Sunset of Windows XP, Part II – Why Upgrade?

In our last article, we discussed what the end of support of Windows XP means for you.  In the short-term, everything is going to keep operating normally, and you aren’t much less safe using it now than you were yesterday.

So if everything is going to keep working, why would anyone want to upgrade to a new operating system?  The vast majority of technology consultants has been touting security concerns as the reason to upgrade, but we at Maverick Solutions believe that functionality and features are more likely to make you take the plunge.

Windows XP only supports Internet Explorer up to version 8, but later versions of the operating system support later versions of IE – it’s up to version 11 already.  You may have noticed that some of the more interactive Websites are already acting sluggish or buggy in IE8.  Facebook crashes frequently, for example.  Other than upgrading Windows, you could add a third-party browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, but bear in mind that every additional piece of software you install takes up room on your hard drive, which makes your machine operate somewhat less efficiently.

New hardware is less and less likely to be supported by Windows XP, so when you upgrade your multifunction printer or buy whatever technology of movie player comes out after Blue ray, you may not be able to install it at all, or if it does install, you may not be able to access all of its features.  New software will stop being developed for Windows XP, too, so at some point your annual tax-prep package of TurboTax or Tax Cut, for example, will not be available in an XP flavor.  If you’re a gamer, you’re not reading this article – you’ve already upgraded.

Windows XP also isn’t quite as interoperable with Windows Phone technology as are the newer versions of the operating system.  While Windows Phone isn’t a huge slice of the cell phone market today, we at Maverick Solutions believe that it will increase as Apple without its visionary, Steve Jobs, will stagnate.  Android will capture the lion’s share of those jumping ship from Apple, but Windows Phone will see more sales, as well.

Even if you can live without any of these improvements on a day-to-day basis, at some point when your power supply or hard drive fail, you may find it difficult to justify the cost of repairing your old system rather than investing that money into something newer. Bearing in mind that those moving parts absolutely won’t last forever, and that your computer is definitely going to break at some point, planning your upgrade gracefully before then is probably a better strategy than recovering from the catastrophe after it happens.

Microsoft Windows XP was developed in 2001 and fully released in 2002, so it’s been around for a dozen years.  Since then, Microsoft has released several other operating systems: Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8, and they’ve recently updated Windows 8 to 8.1.  In fact, Windows 9 is currently under development, and probably being prepared for release within the next year or two.  If you’re still using Windows XP, it’s had a good run, and you’ve gotten your money’s worth.

When you’re finally ready to upgrade, which one should you choose?  Well, that’s the subject of our next article in this series…

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