April 8th, 2014, Windows XP support ends. What does this mean?
This means that all Security Updates and phone support will not be continued making it much easier for hackers, and viruses to access your information. Small and Medium sized businesses have relied on these Operating Systems since 2001, and just like your classic 1968 Dodge Charger there is no more support provided by the manufacturer. You can find other anti-virus programs such as Malwarebytes which will be able to provide a certain amound of protection. When Windows XP support ends IT support will be much more difficult. WIll it affect you? Let’s get started!
Windows XP Mode
On many editions of Windows 7 with 64 bit processors you are able to use a program called Windows XP Mode. This program allows you to essentially run a virtual copy of XP within Windows 7 in order to utilize your old XP-only programs. It may not work for every XP program, but it is a great free tool when you buy any copy of Windows 7 except for the Home Premium edition. This could ease the process if you are having trouble migrating to Windows 7 altogether.
No Security Updates
When Windows XP support ends there will be no more security updates to protect against harmful activity on our PC. In terms of maintenance alone, for making the transition to Windows 7, most notably that Windows 7 is said to increase productivity by up to 7.8 additional hours per year per worker, and reduces annual repair costs by $700 on average. Additionally, when there is the inevitable computer error due to old age it may cost much more in an emergency situation that is not properly planned out. It may be difficult to part from your system that you have gotten to know your XP system all so well. You do not what to end up unprepared when Windows XP support ends. Be sure to be proactive with your IT systems and plan ahead.
Wrapping things up
If you are still using Windows XP make sure to understand the risks and limitations that come with using a 13 year old operating system. With the withdrawal of Windows Updates, increasing lack of support, and the slow speeds associated with older hardware, it is a very logical to transition your IT systems to a newer, heavily-supported operating system such as Windows 7, which will continue to be supported until the beginning of the year 2020. If you think you would rather switch to Windows 8 instead, I would wait until Windows 8.1 and recommend spending time hands-on with the interface to see if the learning curve is worth the investment in your small or medium sized business.