Support ceases for Windows XP

Bill is concerned that he could fall foul to hackers with security updates ceasing.

Support ceases for Windows XP

Microsoft has announced that Windows XP will no longer be supported with updates from 8 April 2014 and Bill wants to know if he needs to upgrade.

Q. Bill

I am a 74-year-old pensioner with a PC running on Windows XP software. I read in a major newspaper that Microsoft will no longer be supporting XP from April 2014 onwards. I do all my banking and bill payments online and am concerned that if I continue to use Windows XP, I could fall victim to hacking.

Can you please look into this and tell me what my options are?

A.

Hi Bill,

You are one of many Windows users around the world who still use Windows XP as their operating system, so you certainly aren’t alone in this boat. I would firstly like to say, this does seem fairly poor practise from Microsoft to suddenly stop supporting a product with security updates. It smells of a company wanting to on-sell a newer version of its product.

Microsoft did report that after 8 April 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates. This does put your computer ‘at risk’ in a sense, but as long as you don’t visit unscrupulous websites, maintain an anti-virus scanner and firewall program and don’t open email attachments or click links from people you don’t know, there is minimal chance that things could go wrong.

If you are still concerned and don’t want to take any risks, you have two main options available. The first is to upgrade to a newer version of Windows. This could be a small upgrade to Windows Vista (you would need to find a friend or family member with a copy), or an upgrade to the latest version of Windows, Windows 8. It is important to realise that Windows 8 has minimum requirements for installation so you should check that your computer is fast enough for this. The second option is to buy a brand new computer. As you are a pensioner, this may not be a viable option for you, or for many other people using Windows XP currently, but you could enquire at Centrelink about programs such as WorkVentures, which allows customers to purchase refurbished PCS, with affordable instalments taken from their pensions.





    COMMENTS

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    Jen
    5th Nov 2013
    9:41am
    XP is still my favourite, though I haven't used it for many years. We seem to be taking steps backwards in some aspects of technology, digital tv being another one (poor reception.)
    dippity
    5th Nov 2013
    11:13am
    I agree Jen, not all "improvements" are progress. I currently use Windows 7 after reluctantly saying goodbye to XP. But the new windows 8 is a scary looking system that I will be dragged to kicking and screaming when this computer dies.
    LENYJAC
    5th Nov 2013
    2:18pm
    AGREE ON DIGITAL TV.. RECEPTION SUCKS????
    NeilC
    5th Nov 2013
    11:02pm
    I've updated to Windows 7 with my most recent PC hardware/software upgrade but now my printer doesn't communicate and the WinHelp stuff also stopped working. Have had VMWare installed to enable the old Win XP to talk to the printer, GREAT STUFF MICROSOFT!! Now the colour laser printer needs a new drum and the cartridges still have over 50% of toner left . . . my dilemma: new printer that talks to W7 or new drum!?
    SALOS Dave
    5th Nov 2013
    12:56pm
    XP was one of the most usable and stable versions of Windows. There is no way that I would advise anyone to go to Vista or Windows 8 on an older machine. Vista is too intrusive and Windows 8 works best on a touch screen. I would look for Windows 7 if you feel uncomfortable with XP (although I will continue using it on one of my computers until it causes problems) and go to Windows 8 if you decide to buy a Windows tablet or new machine.
    Hawkeye
    5th Nov 2013
    3:21pm
    Drew, I thought you were supposed to be the computer expert.
    Why would you tell Bill that his only two options are to upgrade to Vista or Win8. These are Microsoft's failures, and are extremely hard to migrate to from XP.
    Haven't you heard of Win7, which is Vista fixed and simplified, and which is much more likely to run on Bill's XP machine than either Vista or Win8.

    5th Nov 2013
    6:17pm
    Drew's degree is in HR not IT so don't be too hard on him.


    If Bill is primarly using his PC for on line stuff may be best to think of investing in one of thoses cheap chrome books. They are comparable in cost to a Microsoft Operating System upgrade and you get a whole new machine which should work out of the box.
    Plus depending on Bills hardware a Microsoft upgrade may not work and is sure to result in a performance reduction and reliablity problems.

    Of course the zero cost option is Linux but it requires a bit more skill to setup correctly than Microsoft. However if done properly it will get the maximun out of the hardware and can be extremely secure.

    5th Nov 2013
    6:38pm
    sorry Drew

    Drew has a Bachelor of Business, Marketing, Human Resource Management, E-Business from Swinburne University of Technology obtained in 2008

    Not just HR
    iamnotold
    6th Nov 2013
    10:09am
    Ubuntu Linux is a free alternative and the recent versions are much easier to set up than Windows.
    ariescards
    20th Nov 2013
    2:25pm
    Like you I have used Windows XP for years but my daughter bought me a brand new computer with the tower at the back of the screen as a surprise present. The very thought of even taking it out of its box scares the hell out of me. Yet I have been on computers since the 80's. My 11 year old son taught me how to use his Commodore 64 with threat of death if I did ony harm to it. He's now 42. LOL
    I've been told that Windows 7 is the better programme for me, which is on the new computer as Windows 8 caters for all of those technical gadgets the younger people use today that work by touching the icons on the screen. Windows 8 can be adjusted for the keyboard but for what I do, Windows 7 sounds the better for me. I'm told my XP computer is very slow now, so maybe through the seniors groups you could buy a second one for the right price if this is a problem. One thing I will point out as a senior, if you join Facebook, you can never delete from it. They will deactivate your account but it can never be deleted. Personally I stear clear of Facebook, Twitter etc as I prefer emailing to my friends. I hope this information is correct.


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