Hopefully it is on your radar to upgrade any old machines you have running Windows XP. Microsoft announced about a year ago that the support for XP will be ending in April of 2014. So will it really matter? Yes it will, but not in a dramatic manner where an old system will just stop working in April. Still, you need to upgrade for a few reasons:
- Windows XP is most likely running on old hardware, which means a much greater chance of failure, not to mention the slow performance. Additionally, as Windows ages its performance slowly degrades and gets slower and slower.
- More and more “ghosts” will appear. As time goes on you will see more odd things affecting XP than the newer Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. We are already seeing this happen and once the Windows updates stop, then most of the software firms will also stop their updates for XP. Slippery slope….
- How much risk do you want to take on with the two items above? We have found that many of our clients want to limit end-user downtime. With that goal in mind, I would say now is the time to invest in some new machines.
I have been asked if you can just do an upgrade install of Windows 7 or windows 8.1 on the machines currently running Windows XP. Technically in some cases you can do this, but for the time/effort it takes, along with the fact that the system will most likely need additional RAM to handle the new OS, it is not worth doing. The cost of doing an upgrade will come out close to the cost of a new computer. With a new computer you will also get a system that is significantly faster and more reliable.
My advice is to act now before the April 2014 deadline. Be proactive — chance always favors the prepared!