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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The End of Windows XP

As I write this the end of Windows XP is soon and sure. The website where I learned about it ( gave this time-
Countdown to the Death of XP

When you read this more time will have passed.

They give many good reasons why you should make a change in your Operating System before then:
  • When the end comes Microsoft will not be sending updates. These updates are important because they often fill security holes and not having them will make your computer vulnerable to viruses.
  • The drivers for XP will not be updated, so if you get a new printer or other device the XP will not be able to connect and work with it.
  • The will also be ending their support for Microsoft Office 2003.
  • This is also the end of Microsoft Security Essentials.


Depending upon your current operating system you can check this in different ways. Right now there are mainly four versions: Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows 8 or 8.1.  It is easy to know if you are using Windows 8 or 8.1 because it looks so different. Here is an example of what you will see when you turn on your computer:

If you have Windows 8 or 8.1 you do not have to do anything.

If your computer has a desktop with a picture and a START menu in the bottom left corner you have Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP. To find out which one of them you have you want to check the Properties. 

One way to do that is to open the START menu and find the word 'computer'. Right click on the word computer and choose Properties.

Another way is Click the Start button Start button, click or type Run at the bottom of the menu and then, type winver into the space that opens up

Press enter and a window will open up that will tell you the version.


It is time for you to make a change.

It is possible that your computer is old and slow and it is time to upgrade by getting a new computer. This may be the easiest solution, but I know that everyone cannot afford to do that.

If that is not true of your computer or you can't afford to buy a new one you can download the new Operating System by going to:

Look for the words  
  • Here is a summary of the requirements.  This may not be meaningful to you, but the Windows Upgrade Assistant will tell you if your computer can run a new operating system.
    • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
    • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
    • Free hard drive space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • If your computer is too old it may not be able to run a different Operating System. 
If your computer can run a new Operating System the first step is always to back up all of the files on your computer. Backing up is a whole subject to figure out. Look at the link below for more information.

In order to upgrade you will have to remove your files and programs from your computer and put them back in after you have run the CD that will install the new version of Windows. This is a complicated process and it is made more confusing if you have lots of software downloaded onto your computer. It is not hard to back up your files and settings and then reinstall them (there is a program that will do that for you), but then when you are done you will have a "clean install" withouth any software that you downloaded before. You will have to find your CDs or look online for where you downloaded them and get them again. If you have old versions you may have to pay for newer versions.

If you have very little software or just want to start out over again without all of the programs you used to have the upgrade will work easily. You can upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8. Windows 7 costs a little less, but since it is not the newest version it will need to be updated sooner than Windows 8. 

Here are some articles on the web about upgrading your version of XP. 

This webpage has a step by step tutorial and a video to explain what you need to do.

A helpful article on upgrading to Windows 7

Recommendation to buy a new PC rather than just upgrade.

Comparison of Windows 7 and Windows 8

You will have to purchase the new operating system on disks. It will cost from $75-$125 depending on where you buy it and whether you by Windows 7 or 8. Since 8 is new it is a bit more expensive.

Here are some places online that you can order it. You can also find it at local Computer Stores and stores like Staples or Office Depot.

eValue Software

Microsoft Store



My main advice is to start with a few questions:
  • What are you going to use it for?
  • How much do you have to spend?
I have a 13 inch MacBook. Even though it cost more at the beginning I felt it was a good value because it had a camera and microphone built in. Also, it seems to work without having to download lots of drivers or add on other components.

How to Buy a New Computer

Finding the Right One for You -

Buying a Refurbished Computer

Helpful Laptop Buying Guide

PROS - stable, you might be used to having one and just want to replace it. If you do not use WiFi in your home and your computer plugs into the Internet with an Ethernet cord a desktop is a good answer.
CONS - With a desktop you are tethered to one spot. You cannot bring your computer with you anywhere.

PROS - Can do everything a desktop can do. Is portable so you can work anywhere. If you have WiFi in your home you can sit in any room or even use it in the kitchen. 
CONS - The screen size is more limited than a desktop. Laptops are too heavy with a large screen. 

TABLET: Pad, Nexus, Surface, Asus, etc... 
PROS - Tablets have a touchscreen, which can be a good thing. Make sure to try it out at a store to see what you think about it. They are lightweight and easy to bring anywhere. They have a camera built in so you can take pictures and store them there or upload them to Picasa or another program online. There are a lot of apps that you can download for free.
CONS - For lots of typing with it you may want to purchase a separate keyboard. It is possible to print from these, but not easy to set up. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the suggestion! I think that "The End of Windows XP" is pretty enticing. I would be glad for any suggestion that you have.