It’s April 8th everybody. Today Microsoft pushes Windows XP’s last updates then pulls the plug on the life support for the almost 13 year old operating system. XP had a good run there, released on August 24th 2001, the Operating System quickly became the go to system for Windows users… and still is for some. With the end of support for XP doesn’t mean that at midnight tonight your computer will turn in to a pumpkin, but simply over time, will become less and less secure. AntiVirus companys [AVG/AVAST/SYMANTEC] to name a few can only do so much to fill the gap. Running a browser other than InternetExplorer8 (latest XP will support) will also help. However at some point no matter what is done (other than a airgap) your Windows XP system will no longer be usable as a safe general computing Operating System. Black Hat Hackers have been saving up some nasty malware for some time now waiting for this day to happen. Without the support from Microsoft, these holes and exploits will go unpatched. AntiVirus and other browsers will try their best to protect the users continuing to use XP, but it will prove to be futile.
SO…. the big question is what to do now? Well… you have several options
1) Upgrade to a newer version of Windows. Such as Windows 7 or 8 if your computer supports it.
2) If your computer will not support Windows 7/8, buy a new computer. Your old computer probably could be replaced at this point anyways.
3) Buy a Mac… Which isn’t a bad option, better than staying on Windows XP or going to a radically different Win8. But not close to what I would suggest, and has security problems of it’s own.
– there is another option.
4) Linux. If your still using Windows XP at this point, then it’s only one of two reasons why. A) You are forced to by your place of work (I can think of several partys guilty of this) OR B) Simply did not want to buy a new computer because the one you have is running just fine and later versions will not run on it. That’s the predicament I found myself in a few times when running Windows. Your hardware simply becomes obsolete and unusable.
Well, With Linux you can breath new life into your old hardware. If your the type that uses a computer just to hop on the internet, send / read email, and browse the web. A good Linux install would be perfect fit for you (ChromeOS runs Linux), but a real desktop can still do so much more. With Linux you can still do all the things you did on XP, just safer.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you your software is going to run on Linux… it’s not. Well… some can after some modifications. But there are many direct replacements for what you already have. For Example IE = Firefox, MS Office = LibreOffice, PhotoShop = Gimp, to name a few.
You can even try out different Linux Distributions called “flavors” by burning their image to a CD/DVD and boot from it, and you get a fully functional Linux “live” Install without harming your computer or files. But once you decide to take the plunge and install… make sure you BACK UP your files.
Over the next few weeks I will be producing a number of videos and tutorials on installing Linux, getting updates, installing software and finding alternative applications. It’s going to be a fun ride so hang on tight.