Windows XP has been a stalwart and stable platform for PCs nearly a decade now and for that reason, among others, many users refuse to upgrade. So far, that has not been an issue for most XP users. Businesses and individual users alike are more than happy to forgo the perceived problems that come with a new operating system and considering the mess that was Vista's initial offering, who would blame them?
This time, things are different. Microsoft is no longer providing support for Windows XP. That means when new viruses are created or a new vulnerability is revealed, XP users will be left on their own. If that's not enough of a reason to upgrade or make a change now, here are a few more reasons and some specifics to back it up.
Windows XP has been a vulnerable operating system for some time now. After a decade of regular updates, tweaks, and service packs, there are still significant security issues appearing.
Take for example last December's vulnerability. Microsoft released a security advisory detailing the then zero-day exploit and reported that the problem had been exploited for some time, undetected. This vulnerability is not found in newer releases of Windows.
Add to that last tidbit of information Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report, which detailed the differences between infection rates from potential threats between Windows operating systems. According to the report, Windows XP with Service Pack 3 had an infection rate of nearly double that of Widows 7, and over 600% more than the 64-bit version of Windows 8.
If Windows XP is the most recently released operating system that you have experience with, then the differences in functionality between versions of Windows may be surprising.
Consider this feature of Windows 8: the operating system has a Fine History feature that scans all of you files every few hours and stores changes made. This might not seem like the flashiest feature, but when you are able to recover or restore changes made to your files that you had not planned to need, you will understand the significance of the Windows 8 feature.
One more example of how Windows 8 makes using and protecting your operating system simpler than Windows XP: the operating system allows you to set updates and significant patches to automatically install. Gone are the days that your home PC was vulnerable because you forgot to check the Windows Update site or that you missed a little icon in your system tray.
New technology and upgrades
Continuing to use Windows XP is restricting your ability to upgrade or install new technology, products, and programs. In the last ten years, many products have continued to be backward compatible with the aging operating system, but the options have been slimmer and slimmer as time went by, and now are basically non-existent.
Here is a quick example of a new technology that is unavailable or limited by Windows XP's age: USB 3.0 products. Yes, USBs are backward compatible with existing USB technology, but a USB 3.0 will be restricted to operating at USB 2.0 levels, which will limit its speeds to nearly a tenth of 3.0s potential speed.
The time has passed...
Windows XP was and is, quite possibly, the best Windows operating system ever made. However, its time has passed and with it the security and safety of your data and online life is now vulnerable. If you take your data's security seriously, the only choice ahead of you will be which operating system to upgrade to.