Support for Windows XP is Ending…Don’t Panic!

In all fairness to Microsoft, the last time they sold a copy of that software was about 2002. Yes, your PC may have been purchased in 2004 with XP, but you’ll notice the version of the software was 2002. Your PC manufacturer likely purchased the license for that software in 2002 or 2003, then put it on your shiny new machine in 2004. That means that Microsoft has been supporting this software, costing them millions a month, for 12 years. I think we’ve gotten our money’s worth. It’s time to let go.

What does “end of support” mean for you?

1. First off, it means that if you have a problem that is XP related, you’re on your own. Microsoft will offer no support, paid or otherwise.

2. All those countless updates you have received from Microsoft over the years? No more.

Okay, you’re thinking, “So what? I don’t think any of those updates did anything except waste my time anyway.” Well, surprise, surprise. A great number of those updates were to fix or patch “holes” in the software. Holes that bad people would use to infect your computer, steal your information, or turn your machine into an email-generating zombie. It also means that if you use Microsoft Security Essentials, the relatively good free antivirus that Microsoft has provided for years, your support for that version is ending, as well. If you use MSE and have Vista or 7, don’t worry, you’re still covered.

Rumor also has it that hordes of the previously mentioned bad people have lots of XP-specific viruses that they’re planning to release
April 9.

What to do? The solution is not that bad.

First off, go to your local computer store. Although Tech Wizard is not affiliated with any particular retail chain, we are fond of one that starts with Micro and ends with center.

Windows 8, although widely hated by many, really isn’t that bad. For those not quite ready to take that particular plunge, the previously-mentioned retail chain has about a dozen models that come with Windows 7. The move from XP to 7 is pretty smooth. It looks and acts like XP in a lot of ways, and is favored by many, many people.

Going from XP to 8 will be sort of like going from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95. Yes, it’s that different.

If you’re wondering how to transfer your data from your Windows XP machine to your new Windows 7 machine, you’ve got a few options.

1. You can pick up a USB flash drive from your local computer store (the store I mentioned earlier has 32 gig drives for about $15), then copy your important files over that way. Think of it as a few hours of quality good-bye time with your soon-to-be-discarded computer.

2. You could sign up with an online (cloud) backup service. We’re vendors for Carbonite, so we strongly recommend them (wink). After everything is backed up, you can then download it all to your new machine.

3. A third option is to have a fine local business like, well, like Tech Wizard come to your home or office and do the data transfer for you. (Option 3! Option 3!)
The moral of the story is the world is not going to end. XP however, is.

-The Tech Wizard

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