Windows XP: End of Lifetime – Now what?


With this post I would like to provide some answers regarding some essential questions around the “Windows XP – End of Lifetime” topic.

There’s a lot of information all over the internet, so don’t expect any “new findings” or “hidden secrets”.

If you are not an IT specialist, but simply would like to figure out what your options are, then this post is for you. Also, feel free to ask questions in the “Comments” section at the end of this post. I will do my best to answer all questions you might have.

I will keep these posts fairly simple. The purpose is not to go into technical background information (“Bits and Bytes”). Instead, I rather want to provide a simple guideline for a non-technical audience.

Will Windows XP stop working?

No, computers running on Windows XP will not suddenly stop working, but Microsoft does not provide any more Windows Updates for Windows XP. Over time, this will make Windows XP more and more vulnerable against viruses and other types of malware, but it will not just stop working.

Can I keep using Windows XP?

If your computer is connected to the internet (permanently, or even just sometimes), then you should definitely move away from Windows XP. Only in the (rare) case that your computer is literally never connected to the internet, then you could keep using Windows XP without any risk.

I’m using a software that only runs on Windows XP. What can I do to make it more secure?

In case you have some software that only runs on Windows XP, and you are positive that you can not replace XP by any other operating system, then you should at least take the following precautions (especially when the computer is sometimes or permanently connected to the internet).

Antivirus

You need to have a powerful antivirus program installed. A very good free option is the powerful
Bitdefender Free Antivirus.

For increased security, you may want to consider to purchase a license. Please find here a Bitdefender product comparison.

Before purchasing anything, feel free to consult us regarding your options.

Firewall

You also need a firewall up and running. At the very least, make sure that your Windows firewall is up and running. However, for increased security, I recommend the
Comodo Firewall.

There is a free and a paid version, the Comodo homepage provides some information regarding the differences. In case you are in doubt, please feel free to consult with us.

How can I upgrade to Windows 7, or Windows 8?

Windows is not legally available for free. So if you would like to upgrade your Windows, one way or the other you will have to purchase a new Windows version. If your current computer is still powerful enough, you could purchase Windows 7 or Windows 8. You can simply purchase it in a computer store (Like Futureshop, Canada Computers, and many others), or you can purchase it online. A simple Google Search will provide many options.

However, you actually may want to consider purchasing a new computer at this point. For a few hundred dollars you can get very powerful desktops, and even laptops. If you are unsure what to get, I gladly assist to help you narrowing down the selection. Please note that most computers are currently sold with Windows 8, not with Windows 7 anymore. If you don’t like the new tile layout of Windows 8, there’s actually a very simple way to make it look like Windows 7, Vista, or even XP. All you need to do is to download and install the free little program Classic Shell. This program can make Windows 8 (and Windows 7) look like Vista, or XP.

Are there alternatives to Windows?

Absolutely. Of course, there’s Apple’s Mac. But you also might have heard of “Linux”, which is a freely available operating system. Linux is much more secure than any Windows version, and yet it’s absolutely free. When you are new to Linux, you may find an overwhelming number of different Linux versions (so called “distros”), like Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian etc. If you have no interest in getting involved much with details, and all you are looking for is a replacement for Windows, then I’d like to recommend Zorin 8.

If you are interested in testing Zorin (or any other Linux version), this can easily be done. The entire operating system can be booted from a DVD, allowing you to test it to your liking, without installing it on your computer. Once you found the Linux version of your choice, it can be easily installed on your computer. And even better, if you are not sure if you really want to give up Windows, you can have both Windows and Linux installed on one and the same computer. When you turn it on, you can then simply select if you would like to boot into Linux, or into Windows.

If you have any questions, please just post them below in the comments, or contact us on our contact page.

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