Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #246 4/9/2014

Question: Can I still use Windows XP on my PC?


Microsoft has announced the end of support for Windows XP on April 9, 2014. This had been pre-announced for several years but now we are at the date.

This statement of Microsoft’s about end of support for Windows XP does not mean that Windows XP will not work any longer. What it means is that Microsoft will no longer provide updates for XP (thru Windows Updates which you should do regularly on any operating system) and that if you have problems with XP they will no longer answer questions about it.

Windows XP came out in 2002 and has been out there for 12 years. Since then Microsoft has brought out Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. There are people still running machines with Windows 95 and 98. More than likely Microsoft has found almost all the problems to XP at this point, but hackers will still be finding new ways to break in it. The statistic I saw last week is that over 90% of the ATM machines are running XP. Also when I have seen the check out terminals at Wal-Mart reboot recently they are running Windows XP. About 35% of the market for PCs still run Windows XP I saw recently also, but that statistic varies as hard to measure.

A lot of people do not install updates on their operating system so Microsoft no longer providing will definitely not affect them. I encourage people to install updates to their operating system regularly. More than likely you have never called or emailed Microsoft for assistance with Windows XP so you will not miss that support. If you have not been installing updates on Windows XP, you can still do the updates you have missed; just no new ones will be available after April 9.

Until you are ready to buy a new computer and the machine you have is doing what you want it to do, I would suggest keep on using Windows XP. If you decide to get a new PC try Windows 8 before you get a machine with it as it is a totally different interface than Windows 7 and before. You can still get PCs with Windows 7. Microsoft announced this week they will make improvements in future to Windows 8 to make appear more like Windows 7.

People will still use Windows XP for a long time in the future (I would guess 5 or more years). Unless you need a newer operating system to do some stuff or you need strong security on your machine I would suggest stay as you are. (ATM machines are really not a security problem as appears as they are basically not on the Internet). Make sure you keep a current anti-virus and anti-spyware program on your machine with current signatures and definitions. Avast and AVG are free for personal use and there are others also.