OK. I’m going to get the important bit out of the way first. If you’re running Windows XP – any version – on your work or home PC(s), you have until April 9th, 2014 to move to a new operating system because XP is going away. Oh, it will still work on April 10th, 2014 but Microsoft will end it’s support of XP on the 9th. That means that there will be no more patches, no more security updates, etc. If one of the baddies out in cyberspace – and they are legion – decides to release some virus/malware/scam directed specifically at Windows XP on April 10th, Microsoft is going to say “Too bad. You should have moved to Windows 7 or 8 before now.” In other words, you are going to be S.O.L. and I’m not talking about “Standards Of Learning” here.

The trouble here is that there are plenty of PCs/Laptops that are still working just fine – whether at home or in the office – but lack the horsepower to run Windows 7. Some of those machines cost a fair chunk of change back in the day and people don’t want to get rid of them while they still work and work well.

One theoretical solution would be for Microsoft to release XP to the world of Open Source software. In other words, XP would be supported by the enthusiasts and organisations that like working on old software and operating systems. Mark Gibbs from PCWorld makes this case but comes to the same conclusion as I did: There’s not a bloody chance that Microsoft would ever do something like this.

So, in one sense, you’re back where you started with a good PC & an unsupported operating system. There is, however, a more practical, existing solution in the Open Source community: LINUX. This operating system has been around since 1991 and has lower disk and memory requirements than Windows and has breathed new life into many a PC. What’s more, you can still run those legacy Windows applications under Linux and best of all it’s Free!!!

Tomorrow, I’ll rant a bit more about Linux.

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