Thursday, September 5, 2013


Have ya heard the news? No, silly. Not about Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance. That was a tremendously pivotal event that we all should follow closely but this news might even be more
Duh hell izzat?
important: Windows XP will go “out of support” on April 8, 2014. Yep, XP will soon fade from our lives like a retreating fog (or nutty celebrity). Microsoft has a policy of supporting business products for a period of 10 years. That means you will eventually kiss Vista goodbye in 2018. Windows 7 will go poof in 2020.

So should you panic? Well, perhaps. This VMA thing could ruin Miley for life! But don’t worry too much about XP. When it is officially pronounced dead, XP will continue to operate but Microsoft will no longer offer updates in the form of security patches and stability enhancements. In theory, that means XP might become less stable or more susceptible to virus or spyware attacks. In fact, that is probably not a concern because scammers and authors of viruses tend to target the most popular operating systems and that means Windows Vista, 7 and 8. Many of us have been through this before when Windows 3.1, then Windows 95, 98 and 2000 were retired years ago.

April 8th for XP will be kind of like you having a 100th birthday. You feel the same as you did at 99 but you know your days are numbered. The biggest problem my readers will experience is hardware compatibility. After XP is retired, manufacturers of printers, cameras and other devices will no longer supply the software necessary for their device to work with XP. They will only include support for Vista, 7 and 8. So if your old printer stops working and you need another, you won’t be able to find one that works with XP.

So what should you do with your old XP computer? Well, that depends. If all you ever do is surf the internet and read email, keep using your XP computer until circumstances force you to buy another one. You WILL have to buy another one eventually but you can put that off for another year or two if you have to. But if you were looking for a reason to have Santa bring you a shiny new computer, this might be it.

Another alternative to simply chuncking your old XP computer is to install Ubuntu (“You-bun-too”).
Screenshot of Ubuntu
Ubuntu is a very nice graphical operating system based on Linux that gives your old PC a “Mac like” look and feel. It is extremely stable, is impervious to viruses and spyware and will run on old XP hardware quite nicely. The best thing about it is the price: Free. You can even download a “test drive” version of Ubuntu that runs entirely from a CD and makes no changes to your computer. It’s available from

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