A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated.

End of support for Windows XP - Moving to Windows 7/8 or Linux

Support for Windows XP has ended on April 8, 2014, what does it imply?
  • Microsoft won't provide any technical support for Windows XP anymore.
  • No security updates will be released.
  • End of support for Internet Explorer 8.
  • Microsoft Security Essentials is no longer available for download. If you already have it on your PC, it should be noted that it will be maintained until 14 July 2015.

You can still use Windows XP, access your documents, browse the internet, run softwares, but the vulnerabilities and security flaws will no longer be fixed, meaning that Windows XP is wide open to malware infections and hackers.

We strongly advise Windows XP users to change their PC or migrate to another operating system.

Note that the risk of infection will not appear overnight, at the end of support for Windows XP, the risk is weighted by the degree of vulnerability of Windows and Windows software (Internet Explorer etc) to be issued thereafter.

You certainly have a few weeks perhaps months available where the risk may not be great leaving you the option of continuing with Windows XP.
If you can afford it, you can always buy a new computer or laptop running the latest version of Windows, Mac OS or Linux...
If your hardware configuration meets the minimum requirement to run the latest version of Windows, you can consider upgrading to Windows 7 or 8.
  • Remember to make a backup of all your documents before any such operation:
    • Directly transfer your documents to a removable drive.
    • Backup your documents and files on a Cloud service (Skydrive, Google Drive...)
    • Use the Ntbackup utility provided with the Windows XP installation CD (refer to kb308422).

- In any case, all of your programmes, if they are compatible with Windows 7 or 8 will need to be reinstalled.

Before Migrating to Windows 7

Check and see if your computer is compatible with Windows 7

Windows 7 requirements

Before migrating to Windows 8:
You can always switch to MacOS or Linux, but it may require an adaptation period to get used to these operating systems.
Some precautions to be taken before moving to another OS:
  • If you require specific program (Photoshop, Cubase, Illustrator...) for your work or professional activity, check for its availability for other operating systems or alternatives softwares.
    • Softwares such as Wine allows you to run Windows based programs on Linux.
  • Compatibility of your files and documents (Alternative softwares to read your Word, Excel documents, ...).
  • Compatibility of your peripherals (Check for the availability of the drivers for your wireless keyboards, printers, ...etc).

Linux has two major advantages:
  • Most of the Linux distributions are available for free.
  • GNU/Linux distributions can be tested without being installed on the machine (Live CD version).

The Live CD version allows you to get a basic preview of the features and GUI of Linux:
  • Simply download a Linux distribution, burn or transfer it on a bootable USB key.
  • Run Linux in Live CD mode (Hit F5 or F8 at startup to access the BIOS > Advanced BIOS Features > Set your DVD/CD-rom drive as primary boot device).

Popular Linux distributions:
To install a software on Windows XP:
  • Search for the software on the internet.
  • Go to the download site .
  • Click on the link.
  • Run the executable .
  • Install the software.
  • Reboot the system if necessary .

To install a software on Linux (Ubuntu):
  • Launch Software Center
  • Search for software (Name, category) .
  • Click on Install
  • The software is installed and a shortcut is created.
  • On Windows XP: You will need to search the web (specialized websites, manufacturer's website) for drivers, it can be tedious and it must be done for each of your hardware components.
  • On Linux: Each time a new driver is available, you will be proposed to update the Linux core.

Low risk of virus infection when using Linux. It should be noted that viruses targeting Windows are ineffective on Linux, so you don't have to worry connecting an infected removable drive or open infected email attachments.
To stay on the safe side:
  • Many games do not work on Linux (although there are solutions such as Wine)!
  • But if your computer is running XP, its almost certain that your hardware configuration won't even meet the minimum requirements to run the latest games.
  • Proprietary software like Photoshop, Illustrator are not available for Linux ...but there are free and opensource alternatives.

A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated.

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CCM is a leading international tech website. Our content is written in collaboration with IT experts, under the direction of Jean-François Pillou, founder of CCM.net. CCM reaches more than 50 million unique visitors per month and is available in 11 languages.
This document, titled « End of support for Windows XP - Moving to Windows 7/8 or Linux », is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (ccm.net).

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