windows XP - should I be afraid???

  laptopdunce 21:49 18 Mar 2014

I am runing windows XP on a UK laptop, I keep getting messages on hotmail/msn saying that XP will no longer get updates/support from 04 april, does this mean that the entire operating system will be defunct? I dont run microsoft office on this laptop and use Avast as the virus protection, as I read the blurb from Microsoft it seems that there will be no more updates for MS office programme and none of the microsofts own essentials virus/firewall protection. Should I be worried by this?? I cant see that MILLIONS of XP computers will suddenly be useless?? thanks LAPTOPDUNCE

  Taurus 22:43 18 Mar 2014

I personally wouldn't be overly concerned, the OS will continue to function; no more support from MS just means, in effect, no more patches or updates. This will leave your machine at no greater risk than it is at the moment. I have never used MS firewall (rubbish), always relying, as I do, on a third party virus/firewall suite. (I use AVG) I'm not sure if your virus program has a firewall built in but any of the better virus protection programs, such as AVG, my favourite, will keep you safe. You should be able to keep using your current setup for as long as it continues to meet your computing needs.

  spuds 00:15 19 Mar 2014

I would suspect that some people are getting rather paranoid about the XP situation, if and when Microsoft stops supplying updates.

Some of my own computer's and even those of some of the NHS outlets still carry and use XP, so just continue to use until that day comes, when you might decide to upgrade to either W7/W8 or even Linux!.

  laptopdunce 00:29 19 Mar 2014

Ok thanks for that, so there will be the possiblity to upgrade it to a later Windows OS? free? thanks LAPTOPDUNE

  lotvic 00:50 19 Mar 2014

"the possibility to upgrade it to a later Windows OS? free?"

FREE ? cough, splutter.... only if you go to Linux!

  LastChip 02:34 19 Mar 2014

XP won't stop functioning. However, any vulnerabilities in the system will not be patched up any more. If there are any such vulnerabilities known in the darker reaches of cyberspace, you can bet your life they're waiting until support stops to attack those potential entry points.

Remember, each incarnation of Windows needs progressively higher specification hardware to run reasonably well. Therefore, it maybe your computer would slow down with a newer Windows system.

As has already been mentioned, Linux is a viable option, but you have to accept, just like anything new, you will be faced with a learning curve. That learning curve would probably be less than changing to Windows 8. Having said that, Linux Mint or Zorin OS, could be a very gentle introduction to far superior systems in terms of security.

As a general rule, Linux uses far less resources than Windows and therefore is particularly suited to older hardware.

These systems come complete with all the normal applications you need. For example, often Firefox or Chrome are the default browsers. But please be aware, you cannot (generally speaking) run Windows applications in Linux. There are exceptions to that, but take that as being true for now. Therefore, you would use the Linux equivalents, Libre Office instead of MS Office for example. But these are all preloaded on installation and there are many thousands of others available from the inbuilt package manger.

Best of all, it's legal and free!

1]: [click here 2]: [click here

  onthelimit1 08:57 19 Mar 2014

I'm still fixing computers with Windows 98 and ME, so I don't think you need to worry about XP.

  Ian in Northampton 10:25 19 Mar 2014

I'm planning to continue to use XP on my main computer forever. Despite the impression MS seem to convey, PCs running XP won't magically implode on 4 April, nor will the operating system stop working.

As others have said: 'all' that is happening is that MS will no longer provide updates for it. The implications of that, in my mind, are two:

  1. Security threats that are not known today but may emerge in future may pose a problem because MS won't provide a patch/update to protect against them.

  2. New peripherals, upgrades etc. will no longer be delivered with XP support - e.g. no drivers. However, that's already pretty much the case.

In relation to 1.: for my own good reasons, I have never upgraded my XP installation past SP2 - so, no SP3, and no subsequent updates. I may have been extraordinarily lucky (although I'm sensible about what sites I visit and what I download) but that has never given me any kind of problem.

IMHO, laptopdunce, you should stick with XP until there is a compelling reason for you to change.

  spuds 11:28 19 Mar 2014

Looking at some of the comments being raised, I wonder how the NHS or even some other authorities will review their practice of using XP on some terminals.

The other point, was how it appeared that the Chinese were having quite a bit to say about XP, and how it would effect quite a number of their computer user's. That seems to have gone very quiet recently, and some of the computer magazines providing these previous stories have also gone very quiet on the issue?.

Perhaps a South East Asia bootleg W7/W8 or even a Chinese Microsoft clone might appear soon :O)

  wiz-king 12:35 19 Mar 2014

spuds Date changed to 2015 maybe longer if you are Chinese

  laptopdunce 16:42 19 Mar 2014

This Linux OS option sounds quite good, especially if its free, from the general consensus though it seems I am better just leaving it as it is for the time being, I only use a pirate copy of Word on this laptop and only use it two weeks of the month in the UK, and then only for "simple" things like ebay and emails, no fancy "work" on it, only the very occasional photo altereing with thanks LAPTOPDUCNE

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 review

What went wrong at the Designs of the Year 2017

iPhone X news: Release date, price, new features & specs

Comment utiliser Live Photos ?