What is Windows XP End of Support?
Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But as of April 8, 2014, support for Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system will end.
As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to help protect your PC.)
If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.
How Do I Stay Protected?
To stay protected, there are really only two options:
Upgrade Your Current PC
Very few older computers will be able to run Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, which is the latest version of Windows. You can download and run the Windows Upgrade Assistant to check if your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 8.1 and then follow the steps in the How to Upgrade from XP Tutorial to upgrade if your PC meets the requirements.
Get A New Computer
The good news is that there are good deals on computers and you can get a new computer for very little money. You can also spend thousands. The key is to identify your use – buy for what you will do rather than what you might do.