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Old 2nd April 2014, 13:33   #1
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Default Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

Hi Guys,

I need some help here. From the 'Jobs available in my organisation thread', I have inferred that most of the people here are either in IT or are in some way connected to IT. I am on the other hand; a complete non-geek who doesnt understand computers or technology much (Get this; I still am using a Nokia Symbian E63 because the Android's and Iphone's confuse me to no extent. I migrated to a HTC then came back to the E63 because the depth of menu's, sub-menu's as well as the confusing description's for various options in the various Settings menu's made my head go round and round)

To cut to the chase; I received an email from Microsoft the other day urging me to upgrade from my beloved XP to a higher version because they will stop supporting it after March 8.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...73821528178710

I am a CA by profession and my usage is very non-techie mostly comprising of Accounting Softwares, a lot of heavy duty excel sheets and well- thats it! Plus I play NFS and watch movies on my laptops. I have 2 laptops- One is a Dell Pentium 4 which came with stock XP and the other one is a more recent Lenovo i7 which came stock with Windows 7. I didnt really like this version as I took time getting things done. Also I felt that my productivity was going down so I asked a techie friend of mine to get me XP on it. So now when i switch on the laptop, it asks me what Operating System to load and I select XP

Now my question is- In view of this phasing out and this 'nicely worded threat' by Microsoft; do I need to ditch my good ol' XP and upgrade upwards? Or can I continue using it? I do have a lot of confidential client information on my laptop's but I have not made that much of a mark in this world that any individual or corporation would take the pains to exploit a security loophole in XP and access my laptop for the information.

So my first initial impression as a laymen is that this upgradation might not be necessary- But then i am not an expert in this field and so I would glady welcome all and any suggestions you may have!


Thanks in Advance!

Last edited by rahul4321 : 2nd April 2014 at 13:37. Reason: typo
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Old 2nd April 2014, 13:47   #2
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Default re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

Though I am not an IT person, I would try to give a simple answer. "Microsoft will stop supporting XP" does not mean your computer will refuse to operate! It will, but security patches will not be released. It won't be a problem if Windows XP is not used to go online - You can use Windows 7 for that purpose.

You indicated problems working with new software. So, if you do not feel the need to upgrade your accounting software, you can continue working with XP and be fluent at operating the version you feel most comfortable with. But I am sure newer versions must be having better features. They may have compatibility issues with Windows XP.

Try getting your hands on Windows 7 and on newer software versions. You will sure pick up pace. In the event you don't, you always have your fall back options with XP!
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Old 2nd April 2014, 13:57   #3
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Default re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay87kumar View Post
Though I am not an IT person, I would try to give a simple answer. "Microsoft will stop supporting XP" does not mean your computer will refuse to operate! It will, but security patches will not be released. It won't be a problem if Windows XP is not used to go online - You can use Windows 7 for that purpose.

You indicated problems working with new software. So, if you do not feel the need to upgrade your accounting software, you can continue working with XP and be fluent at operating the version you feel most comfortable with. But I am sure newer versions must be having better features. They may have compatibility issues with Windows XP.

Try getting your hands on Windows 7 and on newer software versions. You will sure pick up pace. In the event you don't, you always have your fall back options with XP!


Thank you so much for your advice! I should have mentioned in the initial post that; I go online regularly from both laptop's as 90% of my communication is through email attachments while the remaining 10% is through physical handover of USB sticks at client offices! That 90% is the real cause for my concern!
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Old 2nd April 2014, 14:33   #4
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Default re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

Dear All, The phasing out of XP from 8th April 2014 will lead to a major threat to almost 95% of the ATMs which run on this operating system. It is stated that only a third of ATMs will be able to upgrade before the 8 April deadline as per Financial times.

Though this report is from Zimbabwe but the issue is of global concern.

As we know India is a developing country; Hence, it faces the risk of experiencing a rise in malware frequency which is attributed to high incidents pirated software use.

Link: http://www.techzim.co.zw/2014/03/win...-8-april-2014/

Thanks

AD
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Old 2nd April 2014, 14:44   #5
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Default re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

Hi Rahul,

From your post I get it that you're using a licensed version of the operating system. The first question to ask yourself is whether all of your applications and devices are working fine and your probability of upgrade in future. If the answer to the first question is Yes and second is No or not in the near future, you may still retain your Windows XP.

Be sure to have a copy of the installation media backed up (CD/DVD/ISO image), download service-pack 2 and other windows xp related updates and save everything in a repository because should your windows xp crash, you may not be able to obtain the patches again, though I'm not sure whether you would be able to activate windows or not.

However, because you are online many a times, your system may not be protected or equipped against the future threats as there wont be any OS patches. You will also need to ensure your antivirus is not obsolete as well, if yes, please get the latest version and have it updated regularly.

I still use windows XP as a VM in my MacBook!

@ad3952n : I do not think that should be an immediate concern as the ATM networks are pretty much internal and not exposed to the 'outside' world, above all most banks do have some network security systems in place. However, its still a bad idea to have XP on ATMs as there could be other risks in terms of support from OEMs.

Last edited by nitinbose : 2nd April 2014 at 14:48.
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Old 2nd April 2014, 15:11   #6
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Default re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4321 View Post
So my first initial impression as a laymen is that this upgradation might not be necessary- But then i am not an expert in this field and so I would glady welcome all and any suggestions you may have!
Upgrade is not necessary if you will maintain status quo.

Since softwares evolve very fast, and you might face the need to use certain software(s) which at that time might not be compatible with Xp. That is not a certainty but just a possibility. Having said that, you can take a decision to upgrade at that time 'if' you face it. For now you can continue as is.

Also, it is possible that your older Pentium 4 system might not be upgradable (hardware limitations).

Last edited by BBR_SHR : 2nd April 2014 at 15:17.
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Old 2nd April 2014, 15:30   #7
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Default re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

World is not ending cause of M$ stop supporting XP, you can still continue working on it. However it is advised to upgrade to supported operating system just of the basic reason of securing your content on the laptop.

Considering there will not be anymore security updates from XP, your machine is more vulnerable to internet threat. You may argue that, having most powerful AntiVirus / Anti-Malware you are safe, still your machine is unsafe for storing secure / important data (till you are connected to internet). Without internet connection, would not bother much.

Yes, it is better you upgrade yourself and learn using new OS (either Win7 or Win8.1). As it will also help in case you need to install new software related to your job or other day-to-day purpose; which may not be compatible with XP.
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Old 2nd April 2014, 15:42   #8
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Default Re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

Rahul,

It's not a question of if....but of when. You are only delaying the inevitable. Today or tomorrow, you'll have to dump XP and trust me, you don't want to do it with Windows 8. Make the switch to Win7 ASAP. Else, your computer won't be as secure and you'll find yourself unable to use newer software that wasn't ever designed for old OS'.

This, coming from an XP lover who never wanted to upgrade. Bought a new laptop, choose Win7 because of all the rave reviews and I must say, absolutely zero regrets. The OS runs smooth, is free of bugs and I haven't had a single hang / crash since I started using it (April 2013). In terms of usability, it's far, far superior to XP. There are so many little things you discover only after spending time with it.

Best part is, I'm able to run a couple of XP programs on my Win7 using the 'compatibility' mode.

Interesting comment from computerworld.com:

Quote:
Some doomsayers have even gone so far as to paint the harrowing picture of an army of hackers waiting to push the Enter keys on their keyboards on April 8, taking over the world's XP systems at a stroke. While I personally doubt this particular scenario, I do think that the risk of attack against XP systems will increase every day from April 8 forward, and after 60 or 90 days, the risk will be so great that nobody should use the operating system any longer.

Last edited by GTO : 2nd April 2014 at 15:45.
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Old 2nd April 2014, 17:29   #9
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Default Re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

I guess my advise would be mostly ignored here but retain Win XP especially for gaming (please note there are several games that do not run on Win 7 in spite of Win XP emulation mode).

Get one of the flavors of Linux (I would recommend Ubuntu - new release coming up in end of April). You can have Ubuntu and Win XP sitting side by side on the same PC. Use Linux when accessing internet. You would require mild technical guidance on how to do this "dual boot".

Seriously, get over the reliance on Win and Mac, you have high quality free operating systems available today which work out of the box quite flawlessly with most of the hardware (no install this driver, upgrade that driver business which is quite prevalent in the non free OS). Most of the applications are also covered in the Linux realm (again free software).

Last edited by alpha1 : 2nd April 2014 at 17:32.
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Old 3rd April 2014, 12:37   #10
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Default Re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

Is there a fear in you ,which is not letting you ,the upgrade to Win 7 or 8?
Come back once and sit in front of the new system and see if all your programs are working fine!
Catch up with some friends on some weekends to update yourself on the new operating system. I would suggest the same in case of the Android /IOS issues you are facing. Learning new tech is the way to go !
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Old 3rd April 2014, 12:58   #11
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Default Re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

I would suggest upgrading to Windows 8. Since you have 2 laptops, load one of them with Windows 8.1 and start learning the usage. While you get around, you can use the dual boot laptop on xp to continue your work. Once you are comfortable with 8.1, you can stop using XP. There are loads of new features and enhancements in Windows 7 and 8 which are too good to miss out.
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Old 3rd April 2014, 13:56   #12
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Default Re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4321 View Post
I am a CA by profession and my usage is very non-techie mostly comprising of Accounting Softwares, a lot of heavy duty excel sheets and well- thats it! Plus I play NFS and watch movies on my laptops.
You don't need to upgrade to XP, if you follow these practices:

1) Create a limited user account and use it for all normal usage. Only when you are installing or uninstalling any software, you have to login as Administrator. 99% of OS security updates released by Microsoft is to patch defects when user is logged in as Administrator.

2) Remove Java browser plugin & flash if not required. If required, then limit these plugins to one browser say Internet Explorer. Do not use this browser for any other purpose.

3) If Internet is not required, then don't connect this system online. If Internet is required, then use either Chrome or Firefox. These browser will continue to support XP.

4) Make sure you have an antivirus with its signatures updated. This is for scanning USB pendrives & for scanning Internet downloads.

5) If you are an Office user, try to switch to other Office products like LibreOffice. In case you cannot, make sure you only open office files, which are from trusted source & scanned by an antivirus.

6) Make sure the firewall is on at all times.

With these self-control measures, you can continue to use XP as long you like.
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Old 3rd April 2014, 15:11   #13
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Default Re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4321 View Post
I am a CA by profession and my usage is very non-techie mostly comprising of Accounting Softwares, a lot of heavy duty excel sheets
Since you use this computer for "work". Do upgrade in next few weeks. Since Microsoft will stop issuing security patches for XP.

It might take significant amount of time to acquire Win7 compatible packages + setting them up.
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Old 3rd April 2014, 15:26   #14
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Default Re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
Create a limited user account and use it for all normal usage. Only when you are installing or uninstalling any software, you have to login as Administrator. 99% of OS security updates released by Microsoft is to patch defects when user is logged in as Administrator.
I don't understand the point of this recommendation?

1. Why would the user want to avoid patches from MS being applied? Those are critical security updates.

2. Logging in as a regular user (vis a vis Administrator) still keeps your computer vulnerable to attacks inevitable on an outdated, unsupported OS.
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Old 3rd April 2014, 16:01   #15
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Default Re: Windows XP: No updates after April 2014. Should I upgrade?

Rahul
It's not as if your XP instances will keep you off the internet, or the existing applications won't work after April 8. Far from it.
What will happen will be a process of slow attrition. The more you grit your teeth and fight the inevitable, the further the world will move on.

There will come a time, in the not too distant future when browsers, PDF readers and other utility applications which we take for granted, will stop issuing new versions that are compatible for XP.
Then one fine day after a few years, you will find clients exchanging PDF files with you which can't be read by the Adobe version you have because guess what- the internal format of these files are completely different to the version you have installed.
Ditto for some websites.... you will find out (much to your chagrin) that on some websites which require the latest add-on flash software, simply can't be read by your browser - leaving you bereft of that all too informative youtube video...

All along, the excel and the accounting software will work just fine, but your client's new excel 2017 files won't be read because again that wont be compatible to your office version (which you can't upgrade anyway- because you are on XP).

You get the picture... In short, it's the planned extinction of the XP ecosystem.


It is easier to avoid fighting this battle. Oh, and if you think you can buy Windows 8 or 7 and upgrade your OS - think again.

Like it or not, as newer applications come out in the market, these will make your hardware work like molasses. Simply because, as new applications come out, they make more and more demands on the basic resources of your hardware resources- they won't be as plentiful as contemporary laptops of the day.

Also, your own usage patterns will likely change. You may get used to newer software, which have not seen the light of day yet. You may have need to use the laptop for more compute intensive tasks than what you are currently doing.

Make a backup of your important documents and files. Then switch to the latest version of desktop OS on the latest hardware. If you are unhappy with MS, consider Linux or consider Mac OS. Point is you need to switch one way or other. Yes it may come with its own learning curve- but then trust me - that is nothing compared to the sense of quiet isolation that you get when you are stuck with an old OS on old hardware.

Then once you have made the investment, rest easy for the next 4-5 years. Until the new laptop dies, or simply falls out of step with the times...

Sorry my friend - but that's the way it is with computers , unlike the beauty in our garages
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