First launched in October of 2001, XP was a huge leap forward for Microsoft — being a more secure, stable and effective system compared to earlier versions of Windows. While they replaced with Windows Vista six years later, and have released two more OS versions to date (Windows 7 in 2009 and Windows 8 in 2013), lots of people still use the old OS. Now, Microsoft seems ready to put their old XP horse out to pasture.
When Windows XP was originally released, I was initially reluctant to make the switch — mostly due to the amount of money I earned on my paper route, and the hefty price tag for XP at the time. (Plus, Windows 98 was doing everything I needed it to do: mainly play Doom and Age of Empires.) When I finally got my hands on a copy of XP, I realized all the changes made for a much more enjoyable Windows experience.
Windows XP helped me achieve a great deal: build my first web page, compose and record my first song, create my first logo, and (of course) fix dozens of interesting tech issues for my friends and neighbors. So while I moved on from Windows XP long ago, I’ll always have the fond memories of those early days.
So, for you XP lovers out there — never fear. XP isn’t going to “turn off” on April 8. It will keep working on your machine once support ends. What’s going to happen is this: Microsoft will stop sending out security updates and bug fixes for the OS. In turn, this makes the OS increasingly vulnerable to malware and hacker exploits. If you keep using XP, you run an ever-growing risk of exposing your private data to hackers, and the potential for identity theft grows right along with it. Don’t want to take that risk? Then Geek Squad strongly recommends you update your operating system to one that is supported (Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1) that have the latest security updates needed to help keep your data safe and secure.
If you are using XP because your computer is old and cannot accommodate a newer version of Windows… well, that’s a bit of a problem. Your only solution may be to retire the old machine and buy somthing newer. (When it comes to your financial data, better safe than sorry.)
We are preparing some content for our web site about the XP shutdown. Keep an eye on this space, and we will link to it when we get it published.