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Windows XP End of Support Message

Windows XP, released in 2001, was a worthy workhorse. It did everything you expected, needed, and it did it pretty quickly... albeit with the occasional blue-screen-of-death along the way.

But now it is time to say goodbye! The Microsoft team have ended support for Windows XP from the 8th April 2014... That's a full 13 years later, so fair play. Software, like a car, a computer or a TV, has a lifespan. And although it doesn't physically suffer wear and tear, it is subjected to thousands of hack-attempts, viruses and issues in that time.

And in the same way a car can have more modern tyres, brakes and even an upgraded engine (I.e. Windows XP Service Pack 2, 3), eventually a fresh start is needed.

Windows Upgrades

Vista was a rushed attempt to bring this fresh start and was, well... crap. Let's forget it ever happened and not talk about it anymore.

But lessons were learned, time went by and Windows 7 appeared, and it was pretty slick, worked well and you felt confident with this new system.

But then Windows 8 turned up; Microsoft were addressing the need for a system that would work with the new breed of tablets, touch-screen computing and even phones. And it was pretty good, but maybe a bit undecided as to what it should be. Microsoft were trying to please everyone and, with that in mind, it was a reasonable offering.

But people missed their XP, their "Start button", their desktop - they wanted more...

Windows 8.1

So here we are, Windows 8.1. Is it much different to Windows 8? Not that much on the surface. But Microsoft had listened and brought back the Start button, the desktop could appear immediately.  It was familiar but new and different.

And it was fast... Dam, it rockets along, even compared to Windows 7. Clever stuff had happened behind the scenes and it made everything just speedy and efficient. Need a new copy of Windows? This is what you need.


"Chrome what?" - an operating system designed by Google for a cheap laptop that just runs Google Chrome... nothing else. The idea is that you can do everything in "The Cloud". And to be fair you can do a lot (maybe not everything). For day-to-day use it's a great option!

Cheap, simple to use, fast and... dare I say it... future-proof. Because you don't have to install software on the laptop, it keeps running faster for longer. The day will come to replace it of course, but having all the calculations and gubbins in The Cloud keeps your computer free of clutter. Very clever.

What about Apple?

But wait, why Windows when you could have an Apple computer? Sure, it's an option. I don't use them myself but that's a personal choice based on what I need for the work I do.

  • "You clearly hate Apple" - No. I loved my iPhone, I've used Macs in the past (but iTunes does suck).

  • "You're a web designer, why aren't you using a Mac" - Asked many times... Because I don't have the need to. A bad workman blames his tools and conversely if you can use your tools well, why buy more expensive ones? I have PhotoShop and a copy of Notepad (plus some other clever applications) and it works. Well. And faster for the same price.

Don't get me wrong, if I could buy an Apple as good as my PC for the same price, I'd definitely consider it... Apple computers work really well and are obviously loved by their owners for good reason.

But then people buy more expensive automatic cars too, because it's less effort to drive. But I feel less engaged in an automatic; you don't feel the road the same and you can't have the same control. I'm going to stick to my manual gearbox for now, ta.


XP Support has expired... Don't panic! Your PC won't burst into flames. But if you're using an XP-driven PC, then it's probably old enough to consider replacement anyway. Windows 8.1, Chromebook or Apple Mac, all good options for replacement. Your helpful computer store can probably advise on a good solution for what you need.

In the meantime, make sure your Virus Checker software is up-to-date; viruses are probably the biggest issue with Windows stopping support. But this isn't a solution; check out the options for a new computer or tablet. You can get a touch-screen Android tablet from $100 and a decent laptop from $500. The choice is yours.

Read more from Microsoft.

Article published Monday 11th of July 2016

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