.

Thank you for the heads up. I never would have seen this coming. At least now I will have a year to plan and save for a new computer and a new system. I have an HP Pavilion 553X Pentium 4, and I know that it will never handle an upgrade as the memory is only 36G.

As was once heard in THE WIZARD OF OZ ” What a world, What a world!”

April 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm
(5) Margaret says:

Now a question? How long will windows 7 and 8 be relevant? When did they come out and how much longer is on each??

April 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm
(6) Tim Fisher says:

@Margaret: Windows 7 won’t run into this problem until at least 2020. Based on the way Microsoft seems to be planning on updating Windows 8, I’d guess it will continue to be supported until well beyond 2023.

April 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm
(7) steve says:

There is always Ubuntu, a free operating system. It runs fine on older computers and often the printers, scanners and other hardware that lost support in the MS operating systems will still run quite well.

April 20, 2013 at 9:22 pm
(8) Sobie says:

Just to agree with Margaret……It really stinks…..in our lifetime there have been many wonderful advances in technology but at what cost? We’ve seen many media forms fall into the depths of oblivion and each time, we’ve had to spend our hard earned to upgrade and replace because everything we were used to just disappeared. Let’s see, phone booths, rotary phones, beta max, VHS, laser discs, vinyl LP’s, 8 track tapes, cassettes, UHF & VHF television signals, cable upgraded to HD rendering all 5 of my VHS and DVR machines totally useless. I’m scrambling now to record and convert all my LP’s to MP3′s (cause I’m not sure how much longer CD’s will be around, and my VHS tapes to DVD (or should I go BluRay???????????? Phew! see what I mean? Oh well, that’s life…..I think I now know how my parents and grandparents felt…. Thanks for letting me vent!!!

April 20, 2013 at 10:15 pm
(9) William L Gale says:

you can still run the xp mode in windows 7

April 21, 2013 at 7:12 am
(10) Jack Magurn says:

You should inform readers that not tobuy win 7 or 8 unless the necessary drivers are avaiable from models manu, or else there going to be stuck.

April 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm
(11) VillageElder says:

I switched to Linux years ago to get away from all that Microsoft silliness about “upgrade now, pay more money”. Sure, there was a learning curve to overcome. But I have saved $Thousands$ since and I have never regretted it. The whole Microsoft environment is was too commercialized for serious computer use.

April 21, 2013 at 11:33 pm
(12) Nick Micalone says:

You left out an option that some are considering, namely, Linux, and especially the Ubuntu distro.

As i understand it, Linux is making inroads into the commercial market, especially in mobile devices.

Is it conceivable that Microsoft will go the way of XP?

April 22, 2013 at 8:52 am
(13) raylo92128 says:

Moving to Win 7 or 8, for me, means having to purchase a new printer and scanner, as the units I have now will not be recongnized or suppored. I have had to do this once already. “fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice…”

May 14, 2013 at 1:11 am
(14) Truth says:

Isn’t it ironic that since Microsoft moved on to other OS Windows XP has been running better than ever. The less infringement, harassment, corrupted updates from Microsoft the better.

Good riddance. They should have ended the harassment… I mean support, 10 years ago. It’s long overdue.

May 14, 2013 at 1:18 am
(15) Truth says:

@Nick Micalone says Microsoft wont possibly go the way of XP because they were funded and run by the government. Why do you think Billy Bobs got so rich?

Smart phones are nothing more than an ankle monitor wrapped in a pretty box. I can’t wrap my brain around why in a “free” country people willingly hand over the keys to their lives willi nilly, facebook, twitter, et all

May 14, 2013 at 1:31 am
(16) Truth says:

Sobie and Margaret, you could sell your vhs, dvds etc but you can’t sell digital media and that’s why they did it. Cans used to be cans and you could sell cans for aluminum now theres very little aluminum its mostly plastic or cryshable cardboard drink containers.

Do you think they actually care about the environment? Do they charge you less? nio they even charge you more because its green and people are brainwashed to buy green at a premium. Bottom line they ant to make all the money and dont want you to even sell the can to recover some money back.

That’s why the rich gets richer, then they take from you again and give it to the rich because the rich lost money and we have to pay for their mistakes.

May 20, 2013 at 4:50 am
(17) com. BOY says:

People, there is no need to panic! No need to upgrade to Windows Vista, 7 or 8! No need to buy a new computer!

Just download Xubuntu, a free operating system that can be installed on most computers! It’s actively developed and updated, it’s faster than any edition of Windows, you have little to no viruses without really needing a virus scanner…

It is not very difficult to install:

1. Download Xubuntu from xubuntu.org/getxubuntu . Under “Latest LTS release: 12.04, Precise Pangolin”, click the mirror that’s the closest to you, and then click “PC (Intel x86) desktop CD”. Save the file. Wait until downloading is complete.
2. Download ISO recorder from http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm
3. Grab an empty CD or DVD and put it in your computer.
4. Start up ISO recorder to burn the Xubuntu file on the CD/DVD.
5. After it’s done, restart your PC while leaving the CD/DVD in the drive.
6. If everything goes right, the Xubuntu installer will appear (some errors may appear while loading it, but just ignore them). Just follow the on-screen instructions! It’s not very difficult! You can also try Xubuntu without installing it by clicking the “Try Xubuntu” button in the installer.

You won’t regret installing it! But make sure to have a backup of your files, just in case something goes wrong.

If you have problems with Xubuntu, or don’t understand something, feel free to ask a question on Askubntu.com .

I hope this was helpful!

June 9, 2013 at 12:43 am
(18) Pop Smoke says:

The key to this is how angry is at itself because XP won’t go way. This is not a friendly company and they are very protective of their “right” to push users into upgrades they don’t want or need. The comment above about Office is telling. If MSFT made cars, they would come out with a model that has the gas pedal in the glovebox and then they would charge you for the privilege of putting it back where it belonged! I am retired and as a hobby run a network of 12 computers. All have XP Pro, except for 3. One is a dedicated Win7 which I never use, but spent 100 hours setting up because I was curious. One is OS 10.4 (long story, and it ends in tears). One is a dual boot XP-Win7 and I never use the Win7 partition. Here is the scoop. Use a third party firewall. Use a third party virus and spyware checker. Periodically run Housecall. If you have Firefox, run the add-ons Ghostery and Keyscramber. Use common sense. Use TCPVIEW to see what programs are accessing the net. Periodically run Autoruns to see what is starting up in secret. When all this is done, hunker down and be prepared to run XP until your favorite programs literally won’t run anymore. This may be a few years … or never.

June 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm
(19) Kurt says:

I prefer XP myself and see no reason to ‘upgrade’ as it is all marketing hype and scare tactics to intimidate you to grease Microsoft’s palms.

June 23, 2013 at 9:15 am
(20) Masta666 says:

Don’t upgrade to win 8 it even worse OS then Vista I have use all version of windows. Well 3.1 through 8 I hated Vista and so did most but 8 it like O MY GOD WTF is this shi*. I love XP but when I build my new PC after testing 7 beta I upgraded to 7 and I love it. I bought my mom a new laptop for here birthday it came with 8 I set it up for here I hated it and so do most I pulled out my windows 7 and put it on and got ride of 8

July 5, 2013 at 7:14 am
(21) com. BOY says:

Oops, I should have said Lubuntu instead of Xubuntu.
Installing Lubuntu is the same except for step 1:
Just go to lubuntu.net and click [Download lubuntu (Intel x86) desktop CD].

Oh, and select your language using the arrow keys and Enter when asked at step 6.

Pop Smoke above here said Microsoft is not a friendly company. That’s right. Microsoft is known for being evil. So install Lubuntu :)

Oh, and I made a typo: AskUbntu.com should have been AskUbuntu.com.

July 18, 2013 at 9:50 am
(22) Donco says:

I have ubuntu running on an older HP 630 desktop and it runs just fine. You have to let your inner geek roam free on this and your average bear cannot really make this change nor do they probably want to. Most of them know someone who can help them “fix” windows, but may not be Linux savvy. I also have kubuntu and xubuntu running on a couple of old Toshiba Tecras and they also run fine. I have a laptop running windows xp and recently bought a refurbished Toshiba with Windows 7. I am getting used to Windows 7 and have ironed out some kinks. Using Office Pro 2007 and am resisting upgrading to either of the new ones.

That being said, I do still love Windows XP and will continue to use it on my main writing machine for a long time. For work, alas, I must use Windows 7 and OP 2007.

August 7, 2013 at 7:21 pm
(23) deacon says:

“three successors”?

don’t make us laugh.

Vista was a slug that nobody liked.

Windows 8 is proving to be even less popular than Vista.

That makes Windows 7 the only REAL successor to XP.

XP will eventually become virtually extinct, but it won’t be because of Vista or Windows 8.

Maybe after Windows 9 or !0 come online.

But not before

August 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm
(24) Tim Fisher says:

@deacon: “Successor” simply means to come after – I was just stating fact. Yes, Vista was a disaster, 7 was fantastic, but I’d say the jury is still out on 8, and we’ll see if Windows even makes it to 9 or 10!

August 11, 2013 at 3:49 pm
(25) dj leonine says:

i am a dj from india using the most updated consoles and electronic instruments for my music performance as well as for production.Presently i’m using a mac pro laptop for my day to day purposes.But its been a shame to say that those latest tech machines and virtual applications are not feeding my work properly until i gaze around to my ancient power house OS i.e. Windows XP professional.Although my mac serves every thing what i need to have yet there is always something or the other which makes me use my XP OS.Well i have to say that world have to get thankful to the powerhouse Xp for the reasons that made today s technologies. In India there are still many big business professional houses which are still reliable to xp and same to many peoples among the millions in india.

September 18, 2013 at 8:23 am
(26) Duane says:

I will NEVER upgrade Windows XP. Why? Because it never wears out after 12 years. All Microsoft want you do is keep your computer upgrade by changing motherboards and Memory and CPU so Windows 7 or 8 will work better since it’s larger than XP. Why? Because Microsoft want to make money. See, they make commissions when people buy newer PCs with Windows 8 on it. And then, they will say it’s all old again and that you need to buy another new computer. When is this going to stop? Buying a computer worth a long time investment as much as buying a car that really works. And what about security updates and bug fixes that will become disabled after April of 2014? It’s all a joke and I don’t trust them. I can use anti-virus shield program and comodo firewalls and keep them up to date so that it would stop hackers and virus attacker and have no problem with it at all. I’m using XP 64 bits with 24 gigs, CPU is Core I7 950, and 2TB hdd. I’m so happy with XP because it’s so clear and sharp even at 1280×768 which is what I’m using with my 24 inch Gateway FPD2485W monitor I bought for $700 in 2007. Please do not upgrade. Stay with XP if you can. You should be happy with it.

October 12, 2013 at 2:56 am
(27) eyejack says:

yeah u r righrt i support u duane!
xp is not a thing u should upgrade from

November 26, 2013 at 11:44 pm
(28) Judy says:

Please Help me with this Problem. I am very much an amature in computers. I was having no problems with my computer I had an older printer attached HP1050 the printer was old and didnt work too well any more, So I bought a new one also HP 1050 lazer printer same ink same name. Ok so I deleted the other printer as instructed went through all the steps placed in the disk and the down load was Uncessful so I called a number on the set up instructions and they wanted $200.00 to clean up my system Please help me I am trying to make up my christmas cards and I really need this to work,I just need this printer to work. Thank you

January 17, 2014 at 1:17 pm
(29) Hawkercnc says:

Today someone explained about HyperOS to me. It appears that you can partition a hard drive to run a variety of differing operating systems or mirror your current one. This might mean adding a second drive to the machine, partitioning it and perhaps running 2 copies of your present XP system and of of a later windows perhaps and Ubuntu. The advantage would be that one version of XP could be used for Internet use and the other non-internet for vital data. This would in theory remove the risk of viral attack away from one’s vital data. One could also learn Ubuntu at the same time. Perhaps the sites experts could look at this and see what is feasible. I think that a new drive must be initially partitioned to have multiple partitions. Quite how the existing drive is cloned across is not obvious to me from reading the bumf.

February 19, 2014 at 8:05 am
(30) Allan Wilson says:

WindowsXP was an Upgrade from Windows 2000, how do I know, I use to Beta Test for Microsoft in 2000, then XP and the worst I found was, they would run slower and slower and slower everytime they switched right up to Windows 7 in fact, I hardly use Windows any more, I switched to Mandrake Linux which upgraded to Mandriva which is Mageia Linux now and it’s gotten a little slower but will never be as slow as Windows 7, So far Mageia is the bes operating system I ever had and comes with over 3 gigs of program to choose from right off the dvd while installing it and it explains exactlly what these programs can do and you can even install them after the installation and get a better explanation on what they can do if you don’t know already, I will never go back to Windows at all. I like fast computers without having to buy another on just to keep up with Windows and it’s very large file updates that is even very hard and slow to do, Linux Wins!! Nodoubt in my mind and I’ve been using computers since they hit the street and I’m 55 years old now and will never go back to Windows!!
Allan Wilson

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