Do I Need to Upgrade from Windows XP?

Posted with special thanks to A.J. Parl of

Windows XP, one of the most beloved operating systems of all time, was released almost 13 years ago – but, like the beloved teddy bears of our childhood, there comes a time to lay all things (beloved as they may be) to rest. 

“Why, do I need to upgrade my XP, if it functions, and continues to work for me?” The reasoning behind this advice is based upon several factors that go well beyond the newer Windows 7 or 8 aesthetics. To help you understand the logic, we’ve listed four crucial reasons you should upgrade your current Microsoft Windows system.

Security Experts agree; Windows XP is not as safe as the newer operating systems. The Internet is not the same as it was 13 years ago. Back then, it was a lot simpler, and cyber thieves were not as familiar with XP as they are now. Today, the new and improved cyber criminal consistently adds fresh malicious software to the Internet – and specifically targets XP users. They use this software to access personal and financial information – even when you try to protect this data by not sending it over the Internet. All they need is access to your computer.

Why is XP More at Risk than Other Operating Systems? This is still a widely used operating system – and cyber criminals now know it intimately. They understand every flaw and know where every security hole lies. Up until now, Microsoft has successfully patched many of these security issues, but they no longer have the time to deal with this aging OS system…Besides, any of the newer versions of Windows, including, the not so popular Vista, are more secure than Windows XP.

Lack of Support As per the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy established in 2002, every operating system receives a minimum of 10 years of support. So by April of 2014, Windows XP will no longer have any Microsoft support. This means cyber criminals are unobstructed in finding security holes, add malware and cause havoc without Microsoft needing to provide a solution.

Unsupported Software Because of this loss, XP will soon be compared to an old abandoned building or car. Software manufacturers will no longer have their applications support it.

Software is also more complicated now than it was a decade ago. New applications require certain operating system files and advanced interaction with the different system components… and unfortunately, XP just doesn’t have the right type of configuration.

Windows XP was created for a simpler tech era, a time when a screen size was only 640 pixels wide, and web browsers only needed to display a few simple images. We didn’t have the mass amounts of media formats that now exist. 

Hardware Discrepancies Besides the security and software issues, Windows XP also has significant hardware interactivity problems. Hooking up a new device on an older Windows XP system is already somewhat complicated; you have to go on the Internet to find unique support drivers, as manufacturers no longer send these with new components or devices. Soon, even finding these on the Internet will be impossible. New video cards, printers, sound cards and other components will no longer support the OS system at all. While this may remain unimportant to you; realize that your computer device will never be able to upgrade and you won’t be able to install, use or try new programs or components of any type in the near future.

OK, so let’s assume you are willing to make this sacrifice, but are you willing to give up on performance too? New systems currently have 64-bit processors (meaning they are fast.) No longer do you have to wait to load photos before opening and working with another program as you did on an older Windows XP machine.

So, when you place Windows XP on a newer machine, you won’t get the full processing speed of that new 64-bit  processor, unless you have a Windows XP 64-bit version. Microsoft did come out with a fast 64-bit XP edition, but there were no 64-bit processors back then. So, most XP users today only have the slower 32-bit version. In layman’s terms, this means that when you put Windows XP on a new system you can’t enjoy its new modern functionality to the fullest.

Bottom Line Windows XP has been a lovely, powerful and very usable operating system. However, as with all good things, it’s time to leave it behind and upgrade to a newer, more secure and faster operating system.


The Chief Computer Geek

If your small business, like many others is still using Windows XP on one or several of the computers in your office. And your anxious to get them changed before the looming deadline, Give us a call at Outhouse IT, we’re happy to help!

Scott Kendall

President – Outhouse IT Inc.

Office     905.366.8234

Fax         905.247.0329

Providing Small Businesses with a Cost-Effective, Full-Service Alternative to an in-house IT Department.