Still running Windows XP? Upgrade to a new PC
More than 12 years after Windows XP shipped, Microsoft’s longest-lived and most successful version of Windows is retiring. Even if you love Windows XP, you need to start making plans to say goodbye. In spring 2014, it will be too dangerous to use.
When I was growing up in the 70s, about this time every year my great-aunt would take me to the bank and we’d open a Christmas Club Account. If you’re not familiar with it (and not old like me), a Christmas Club Account is a special savings account that you’d open up to put money away so you can spend it at Christmas on presents.
Each week I put a little money aside and by December, voila! I’d have money for Christmas. These savings plans grew out of the Great Depression. And like many good practices lost, it’s something that’s made a comeback since the Great Recession.
Windows XP is going to stop working “just fine”
I’ve been thinking about this recently because there are a lot of people out there still running Windows XP. And I know a lot of them are running it still because it works just fine and they can’t or don’t want to spend money on a new computer. But the fact is that Windows XP is going to stop working just fine soon. And so if you’re not planning to get a new computer, it might be time to start saving money like with a Christmas Club Account and get a new computer during the holidays when there are good sales.
Why? Microsoft has said that in the spring of 2014, they’re going to stop supporting Windows XP. What this means for regular people is that the updates you regularly get each month from Windows Update that help protect your computer from attacks will stop.
Last day for Windows XP security fixes
Tuesday April 8, 2014 will be the last security fixes you’ll ever get from Microsoft for Windows XP. This mean come May 2014, you don’t want to be running Windows XP because it will be dangerous.
I know a lot of people are shying away from Windows 8 because of the new user interface. For example, my high school debate coach said on Facebook he wants to get rid of it. You don’t have to move to Windows 8: you can get a laptop running Windows 7, a Mac, or even a Chromebook. The important thing is that come the spring, you don’t want to be running Windows XP.
Soon it will be dangerous to be running Windows XP
If you’re still running Windows XP and you’re not already planning on a new computer, now is the time to start thinking about it and saving for it. The winter holidays are a great time to get a new computer: there are good deals then and who doesn’t love a new toy at that time of year?
Most importantly, if you get a new computer before April 2014, you may very well save yourself from being hacked, which could cost you a lot more than a new computer will. Planning ahead now could save you a lot of money and trouble in the future.
I work for Trend Micro and the opinions expressed here are my own.