On 8th April 2014 Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP and on 11th April 2017
the same support was removed for Windows Vista
Automatic updates have ceased, meaning new security patches and software fixes will
no longer be produced. This doesn’t mean that XP or Vista will suddenly stop working,
but it will leave your system vulnerable to security risks or viruses and malware.
As Microsoft issues fixes for security holes that are identified in newer operating
systems, those same holes will exist in XP and Vista but won’t be patched. Worse
still once those vulnerabilities are publicised, this will effectively give hackers
a guided route into exploiting older machines.
We all know that new viruses and methods of stealing a user’s identity or personal
information are being developed all the time. This is only likely to intensify and
this will pose a more obvious risk to those still running with the time bomb, of
these two operating systems.
So what are the options?:
1) Buy a new PC – All new computers will now come with Windows 8.1 or 10 and if you
are still unconvinced by these, much maligned, versions of Windows, then you can,
if you shop around, still find some places that are selling new machines with Windows
7, although they are becoming harder and harder to find.
2) Upgrade your existing computer to a newer operating system – This is not really
an option for really old systems, as the PC’s hardware may not be compatible with
Windows 8.1 and even less likely with Windows 10. Even if it is compatible then unless
your system specs are high enough, you might find the whole experience of running
a more resource hungry operating system, sluggish and slow.
Microsoft has issued a guide to the minimum specs for Windows 8, but in my opinion
they are way off the mark. Here is what I would recommend:
Processor : Intel or AMD Dual Core or higher
Graphic’s : Radeon HD 2000, GeForce 8 Series (Good)
Radeon HD 3200, GeForce 9 Series,
Intel HD (Better)
3) Carry on using Windows XP or Vista – If you cannot afford to upgrade or buy a
new PC, or really must continue using your old PC, then there are certain measures
that you must put in place.
Firstly DO NOT use Internet Explorer, download and use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox,
both are much safer and continue to be updated.
DO NOT use Outlook Express, use another email client like Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird.
You can of course access your email via the email hosts website (ie Outlook.com,
BT.com, Gmail, virginmedia, talktalk).
Install a third party Anti Virus, probably the best subscription paid package is
Kasperksy Total Secuity, otherwise the most obvious choice for free protection is
AVG or Avira.
Unless you are paying for a firewall as part of a complete internet security suite
then you need to install a free stand alone Firewall such as Zone Alarm. Even before
now, you should NEVER be relying upon the built in Windows Firewall.
Above all be vigilant and back up your data regularly!
For help with making the right decision for you, call SOS COMPUTER FIX on 0208 330
What to do now?
If you need help deciding the best solution for you, or don’t know how to check what
the specifications of your computer are, then we can check your system for you and
give you the best advice in how to proceed.
If it means you will need to buy a new computer, then we can advise you on this too
and even supply the new PC / Laptop, sourced at great value prices.
In upgrading to a new version of Windows we can handle the whole process for you,
including securely backing up all your data, scanning it for viruses before it is
transferred back onto your PC.
We will install the operating system, device drivers and any software needed, such
as Microsoft Office and Internet Security. We can configure your user account preferences,
install your printer and broadband connection, as well as complete any network configuration
If you need your email account set up in your chosen email client and all your historical
emails, calendar and contact lists imported, we can take care of all of this for
you, either on-site at your home or office, or at our workshop in Surbiton (usually
with a 24 hour turnaround time).
We provide on-site support or free local collection of your PC for installation at
our workshop in Tolworth, Surbiton, near Kingston Upon Thames. You are welcome to
bring your PC in to us to inspect, but please contact us first to discuss your requirements
and turnaround times.
Are you still running Windows XP or Vista on your PC or Laptop?