Gentle Nudge to all you procrastinators: Windows XP support ends next week – April 8, 2014

By Sandra Clitter  

Oh, my…where on earth does the time go? Sorry I’ve been AWOL, but first the holidays hit, then the winter that wouldn’t end, and before you know it, the calendar turns to April. Wow.

This is a quick, gentle reminder to everyone who is still nursing along an old Windows XP machine and doesn’t want to get rid of it…Next Tuesday, April 8th, 2014, Microsoft will officially stop supporting Windows XP. Does this mean that your computer will cease to work on that date? No. That said, you should be contemplating upgrading (if your hardware is newer) or replacing (if your hardware is older) for a variety of reasons.

In effect, this is a mini-Y2K.

Why do you care, you ask? Here are my (unofficial) thoughts:

1. The world if full of hackers…they are looking for ANY and EVERY opportunity to abuse technology. Once Microsoft stops ‘plugging the holes’, the hackers will just trawl the internet looking for computers connected to the internet that are running Windows XP. They’ll hack into those machines (because no one is trying to stop them any more) and either steal your information OR use your computer as a stepping stone to do their nefarious business on other computers.

2. Software that you have installed on your XP machine will no longer be upgraded/supported on the current operating system. If something goes wrong, you’ll be left on your own to recover from it.

3. Certain program warranties (e.g. credit card processing software) will not be warranted/protected/insured on an XP machine. If you suffer a theft/loss of data, it will be on you with no recourse to the merchant processor.

4. If your XP machine is newer, upgrade to Windows 7 (available from Microsoft resellers) or Windows 8.1 (after checking to make sure the system requirements are adequate). That will breath additional life into your machine for under (typically) $150.

5. If your XP machine is older, well…perhaps it is time for it to retire. Wipe your machine of any data, and dispose of it in an eco-friendly manner. Seriously, if you’ve gotten 5+ years off of your computer, it’s given you all that it has :-).

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to the ‘Why didn’t I…’ curse!

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