Windows XP has been one of the best operating systems ever created by Microsoft, only rivaled by Windows 7 in my opinion. But it is old…really old by tech standards. Windows XP came out in 2001 (13 years ago) and Microsoft has decided to pull the plug on it (on April 8 to be exact). Regardless of whether you want to continue using XP or you want to upgrade to a newer operating system, you will need to know your options. In this article, I will outline your options and the best ways to approach this dying operating system.

Sticking with Windows XP

A lot of people are going to want to go this route and I don’t blame them. There are a few good reasons to stick with XP:

  • You have an OLD computer. There’s a good chance that your old computer’s hardware will not be able to run modern Microsoft operating systems.
  • You have an old computer that works fine for you and you don’t want to dish out money to buy a new computer.
  • You know how to use Windows XP and do not want to invest time and frustration in learning a new operating system.

Here’s the big problem though. XP is going to become less and less safe and secure as time goes by. You may become plagued with viruses. You may get your computer hacked where identity theft can occur or at least your email address becomes hacked. These concerns are not trivial. Microsoft used to issue updates to patch these security holes, but you will be on your own after April 8, 2014.

Upgrading to a Newer Microsoft Operating System

As I mentioned before, you may be limited here. Your only option may be to upgrade to Vista. You can’t buy Vista anymore from a store. You would need to find a used copy on ebay or somewhere similar. If you want to see if you can upgrade to Windows 7, you can check at the following link: Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

If it shows that you can upgrade keep in mind that you will not be able to migrate your installed programs. You will have to install them again once you have upgraded, if possible. You can find out more about upgrading from XP to Windows 7 at the following Microsoft page: Upgrading from XP to Windows 7

Even if you can upgrade to Windows 7, you might want to consider that it might require some hardware upgrades and even after all of that you may get subpar performance.

Buy a New Computer

This is the obvious solution, but for reasons mentioned before, some people do not want to go that route. Maybe they don’t like Windows 8 or don’t want to learn any newer version (computers with Windows 7 are still available to buy and computers with Vista can be bought on ebay).

The biggest problem here though is the expense, which brings me to the final option.

Use a Free Operating System

This is actually my favorite option and certainly the best for really old computers. There are numerous free operating systems available today with most of them being Linux-based. Out of all of these, I would recommend Linux Mint or Ubuntu as they are the easiest to setup and use and are some of the most similar to Windows. You will have a familiar desktop with some familiar applications like Firefox for web browsing. The down side is that you can’t install familiar Microsoft applications like Word or Excel. But again there are alternatives to these types of applications and you could still even use Word, Excel, and Powerpoint online at office.com.

Regardless of which route you go, we can help. We can secure your computer, we can help you upgrade, we can help you configure a new free operating system, and we can even help educate you on how to use any new operating system you choose. Contact us today and get ahead of this change before it is too late.