This past week-end, my brother and I rendezvoused at our stately ancestral home in Hopewell, VA. The aforementioned brother said he had a problem or two with his laptop and I — having nothing better to do at that moment — volunteered to have a go at fixing his machine. Midway through turning off a few start-up items, I casually asked what he planned to do with the laptop once support for Windows XP ends next April. To my dismay, he said that this was the first he’d heard of it; Proof positive that he does not read this blog as I’ve mentioned the XP “sell-by date” quite a bit over the past year.

XPdeath

So just in case you’ve not paid any attention to what I’ve said over the past year – I’ve been married for 37 years so I’m used to it – Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP on April 4th, 2014. That means no more patches, security updates, etc.  Since there are 500 million +/- XP machines out there and comprising around 40% of the market as of May 2013, those PCs still running XP will be sitting ducks for the malware industry. Those guys never miss a beat when it comes to vulnerability so don’t expect them stop attacking Windows XP when the 8th of April rolls around.

Those of you still hanging on to your XP machines will have to make some serious decisions and soon. Computing hardware has progressed so much in the 12 years that XP has been with us that your trusty laptop purchased in 2006 won’t be able to run Windows 7 or 8. You’ll need to either buy new hardware or consider switching to Linux; Ubuntu or Mint will run quite nicely on my brother’s Gateway laptop. Whatever you decide to do, you need to be quick about it. Whether you choose to buy new hardware with Windows 7 or 8 pre-installed or make the move to the FREE Linux operating system, doing it under the gun is no picnic and leads to a significant increase in frustration. There’s always a period of adjustment when you make a move like this.

Because I seem to be a voice crying in the wilderness – at least on this blog – I’ve added a count-down clock to the side-bar.  Remember, tempus fugit.

RESOURCE:

See Microsoft’s End of Support page at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/endofsupport.aspx

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