Hacking the End of Support for Windows XP is on the minds of several users these days.

With less than a week to go until Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, I thought it might be of interest to some of my fellow VoiceOver friends who may also still be using the legacy Windows XP to know that there remain to be high numbers of individuals and companies that are sticking with the aging OS.  According to PC Magazine,  Windows XP is the second most popular Microsoft OS behind Windows 7 and was used by almost 28% of all PC users worldwide as of March, 2014.

This post is not to instigate a Mac versus PC debate. I really hope people get over it. Nobody will win that one. I just have always had Microsoft products, and like many others, I’m sharing some relevant thoughts and actions about the death of Windows XP in my world and the workstations of countless others in my shoes today.

Breakin’ up is hard to do

I learned about a year ago that Microsoft’s support for Microsoft Windows XP ends on April 8, 2014. Time flew and VoiceOver work and activities of daily business and life kept me so occupied,  and I suppose a bit of denial kept my head in the sand for too long. It couldn’t be.  Heck, I just bought this machine four years ago, specifically built with with XP, a stable system I was used to working with.  I babied this laptop, maintained it, and it continues to function, faithfully and fast. Only about 20% of the 500 GB hard drive has been used.

Toward the end of 2013, after considerable thought and research, I made the move knowing about XP’s sunset date, and  a new Dell laptop loaded with Windows 7 arrived on New Year’s Eve.

There was a lot of work to be done. Regular VoiceOver projects, client deadlines, plus moving into the new machine seemed a daunting task.  Getting familiar with a new operating system, loading my most-used programs, passwords, configurations, shortcuts and putting everything in its place was too much at the time. I didn’t even turn on the new laptop for a month.  Again keeping my head in the sand, knowing the death of XP was looming closer each day. Not good!

Security and Malware Threats

Oh, and what about  the threat of hackers hacking XP and other malicious stuff?
According to  PC World,  “Windows XP may be popular with users, but Microsoft is urging people to upgrade to a newer version of Windows, and soon. Microsoft and third-party security companies say the OS is simply no longer secure and cannot meet today’s online threats the way Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 can.”

 

Just this morning’s news featured a story about a significant Windows 8.1 update to be released on April 8th. A big day, all around for Microsoft users, to be sure.

April 8 will see the final public release of security patches  and Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows XP.

PC Magazine says, “Bad news for those still planning to cling to their legacy Windows XP systems after the operating system’s official “death” on April 8, 2014: While the OS will certainly work come April 9, you’re going to start heading into the wild, wild West of viruses, exploits, and other unfriendly computer hijinks.”

Another note, there will be less support and cessation of third party software and apps for XP that will work in the not so distant future.

Luckily, my XP system came with a free Windows 7 upgrade four years ago.  Equally fortunate is to have the opportunity for redundancy in my work space, plus the knowledge that our U.S. government has contracted  with Microsoft and will be using Windows 7 as its primary OS.  Because of this, according to my Dell tech specialist,  Microsoft will be supporting Windows 7 for about fifteen years.

I haven’t turned on the XP for a week now that I’m feeling comfy with the newer machine.   Today I write this last post from my XP setup.

Being unsure of change is a challenge, but I must say I was very pleased when I turned both laptops on simultaneously and the new OS starts up real fast! Next up,   I will be moving  the final files  and complete the last Carbonite  cloud backup and mirror image from my XP , which finishes the move to the new Windows 7 laptop.
Then….
Time to wipe the hard drive clean.
And finally load up that free upgrade to Windows 7 that came with the old XP …soon to become my second Windows 7 in the office.