Windows XP has been with us for over 12 years now and, as one of the most popular iterations of the Windows operating system, it is still used by millions of people all over the world. Since its release all those years ago, Microsoft has produced 3 other operating systems (Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8), although none have managed to recreate the success seen with XP.
But the end is in sight for Windows XP. The 8th of April 2014 marks the retirement date of this most popular of operating systems. From this date Microsoft will cease to provide either free or paid support for Windows XP users. For the everyday XP user, this means that security updates will no longer be available, no more bug fixes and no more service packs. It is possible to continue to use Windows XP, however, as it becomes increasingly slower compared to its contemporaries, less able to run new software, and more prone to attack and infection, is it really worth the risk?
So, what are the options? Upgrading to one of the newer operating systems is the best choice in the long run. Choosing either Windows 7 or 8 will allow you a much greater freedom when it comes to speed, ease-of-use and security. Both operating systems offer a much faster startup, better security with less intrusive updates, and a much more intuitive user experience overall. Where the two differ comes down to user preference. Aesthetically, Windows 7 will appeal to those who love (or have loved) the easy user interface of Windows XP; the layout is similar and it will, therefore, offer a reassurance that Windows 8 might not. However, Windows 8 is perfect for those who want something a bit more immersive. Its touchscreen interface and use of apps and tiles make it the perfect choice for those who enjoy using tablets and touch screen laptops.
Ultimately, it’s the user’s requirement and preference that will determine which of the two replacement systems will be the better option, but it is clear that those still using XP would do well to think about moving on as quickly as possible. The bell for Windows XP is tolling…