The Truth About the Death of Windows XP - Disgruntled Tech
Luis Izquierdo | On 19, Mar 2014
I am sure that you have heard somewhere by now, “Windows XP is going to stop working this year.” Although this statement is not entirely the reality, there is a bit of truth in it somewhere.
Microsoft has already launched their first steps in this process. Current XP users may have already noticed the pop-up message from Microsoft saying “Windows XP End of Support is April 8th…”, however, do not let sales representatives scare you into running and buying a Windows 8 PC just yet. In this article, I will help you understand what the “end of support for Windows XP” actually means and how it will affect you.
Despite some of the rumors and scare tactics used mostly by computer salespersons, Windows XP will not cease to work on your machine after April 8th. When you hit the power button on your XP machine on the 9th, you will still see your beloved operating system load. However, support for XP will end on the 8th of April. What does this mean? The answer is simple, you will no longer receive updates for drivers, security updates, bug fixes or any other software support. To some people this may sound very scary but for others, you may not even notice the change for quite some time.
If you are a small time user (email, web browsing, etc) you are one of the ones that may not notice any changes. Consumers who do not use the internet and just use their XP machines for word processing, pictures and other non-internet related items will also not feel the change. On the other hand, consumers who use third party software, watch videos, listen to music or play games will suffer the most. Below are some points to focus on.
With end of support, Microsoft will no longer be collecting nor fixing bug reports or bug checks. A bug report is also know as a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). These are mostly caused by corrupt, missing or incompatible drivers installed on your system. If you are not currently having any issues with this, you may last a while without support from Microsoft as your current drivers may not be updated as well and therefore should run in its current state for a while.
This also means that by Microsoft not collecting Bug Reports, any issues that you have with your PC will not be reported to Microsoft and therefore will have no fix issued for it.
Updates and Security Patches
Microsoft will discontinue any updates including security software patches. This will not immediately affect you but will show some cause for concern in the future. By not getting your updates or security patches, you will become more vulnerable to hacking, identity theft, viruses, malware and more.
Drivers and Software
Bits and pieces of software and drivers are designed to work with specific operating systems. After April 8th, not only Microsoft, but many other companies will cease support on Windows XP. This will lead to a chain reaction where you will be less and less likely to get software updates, driver updates and even less likely to find computer repair locations that will support your OS.
So, while your computer will not completely come to a halt on April 8th, you will, over the course of the year, see issues here and there. If you do not plan on installing new software or hardware to your computer, you have a good chance of making it last longer by simply turning off your automatic updates. Otherwise, you might want to start shopping.