On 8th April 2014, Windows XP reached its “End of Life”. This meant that Microsoft stopped providing security updates or technical support for Windows XP, which instantly made the system vulnerable to a huge array of new threats. Indeed, almost immediately, scams and fake software updates began to and continue to plague XP users.
Just as importantly, not only did Windows XP machines start becoming less and less compatible with newer devices, most software makers have now also stopped ensuring that their product works with Windows XP. In fact, only last week Windows XP users have been reporting that after signing out of iTunes they’re no longer able to get back in. Although as yet unconfirmed by Apple, this is probably due to an upgrade in the way the iTunes App securely communicates with the iTunes Store. Furthermore, although Google extended support for Chrome on Windows XP after Microsoft stopped issuing security patches on XP, it has been announced that this support will cease at the end of 2015.
Users who ignore the warnings and continue to run Windows XP are playing a very risky game. Unfortunately, this irresponsibility then becomes everyone else’s risk because their systems end up hosting and distributing malware and viruses. Continuing to use Windows XP on the public internet is very much like going out in public with a virus and coughing on people.
So what should you do if you are still using an XP machine? The best tip I can offer is to run as far away as you can from this insecure, creaky and obsolete operating system. There are 2 basic options for switching to a more secure and less outdated operating system: 1) upgrade your existing computer or if your existing computer is too ancient to upgrade, 2) buy a new or second hand one.
Upgrading to a Windows 8 PC is the best option however can be a little pricey for some. In which case, buying a 2nd hand Windows 7 computer is the next best option.
The advantage of upgrading your operating system or buying a new one is that later this year Microsoft will offer free upgrades to Windows 10 for Windows 8.1 users and then for Windows 7 users. (Please note that the free upgrade is only available for the first year the software is available). Although no exact date has been given, Microsoft has confirmed a summer 2015 launch for Windows 10 in the UK.