6 Minutes

Okay, I get that you may not like change. I understand that Windows XP is like a trusted friend who's been at your side for a decade or more. I get that it works, and hey, if it ain't broke, why fix it...

Really I do understand. But you really don't have a choice anymore, and the fact is, it is broke, and about to get a lot more broke...

Before I even get into the security reason you HAVE to upgrade to a newer version of Windows, there are some legit other reasons too! For starters, there is new functionality in newer versions of windows (7 or 8) that are time savers. Things like management of windows (maximizing and minimizing, snapping to half the screen, etc) that are really handy. Windows 8 adds to this with a lot of cool management functions like Automatic Maintenance and the ability to restore a file to any point in history. While these may seem like little things when compared against losing the long time comfort of Windows Windows XP, trust me, they are not. Windows has come a long ways from a usability and productivity standpoint, and I think you'll wonder why you waited after changing!

And of course there are little things like USB 3.0, which is backwards compatible with Windows XP, but it defaults to USB 2.0 speeds, transferring data at a fraction of the speed you could get. And newer tech coming along are coming with Windows XP drivers with less and less frequency.

But really, the moose on the table here is security. In April, when the last patch comes out for Windows XP, it will, in effect, become wide open to exploits and there will be nobody making fixes to correct for them. It is believed that many Windows XP exploits are simply being held on to by hackers and other folks wishing bad things upon your PC and data until after that last update so that they can't be countered.  Once support ends, it is open season for Windows XP users. Your PC and your data will be seriously open to exploits of all kinds, and trust me, hoping for the best is not going to cut it.

The current service pack of Windows XP already has an exploit rate 650% higher than 64 bit Windows 8. And that is before support ends.

Think about it. If your enterprise has any PC's running Windows XP, you NEED to get those changed over. As in now. There is nothing but pain coming for those of you who wait until after the last update and after the zero hour exploits hit the scene. If you wait, you will be working from a far worse position such as needing data restores, losing local files, or finding that your data has been breached and made available for whatever nefarious designs hackers may have to it. Never a fun situation.

So, seriously, if you are on Windows XP, it is time to change it out. I know many companies have waited (because we have upgraded literally hundreds and hundreds of machines in the last month alone for our clients). Sometimes change is good. More to the point, sometimes change is necessary. Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8 falls into that category.

And if you are a Windows XP user, upgrading is the ONLY way to continue practicing Happy Computing!

Richard Brunke

Staff Writer

Written by Staff Writer