If you haven’t yet upgraded from Windows XP, then you (and 500 million users) must have strong reasons for hanging on to a twelve-year-old product. Unfortunately, everybody’s strong reasons won’t hold water come April 8th, 2014 when Microsoft stops supporting XP with new security patches.

Essentially, April 8th is equivalent to an expiration date as far as operating systems are concerned. Just like you can technically drink expired milk, so too can you technically operate a computer running XP on April 9th, but doing so will open yourself up to security risk that will sour your PC.

When software loses support from its manufacturer, it means that upgrades and security patches will no longer be created by the manufacturer. This leaves your system exposed to the latest security threats on the web. Whereas before the expiration date (while the software was being supported), you had Microsoft standing between you and the hackers; now, Microsoft will be stepping aside, leaving you to the digital wolves with an appetite for 500 million users.

This may feel like a scam by Microsoft to force you to spend money on an upgrade, but it’s actually a natural part of the software lifecycle. In fact, Windows XP has survived a lot longer than anybody predicted, even outliving the usefulness of its successor, the much ridiculed Microsoft Vista. Your best option for upgrading is either with Windows 7 or 8. The expiration date for Windows 7 is January 2020, which will give you plenty of years to use your new OS before having to upgrade to Windows 12.

Upon upgrading from XP to Windows 8, you may be pleasantly surprised to see a performance boost after dealing with XP after all these years. This is primarily because XP came out before the latest and most commonly-used solutions were even conceived. Think back to what the Internet was like twelve years ago, that’s what XP was designed for. Running new software on a new OS will yield you maximum productivity.

At 4it, we don’t want to see anybody left to the digital wolves on April 9th. Call 4it at (305) 278-7100 to have us upgrade your operating system so you can take advantage of better security and enjoy the latest solutions. Who knows, you may even grow to like Windows 8 as much as you liked XP.

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