Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Windows XP support from Microsoft ends on April 8, 2014.

A number of people have asked me whether or not they should buy a new computer as their Windows XP computer is getting old. I ask, “is the computer doing what you want to do and is there anything it can’t do?” The answer is generally, “it is doing everything they want and there isn’t anything it can’t do”. So I answer, “only buy a new computer if you want to”.

Many people get concerned because they hear support for Windows XP has finished. I saw one press release from Microsoft that concerned me which said Windows XP support had finished, but when I investigated, it was for an earlier service pack. Windows XP SP3 (service pack 3) is still supported until April 8, 2014.

In terms of the timeline I’d suggest if you’re not in a rush to purchase a new computer, then consider that Windows 8 will be released possibly in the third quarter of 2012 and if I were to guess, there would probably even be a service pack released before Windows XP SP3 reaches end-of-life from a Microsoft support perspective.

If your computer is doing what you need and the hardware lasts, waiting until after Windows 8 is released means you’ll have the latest operating system which will last you many years into the future.

Many people find their computer is a bit slow. Once I clean up the computer they are surprised at how fast the computer is, and are more than happy to continue using the computer rather than buying a new computer.

My advice is change your computer when you need to or want to, not when the Microsoft marketing machine or a salesperson convinces you need to do something you don’t have to.

I would also suggest that even though Windows XP SP3 will continue to run after April 8, 2014, that you should consider moving to a newer operating system by that time. The security updates required in this day and age of online access will cease, at which time your exposure will increase. I would not advise clients to continue using Windows XP SP3 past this date except for specific purposes and with knowledge of the potential exposure.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support in Templestowe, Doncaster,
Doncaster East, Montmorency, Lower Plenty, Eltham area.

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