The End of Windows XP

Windows XP is 12 years old—that’s pretty old for an operating system.

In the past 12 years you’ve probably gotten a new phone, maybe a new TV, and possibly even a new car. Maybe it’s time for a new PC too, so you can make sure you have more memory and storage, faster processing speeds, and a higher-quality display (some even come with touch). And they’re less expensive than you might think.

Microsoft supports older operating systems much longer than most other businesses in this industry, but they can’t keep supporting old operating systems and still move forward creating new and better products. Microsoft has been supporting Windows XP for the past 12 years—that’s longer than they’ve supported any other operating system in their history and already two years longer than the standard ten years of support they normally provide. I.

What are your options?

Option 1: Keep using Windows XP—unprotected

While it’s true that you can keep using your PC with Windows XP after support ends, we don’t recommend it. For starters, it’ll become five times more vulnerable to security risks and viruses, which means you could get hacked and have your personal information stolen. Also, companies that make devices like digital cameras, Internet-ready TVs, and printers won’t provide drivers that work with Windows XP, so if you get new devices, they won’t work with your current PC. And over time, the security and performance of your PC will just continue to degrade so things will only get worse.

Windows Internet Explorer 8 is also no longer supported, so if you use it (or any other browser) to surf the web, you might be exposing your PC to additional threats. Microsoft has also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP.

Option 2: Start using Windows 8.1

If you don’t like the idea of your data and personal information being hacked, or your PC’s just not working like it used to, consider moving to Windows 8.1.

First, see if you can upgrade your current PC

PCs that are still running Windows XP have been around for many years, but there’s still a slim chance some of them might meet the system requirements for Windows 8.1. To find out, try the Upgrade Advisor—it’s free, and it’ll tell you if you can run Windows 8.1 on your current PC.

If your PC is good to go, you can review and print the Upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows Vista or Windows XP tutorial. It’ll walk you through all of the steps.

If you can’t upgrade, it might be time to consider a new PC

You’ll be amazed at what a computer can do today.

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