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All posts tagged Windows XP

Is Windows XP Turning Into the Zombie OS That Won’t Die?

I am still hearing about companies and home users resistant to upgrading their PCs from Windows XP.

After talking to some Die Hard XP users this is what I came up with: –

Windows XP - fears

So for those of you who feel this way about Windows XP and haven’t spoken to me on or offline about this I felt I should address these issues.

What’s The Answer?

Let’s look at Windows Update again. I recently posted about the necessity of keeping your Operating System updated; in a nutshell, if your home locks or alarm wasn’t working you would update it too. Windows Update patches holes in your OS security. Is this enough security? No. You need to compliment this with robust anti-malware and a firewall combined with keeping your 3rd Party Applications up-to-date too.

Most users are happy to go with the default Windows Defender and Firewall but there are alternatives (another post for another time). As for your 3rd Party Apps look to Soluto or Filehippo.

The discomfort of learning a new OS. For those of you dead-set against Windows 8 I have two things to tell you: (1) You are wrong not to consider it but, if you really cannot get past your fears then (2) Windows 7 will make you say, “How have I been missing this? Windows 7 is like XP on steroids.” The learning curve for Windows 7 from XP is so shallow it’s almost nonexistent and the learning curve to Windows 8.1 is only slightly steeper.

Budget. Windows 8.x will install on most hardware still in use and you can check this using the Upgrade Assistant. I have a Desktop PC from 2004 that is capable of the upgrade. So in many cases all you need to do is spring for the Upgrade from Vista or XP.

FUD & Trolls: the irony is that the nonsense we read and hear about Windows 8 is regurgitation of the same nonsense we heard about the very OS you are stuck on, XP. Windows 8.1 fixes many of the issues that consumers disliked including a right-click Start Menu, greater mouse / keyboard support for non-touch PC’s and the option of booting to the old style Windows Desktop. Basically, ignore the trolls and head to the nearest PC store to try out Windows 8.1 for yourself. Preferably where knowledgeable techs can walk you through it and show you what it can do.

Overload: if doing the upgrade and migrating your data either to cloud storage or to an external Hard Drive is intimidating then you probably aren’t keeping a backup of your data. Not having a backup is akin to juggling chainsaws, it’s time to get this done whether you are upgrading your PC or not. If you can’t do it yourself then outsource it… now.

The Warptest POV

I’m not going to kid you, upgrading to a new OS or PC is a project but it’s a palatable one that brings a lot of benefits with it. Most likely you aren’t being as productive as you could be with your old PC, but you could be.

Important issues:

  • Run the Windows Upgrade Assistant with all your peripherals / hardware connected to ensure it all passes compliance testing. Some hardware may not have drivers for Windows 8.1 and then it will need upgrading. If your hardware doesn’t pass then do contact the company with the model number of the printer/scanner/ whatever and check with them before spending the money.
  • Make sure you have all your software install disks and licenses for any software you want to install after you have your new OS up and running.

Windows XP - reaper

To those of you still stuck on Windows XP ask yourself, are you really prepared to have all your work and data on a platform that will never be secure again? It’s time to accept that Windows XP has reached the end and you don’t need to Fear the Reaper.

So, embrace the idea of upgrading with both hands and you’ll almost certainly upgrade your productivity along with it.

Die Hard 2

In My Last Die Hard post…

I talked about Microsoft’s efforts to put the seemingly Unkillable Internet Explorer 6 out to pasture.

As hard to kill as IE6 has been, the combination of Windows XP and Office 2003 have defied every attempt of Microsoft to kill it: again even John McLane isn’t this durable.

Die Hard 2

With thanks to IMDB

Our Sequel…

Windows XP may well be the most popular OS in the world still holding 40% market share on computers worldwide which is ironic because when I read many of the blogs (professional or otherwise) panning Windows 8 it reminds me of early sentiment for XP before SP2.

That aside, what does it mean when we say Microsoft are trying to kill it?

First off if you are running a Windows XP PC at home or at work it is not going to stop working.

What it does mean for both Windows XP and Office 2003 is an end to support from Microsoft.

This means not just technical support for daily issues encountered using them but more importantly no more patches and updates.


In exactly 363 days from today, 8th April 2014 every single one of these Windows XP / Office 2003 computers will become a ticking security time bomb. The next black hat hacker to find an exploit will do so knowing there will be no Windows Update released to fix it.

Many of these individuals and companies stuck with Windows XP and or Office 2003 for a variety of reasons:-

  • A desire to save the money it will cost them to upgrade.
  • Due to concerns about hardware like printers, scanners or networked storage that may also be obsolete.
  • Due to concerns about legacy software running on XP not working in Windows 8.
  • The fear of having to learn to use Windows 8 / Office 2013 is outside their comfort zone.

But can we expect Microsoft to roll some form of update to Windows Servers / Vista / 7 / 8 to detect and counter these unprotected Windows XP PC’s?

Mockup Warning XP

Please note this dialog box is a speculative mock-up.

Keep Calm and …

The gut reaction at this point is something between a swearing jag at Microsoft and panic at what to do next.

Keep Calm

Microsoft have taken a bold move to sweeten the bitter pill of upgrading hardware, OS and software with various special offers via this webpage.

The Warptest POV

If you are a business and haven’t upgraded since Windows XP or Office 2003 then I’m basically gob-smacked. The math is simple though; let’s say you started a savings plan at your bank on October 25th 2001 (the date XP was released and you last upgraded).

  • October 25th 2001 until April 8th 2014 = 137 months
  • If you saved $5.00 per Windows XP PC being used / month in your bank account then (even without interest)
  • You have $685.00 per PC saved for upgrading to Windows 8 PC’s with Office 2013 / Office 365.

If you weren’t forward thinking about a planned upgrade of your IT infrastructure then you may want to have a rather tough chat with your CIO about all this.

My recommendation is start planning your upgrade now. You have 363 days left to do so. I was involved in the upgrade of 300+ Windows 95 to Windows XP PC’s when I worked at Israel Electric Corporation so if you have concerns feel free to contact me. As to making the leap here are a couple of links to get you started with respect to Windows 8 upgrades (1 and 2) and Office 2013.

In a nutshell, you may not be happy over the cash outlay but once you have made the leap the ROI in terms of security and productivity will leave you scratching your head puzzled why you didn’t do this sooner. Get cracking then!