Windows XP reached END OF LIFE: on 8th April 2014. Windows XP is longer supported by Microsoft and has effectively been consigned to a previous era. So what does this mean and what should you do?
Whilst your computer will still work, it does mean there will be no more updates, security or performance fixes from Microsoft (you know - those updates that occur every month at an inconvenient time and want you to reboot or leave your computer taking forever to shutdown!). There is a major (and real) concern that XP systems will be more vulnerable to security threats and other associated problems. This 'end of life' means also that other software will potentially become unsupported and new software for XP will become less available and new hardware may also find it difficult to work with XP.
All in all XP has joined the redundant ranks of previous Windows operating systems.......remember 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, ME, .....
Whilst this does mark the end of an era (and some may say a great loss) - the life of Windows XP was actually far longer than ever envisaged with support going beyond its intended lifespan owing to the poor uptake of Windows Vista that followed. But let's be real about all this - things have moved on and progressed a lot since its introduction in 2001. Evidence of XP's age started to show with several websites having compatibility issues and messages of 'outdated browser in use' when using Internet Explorer in XP. In fact some websites even seemed to refuse to work with XP altogether!
It should also be noted that support for Microsoft Office 2003 ended in a similar way on the same date - but this is likely to be less of a concern for most.
So What To Do!
Well you could continue with XP - it will continue to work as it does now - but now you know the risks. And let's be honest, that as good as XP is or was - you need to be thinking of moving on. You could think of upgrading your current computer but in all honesty I doubt it is worth it - I have not yet come across an XP system that really would do Windows 7 and beyond justice.
So what about Windows 7 or 8 or 8.1 or may be even Linux?
Lets just say I personally recommend Windows 7. Whilst Windows 8/8.1 may be the current release, it is perhaps a topic for another day. And Linux: well, if you're having to ask then its probably not for you!