7 reasons to move on from ageing, tired Windows XP

Summary:Some think that Windows XP is still OK to use even nine years on from initial release. I say, get with the times and upgrade regardless. 7 things

There is no doubt that Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has passion for what he does, and his latest post in regards to sticking with Windows XP certainly made me chuckle. But we have to face facts that Windows XP is now in excess of nine years old, and should have ran past its sell-by-date

Stick with what you know It's old and tired

That dazzling blue interface was revolutionary for Microsoft and incredibly bold of the company to go so bright and cheerful, almost. But with the temptation of "floating" glass windows, transparency and clarity in the newer versions of Windows, you barely need to learn anything new.

You should just be able to start Vista or 7 for the first time and be guided through everything, and comfortable enough using your prior knowledge to get everything out of it that you had with XP.

Certainty New and improved certainty

Windows 7 packs more drivers in and even Ubuntu has started supporting incredibly powerful hardware, should drivers be written by a community member or the manufacturer.

Newer graphics cards especially, along with sound cards and other multimedia devices will work with Windows XP still, but they also support Windows Vista/7; with DirectX being far more powerful than ever before, surely you'd want to take advantage of that?

Cost Go open source instead?

They said Windows XP was expensive at the time, but for what it was giving you in line with the global economy, it wasn't bad at all. Vista of course looked bad in terms of cost and Windows 7 is cheaper than ever. But as I've said, Ubuntu 9.10 is incredibly fast, reliable and works in line with how you've learned to use computers. So why not go whole hog and go open-source to a newer, better operating system instead?

It's still supported by Microsoft ...but not for long

Yes, XP is still supported until 2014 but only because it has been, granted, rather popular. But if you are ready to get a new computer, whether it be a laptop or a fully-fledged desktop computer with all singing and dancing bells on, don't stick with XP.

Plus, you can't even buy Windows XP anymore off the shelf, and if you're unlucky enough to have it bundled with your new computer, then surely something doesn't strike right with the OEM. You and the manufacturers should be aiming for future-proofing, not sticking with relics from the old decade.

Developers still support XP Developers are going next-gen

Developers have been aiming forwards for a while now, by taking advantage of new technologies in-built into the latest operating systems. You wouldn't have TPM management on a Windows XP machine, so why not upgrade and get the best security features available (or rather was, had it not been recently hacked)?

So developers, and therefore you who use the software that they build, should be using these new features, whether it's the latest .NET Framework or the Compiz/DWM software that makes Windows and Ubuntu look glossy and lovely. Plus, x64 Windows XP isn't too easy to get hold of nowadays without an MSDN or TechNet subscription, whereas Windows Vista/7 and x64 editions of Linux are relatively easy.

Upgrade components to stay secure Or more overall security

I'm not here to debate whether Vista/7 is more secure than any other operating system in the world, because let's be honest now, if you're behind a server than your client is only as secure as your infrastructure. Even with all the patches, the hotfixes and the service packs, future operating systems will have better suited under-the-cover technologies which can prevent malware.

UAC - love it or hate it - there's no doubt it must have helped someone out there. And failing that argument, Linux users are a far lesser risk of attack so upgrade to something open-source and shiny.

Do you really need to upgrade? No, but you should!

Let's face it. Would you rather be living in the past or gazing ahead at the future? I've always been one to play with the pre-release stuff and look ahead at what's next. Those with student email accounts may as well jump on board and take solace in knowing you'll get a far cheaper deal if you upgrade to Windows 7, and as I've said before, Ubuntu is a worthy adversary if you choose the non-Windows route.

Windows XP was good for its time, but I like to think, at least hope, that we've moved on since 2001.

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Open Source, Operating Systems, Windows

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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