Microsoft is ending extended support for Windows XP on 4/8/14 and has already ended mainstream support as of 4/14/09. Once all support ends, you can expect this obsolete operating system to encounter more problems over time. Here are my top 5 reasons why you should stop using Windows XP:
- End of lifecycle support means that Microsoft will no longer address security or stability issues that arise after 4/8/14. This means that your computer may be susceptible to software that can steal or damage your personal information.
- Windows XP stopped being sold on 6/30/08. If your computer came with Windows XP pre-installed, you may have a computer that is 5 years or older. The hardware performance coupled with this slow operating system could make for a less than enjoyable computing experience.
- Once Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP, you can expect third-party software vendors to stop supporting their software for use on Windows XP as well. For example, if you use an accounting program and run into issues, the vendor may require you to upgrade to a newer operating system first before they are willing to help you with the accounting program.
- Windows XP does not include native support for IPv6. If you try accessing a website that is only available via IPv6, you might not be able to access it. Same issue if you use an internet enabled application that needs to connect to a server that only communicates via IPv6.
- If you rely on any of the bundled software that comes with Windows, you may run into compatibility issues especially if you collaborate with others. For example, Windows XP comes bundled with a program called wordpad. For those who do not have Microsoft Word installed, wordpad offers some basic text editing functionality is compatible with MS Word. However, the version of wordpad offered with XP does not include support for the current format used with Microsoft Word which is .docx.
If one of the reasons that you have been holding off on upgrading is because you do not want to deal with learning how to use a new operating system, your best bet is to switch over to Windows 7. Although Windows 7 looks different than XP, it share a similar interface. It also includes a free copy of Windows XP that you can use side-by-side to help with your transition. The feature is called XP mode and it is relatively easy to set up.
One thing to keep in mind about Windows 7 is that it is the last operating system with the traditional interface that has the familiar start menu. Starting with Windows 8, Microsoft has moved over to the new metro style interface.