Microsoft has announced the end of support for the Windows XP operating system on the 8th of April, 2014. What does this mean for a Windows XP user? What can a Windows XP user do after the end of support for Windows XP as announced by Microsoft come April 8th, 2014?
The Microsoft End of Support pop-up will continue to remind users that Microsoft will discontinue their Tech Support for the Windows XP operating system once every month simply to ensure every Windows XP user understands they are on their own after the April 8th, 2014 deadline date.
Microsoft End of Support for Windows XP on April 8th, 2014 simply means that Microsoft won’t be releasing security updates for the Windows XP operating system. For about 12 years now, Microsoft has been providing security updates for the Windows XP operating system but just as the number of Windows XP users is beginning to wane, they have decided to concentrate on the newer versions of their Windows OS such as Windows Vista, WIN 7/8/8.1.
What does End of Support for Windows XP mean?
I know a lot of people will be worried if their Windows XP computer will crash or cease to function after the end of support for Windows XP by Microsoft on the 8th of April, 2014. No it’s not like that, on the contrary your Windows XP computers will continue to work as perfectly as it has been. You will continue to do your work on your Windows XP PC or play your favorite games, watch movies, play music and even surf the internet with your Windows XP computers.
The only difference will be that Microsoft will stop to provide security updates for the Windows XP OS, so you won’t be receiving any updates after the deadline date. I bet a lot of you using Windows XP don’t even bother about the updates as many people hardly update their Windows XP computers though.
It is common to see people using the Windows XP OS without updating it from year to year. While your computer may be functioning well even without these updates, you still stand a risk of being attacked especially if you use it to surf the internet without a good antivirus program.
Over the years a lot of security holes have been found and patched by Microsoft on the Windows XP OS, now they are saying that after April 8th, 2014 they won’t be providing such updates to help you patch any further security holes. So if attackers or hackers find any security hole(s) on the Windows XP operating system they could continue to exploit it to harm computers and steal important data and information.
Third party software developers will most likely follow suit over time. Newer software may not be able to run on the Windows XP after some time as developers will move on to newer OS versions as well. These will definitely leave the Windows XP computers insecure and prone to hack.
So what can I do?
While the simple advice will be to upgrade your operating system to either Windows 7 or Windows 8 but not every computer specification can be able to run these newer operating systems. Some people are still in love with their “ancient” PCs. How can you upgrade the operating system of a PC running 256MB or 512MB RAM to Windows 7 or even 8?
You can’t talk of upgrading the RAM without the processor and board, so you may as well buy a new computer. But if you can’t afford to upgrade your computer hardware to be able to upgrade your operating system there is still a way you can use your Windows XP safely for donkey years to come.
Antivirus: Install a VERY good antivirus on your Windows XP PC and ensure it is always up to date. No antivirus is perfect but a good premium antivirus can keep your Windows XP PC safe for a long time.
Internet: Most likely people contact viruses from the internet, so if you want to keep your Windows XP computer healthy for a longer time, then ensure to keep good internet usage etiquette. Avoid downloads from unknown site un-trusted sites, avoid some malicious sites that can infect your PC with malwares especially those porn and gamble sites. Don’t open attachments from unknown people, scan every folder and your entire system from time to time.
Secure USB port: Ensure to use USB antivirus program that will ensure you don’t get infected via connections via the USB such as flash drives.
Avoid Autorun: Avoid Autorun on your Windows XP PC if you want it to live longer after the Microsoft End of Support for Windows XP.
Use Virtual Machine: If you must continue to run Windows XP especially if you have a modern PC with Windows 7 or 8, I will advise you in it in a virtual machine like Oracle VM VirtualBox. The Virtual machine will contain and confine any threats that may affect your Windows XP OS.
Now I hope you understand the risk of running Windows XP after the Microsoft End of Support on April 8th, 2014. Follow the advice share in this article if you must continue using Windows XP after the deadline date.
What do you think of the Microsoft End of Support for Windows XP? Do you still use Windows XP? What will you probably do after the End of Support by Microsoft on the 8th of April, 2014? If you have any contributions or questions please use the comments form below.
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Akaahan Terungwa says
Its sad that support for the XP will soon end in the coming days…that OS was one of the best built and most rugged of the series! However, nothing is as constant as change – I guess, my PC needs a new OS after all!
However, I will genuinely miss it!
I had earlier worked on Windows XP but now I’m working on Windows 7, though I feel Windows XP is an awesome OS to work on and you mentioned some good points to continue working on there even without regular updates.