Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

It is time to face facts and finally dump Windows XP

I have been saying this for a while now; but, sometimes people just want to know what other pros are saying..

Microsoft Windows XP is 10-year old technology; it is time to dump it for something better and safer.

It is time to finally dump Microsoft Windows XP. There are no longer any truly compelling reasons to stick with XP, just excuses. Yes, it still works, but so does Morse Code, horse and buggies, and the IBM PC Jr. I have on display in the office. The Windows 7, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems are all better operating systems than Windows XP. They are more secure, they take advantage of modern hardware and software technology, and they are closer to the beginning of their respective product life cycles.

And consider what we have seen in the past few years. Smartphones and tablet PCs are selling by the millions and the way your users will interact with the network has changed forever. For many, the idea of a 9-to-5 job is the stuff of nostalgia; we work when we work and we need to be connected at all times with any device that happens to be available. Not one of those devices is running Windows XP and with good reason.”

To read the entire Tech Republic article, click here.

Not only am I a tech, but I write about, and study, Internet safety. A big part of my RL job is repairing machines which have been infected with “malware” (spyware, keyloggers.. “viruses”). 90% of the machines on my workbench for malware removal in 2011 have been Windows XP (32-bit) .. and 90% of those had antivirus or a “Internet Security Suite” installed.
These facts mirror what I observed in 2010.

I am going to be blunt (again) — I would not connect a Windows XP machine to the Internet unless it were fully “sandboxed” by an application like Time Freeze ($39) or Time Machine (free) and the web browser was sandboxed by an application like Sandboxie (free+pro).
Or it was a virtual machine.
Or I was deliberately trying to get infected (to gather malware samples).

None of those three things are things the “average computer user” is going to take the time to learn and implement. (I would hope they would at least do the first.. but.. let’s be real.) And let’s not forget: Microsoft has come out and said they want us off of XP and are ending support for it. Hint?

(And, please. I do not want to hear from people telling me they are running 32-bit XP and have never been infected. I am certain there are some of you out there, yet.)

Bottom line is – it sure seems to me – it is past time to get yourself a new 64-bit computer.

Be that Windows 7 SP1, Apple’s Mac, or Linux.

I understand that simple economics will prevent many from following that advice. For those folks, I seriously and ardently recommend the sandboxing tools mentioned above.. and also rethinking your budget and trying really, really hard to fit a new computer into it. To put it simply, when it comes to software product cycles, Windows XP is just plain ancient. And vulnerable. The “hackers” have had it under their microscopes for 10 years…

Don’t agree? Scroll back up; click the link; read the article.
I’m just giving you my 2¢.

Bonus reading: Typical Sounds A Hard Drive Will Make When Failing

“During all my years of working around PC’s I have learned to not only monitor for the visual cues of the onset of problems; but to also monitor for the audio cues, as well.  For example, if I am assisting someone on a PC that may be experiencing problems, I am lost if there is not a hard drive LED light to monitor the activity of the hard drive…”

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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March 28, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, Microsoft, security, software, Windows, XP | 8 Comments