It has been announced time and time again, but still Windows XP is still running on about 28% of computers worldwide. Launched over 13 years ago, Windows XP has been a hugely successful and popular operating system for business and personal users. It has served well and will be remembered as an iconic piece of software of its time.
Death Of An OS
An operating system as popular as Micosoft’s Windows XP does not simply die an instant death just because a new version is out. In fact, several newer and more powerful versions of the OS have been released since XP, including the latest Windows 8, however users resist change and tend to stick to what works and what they are used to.
In today’s connected age, the Internet truly kills off old software when its vendor stops releasing updates and patches. When this happens, users that keep using the software are exposed to critical security and other issues, putting their data and privacy at risk. This has effectively happened for Windows XP as Microsoft announced the release of the final update on April 8, 2014.
What To Do About It
If you are stilling using Windows XP at home or the office, its is time to move to a newer edition. No doubt, there is some learning and installation to go through, however this will ensure that your workstation works well into the future.
Between now and the day you migrate to the newer version you should take some easy steps to minimize your risk:
Plan you migration
Spend a little time choosing and obtaining license for your next platform. This may take a little more than you imagine since it may depend on the software you wish to run and compatibility with the various editions and hardware.
Just like Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 which runs on XP has reach the end its life. You should therefore switch to a supported alternative browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox. This will ensure that you still get the security updates for your web browser. You can go back to a newer version of IE once you change your OS.
Users of the old IE8 will immediately notice major visual and other improvements when browsing the web with one of the more modern web browsers. Development of old IE8 browser has stopped several years ago and since then the web has moved on. You are therefore missing out on much of the new features and will discover a whole range of exciting new things you can do on the newer browsers.
Once you are considering moving away from your beloved Windows XP, you may also take a moment to consider moving to a non Microsoft product such as Apple Mac or Linux. This will make the learning curve steeper and the migration or data and applications harder, however it may have some surprising benefits too. Its worth a thought.
Although you should already be doing this, taking regular backups becomes even more essential at this time of change. Whether you are recovering from a hardware failure or s virus infection, backups may be the only way to restore and recover your critical data. You will also need these to restore your files one the new OS since you will want to start off by wiping out your old system to install the freshly chosen OS.