Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP, its 12 year old OS, on April 8, 2014. After which, there will be no technical assistance provided, and the automatic updates that protect your PC will stop as well.
According to the latest stats, Windows XP still has a 28.98% market share. That’s a lot of computers running on last-last-last gen OS. The fact that so many users are reluctant to move on for XP means there must be some reason behind it. You can either hold on to XP for as long as you can or move on and embrace the new world of Windows.
If You Plan to Hold On to XP…
Get A Strong Anti-Virus Suite
If you absolutely can’t stop using XP, the first thing you need to do is to protect it from vulnerabilities. After April, MS will stop patching bugs and updating it’s virus database. So now it’s on you. You need to get a solid antivirus program that has internet security and malware protection built it. Something like Kaspersky will do.
Don’t use Internet Explorer
Along with XP, MS will stop updating IE for XP as well. Which means hackers can get into your system easily. The best option is to use something like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. These browsers are updated periodically.
Check Your System
So you’ve decided to finally move on to something better. That is great. But first lets make sure a modern OS like Windows 7 or 8 can run on your system. You can check system requirements here.
Upgrade Your Hardware
Depending on how long you’ve been using your PC, you might need to upgrade some of its components or get a new one all together. Adding extra RAM and can do wonders for your PC.
Windows 7 or 8
Windows 8, with its Modern UI start screen might seem confusing at first. If that’s something you are not willing to learn, see if you can get your hands on a copy of Windows 7. A fresh license of Windows 8 costs $199. Windows 7 is considerably cheaper than that.
Just because XP now only live in your memories doesn’t mean you can’t run essential XP programs. There are many ways to enable XP mode in Windows 7 which allows you to run legacy XP software. Similar solutions for Windows 8 are also available.
Go Open Source
If your personal or business needs are not that specific, you can get by just fine with Linux. Something like Ubuntu is great for starters and it works really well on old computers. You can even ditch MS Office for open source alternatives like LibreOffice.
For Casual Users
Get An iPad Or An Android Tablet
This one is not for the power users or the office workers. This is for your parents and grand parents. They have a decade old PC that gives them new troubles every day which ultimately have to be solved by you. All most of our parents do on PCs is checking mail, connecting it friends and family, watching movies or making a Skype call. All of this can be done from an iPad and it’s actually easier that working with a PC. Get your parents an iPad and say goodbye to getting IT repair phone calls at 7 AM.
You Should Upgrade
We gave you a lot of solutions for this problem but ultimately, if not now then a couple of months later, you’ll have to upgrade. May be it will be because your favorite piece of software doesn’t support XP anymore or may be because your PC got hacked, corrupted all your data and now it just won’t boot. If Microsoft, the multi billion dollar corporation is throwing in the towel, small software makers cannot last that long.