THIS week sees the last batch of bug fixes and security patches that Microsoft will issue for Windows XP. After April 8th, computers using the 13-year-old operating system will continue to work just fine, but all technical support for XP—whether paid or otherwise—will cease. In a change of heart, Microsoft has at least agreed to continue issuing updates for its Security Essentials malware engine, which runs on XP, until July 2015. Apart from that, users who continue to rely on the thing will be on their own—at the mercy of mischief-makers everywhere.
We don’t exactly believe that it is specifically the end of XP at the moment, but should one of my OTHER hats be as an enterprising hacker, I believe I would be focusing on MS XP for a while to see if I were able to find a brand new vector into the venerable XP platform. Sort of like the policemen telling the crooks that they’re heading out for coffee – forever. “Have a good time!” Yuppers, that is where I would be concentrating. Now, whether or not hackers really find anything good? That’s another story. But usually where there’s a will, there IS a way. Don’t kid yourself into some completely false sense of security.
So Should You Be Looking at Upgrading YOUR PC?
Yes, you will want to take your computer up to a more current operating system in the not too distant future. Not perhaps today or tomorrow – as there will likely be better things to update TO in the short-term.
Contact the best local computer repair company if you are the least bit shaky on your skills. That computer holds your digital life and it doesn’t take but more than a single wrong “Do you want to…?” answer and blow away your data.
But to what? Windows Vista – lord no. Windows 7 – we love it. Windows 8 – that’s a push – and probably going to require more horsepower than a current XP machine could handle. For anyone that really wants to stay in the Microsoft camp, overlook Windows 8 or 8.1 in our humble opinion. It’s quite a departure from your familiar and comfy Windows XP. Not just do they demand too much in the way of hardware, both have been been written off as a debacle as awful as the Windows Vista misstep. Using the Windows 8 touch-oriented layout, this OS requires users to do things COMPLETELY differently from any manner they’re familiar with. Supposedly, Microsoft is currently running out Windows 9 in a bid to pre-empt a mass migration to Linux or Mac because of the interface that many, many MANY do not like.
But to what? For those determined to stay in the Microsoft camp, forget Windows 8 or 8.1. Not only do they demand too much in the way of hardware, both have been been written off as a debacle as bad as the Windows Vista disaster. With their touch-based design, they require users to do things differently from the way they are familiar with. Microsoft is now hurrying out Windows 9 in a bid to pre-empt a mass migration to Linux or Macintosh.
Our two cents? We suggest Win7, though makers have changed primarily to foisting the newest red headed step-child of computer operating techniques, Windows 8, onto everything. Windows 7 is still accessible as a direct purchase that can be installed as an upgrade if your hardware will support it. Otherwise, then perhaps wait a little longer. We’re heartily motivated by the above line about Microsoft racing out Windows 9. Windows 8 is such a… such a.. such junk for a desktop machine. We personally have NO clue what kind of group that they had involved in their UI design and test groups, but… clearly no one from “old school” had much of a say. I wish they would have gotten someone like my mother in the testing. There WOULD be a different interface now on Windows 8. There are a LOT of people that are really not up for the “OMG!” breathlessness that perhaps younger users are more likely to emit when seeing something like Windows 8. Count me among them as well. I’m totally underwhelmed by their interface. Does the backend work that well? NO idea. I personally just can’t get past that hideous ineffective interface for my desktop PC usage.
Should You Switch Your OS?
Completely forget the old Tareyton smoke advertising line, “I’d rather fight than switch…” It might simply be a superb time to change rather than fight. And Mac OS is consistently a powerful contender. I am more comfortable with the Linux distros now making the rounds though – especially Ubuntu. The article referenced at the bottom names 3 distributions – Ubuntu, LinuxMint and Zorin. After seeing this, I am moved to try LinuxMint. Linux versions mentioned here are all free – which alleviates that 100-200 dollar expense of a new Windows license.
I personally really like the Ubuntu Linux OS as a replacement for Windows. The interface makes great sense, albeit requiring a little shift in thought routines when moving away from Windows. Things are all about where you’d anticipate them in handy menus (depending upon your interface positionings of course). You’ll be able to find most of the gadgets and gizmos in Ubuntu Linux that you have in Windows, but they’ll be called something different and in some different places, but they’re there.
The point to bear in mind though should you decide to change – What sort of applications DO you use? And is there a great Linux replacement for it? For most applications that people use regularly, there are replacements quickly available in Linux. There are replacements for your media players, your Office type applications, chat apps, browsers, email clients and more.
The problem will come when you need some utility applications that you really just can’t live without. As a web dev and Search Engine Optimization guy in one of my alternate hats, I use a variety of little programs that do a number of things for me that there probably will NOT be an alternative for via a Linux app. Granted, I could sit down and try to write a small little app in some circumstances, but some of the small but essential apps are not exactly simple to work up. So going the direction of switch rather than fight direction is, in many cases, it’s just not as easy as it sounds 🙁 Unfortunately.
But if your particular needs and wants are mainstream and modest, it is SURE worth a little investigating!
Read the full article from The Economist below!
http://news.google.com Thu, 10 Apr 2014 08:03:44 GMT
End of the road for Windows XPThe Economist (blog)THIS week sees the last batch of bug fixes and security patches that Microsoft will issue for Windows XP. After April 8th, computers using the 13-year-old operating system will continue to work just f …