Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/171241/will-you-take-the-risk-and-use-windows-xp-beyond-april-2014/
The deadline for the end of Windows XP support is drawing closer every day now, yet many people and businesses continue to use it. Microsoft is adamant that once April 8th comes and goes, there will be no end-of-life extensions, assisted support options, or online technical content updates of any kind, period. With this in mind, many security experts are expecting malware authors to start stockpiling exploits and vulnerabilities in the lead-up to the cut-off date.
I am a Website Designer that is also a Linux user. This means I am forced to use Windows solely for apps like Adobe Photoshop. I run XP inside of a self-contained Virtual Machine that is not connected to the internet. So to answer your question, yes I will continue to use Windows XP until the apps I need no longer do.
However, if you are only using XP then you are doing it wrong. I am only ok with using XP because it is disconnected from the internet at all times. I also don't use 7 because it is incredibly bloated in terms of a Virtual Machine just to run one app.
On the other hand, if you are a Windows Only user then you need to stop using XP (5 years ago) and move to at least Windows 7. Windows 8 has an incredibly stupid interface so I understand people not upgrading to that but everyone should at least be on Windows 7.
Unless you actually care about security and want a super-fast desktop/laptop then you should try out Linux. Linux is Free, more secure than Windows and even more secure than Macs.
I work in IT support and I find my self still giving suport to Windows 95, 98, ME,2000(I work on more of this than vista or 8 by the way) as well as XP because they use X program that won't run on 7 or use an obsolete data base manager and dont want to import the dam thing
some of these machines work fine with no suport from microsoft with web access usualy if the user tries to use it for unapropiate work use is wen they have problems so it think it will bo OK
I personaly moved to windows 7 (wont move to 8 cause I hate the dam interfase (in my opinion they took a mediocre phone intareface and adapted it to a medion that rarely has a touch screen)) but i think i might start my kid with windows XP and work hes way up to the current systems XD
I have to say, I won't recommend it for the loved ones whose PC's I take care of. Not until good antivirus packages stop supporting XP.
It's a huge cost to upgrade a PC that's working fine, in terms of effort, new software and reeducation. That's too much to ask if you've already got strong safeguards in place like running as a limited user, using a good browser with script-blocking extensions and employing strong antivirus.
Packages I'll recommend to anyone who continues to run XP:
SuRun - run as a limited user, only elevate when needed, kind of like UAC but better in my opinion
Panda Cloud Antivirus - if you follow the independent testing labs, it beats MS Security Essentials but hits the same sweet spot of free, fast and quiet
Chrome - Not that you don't know how to get this already, but I prefer installing the standalone MSI which goes in Program Files where I expect it, rather than the default AppData
ScriptSafe for Chrome - prevents lots of unwanted domains and cross-site scripts from running, I set it to allow local page scripts to be allowed so the web isn't completely annoying
Web of Trust for Chrome - easily visible community ratings for links, before you click on them
VirusTotal for Chrome - check links with commercial link scanners, for when you really need to know if Web of Trust is right
ThreatFire - I actually run this on my machine instead of Panda (I use Panda on loved ones' machines), since it's strong and super-lightweight because it doesn't scan files. When I download I instead scan with VirusTotal (see below). TF is no longer developed but you can still find it at that link. Free w/minor nag.
VirusTotal Uploader - Check your downloaded files for viruses with over 40 commercial AV scanners if the file is under 20MB
Sandboxie - if I'm still skeptical of software, I run it in Sandboxie to try it out, then make a decision whether to keep it and install for real
Malwarebytes - Great for detecting and removing some of the tougher malware out there should anything get by my defenses
Acronis TrueImage - Rather than trust Malwarebytes to do the job, there's still no substitute for dropping a known-good recent image back on the drive to get rid of any possibility of lingering infection
I keep my data on a separate partition from the OS so I don't blow it away with an Acronis restore. Since it's a bit tough to set up, I feel obligated to recommend a good data backup program like CrashPlan, so you can restore your data as well when you blow away your C: partition with an Acronis restore.
What is "incredibly stupid" about windows 8 interface?
I don't have a touch screen, but I use windows 8 without any problem.
It may be easy for you, but many people here like to move their cursor less, and type more.
That's a really good idea. Outside of your web browser and things like Dropbox, which you'd install on the host operating system, there's no reason for the virtual machine to have a connection to the internet.
Seriously, on most old PCs (Pentium 4+) you just upgrade the RAM and Windows 7 runs just fine (without Aero). One of my friends upgraded his XP desktop (P4 3.0 GHz, 512 MB RAM) to 1.5 GB RAM and put in Win7. His needs are fulfilled easily (he can still play GTA Vice City and surf the web).
You're entirely correct, however in my opinion, there's just no point to investing sweat nor dollars into a machine that you'll simply be replacing in a year or two anyway. And then the OS will come preinstalled on the new machine and you won't have had to worry about wasting your time and money on the old box.
It's just not worth refurbishing an old machine simply to avoid a short window of exposure to the risk of XP hacks. Especially if you're running a solid defense with even a small fraction of the software I mentioned.
I'm with you takeiteasyjay...the only thing that's incredibly stupid is Micheal's comment about Windows 8. I've been using Windows 8 since Consumer Preview came out and yes, while there is a learning curve -- once you get the idea that the start screen IS the start button -- then the interface is incredibly simple! I don't even have a mobile device (yet), but I can sit back in a recline position, enjoy an incredibly fast boot time on an aging machine and access mail, weather, desktop and any other app you care to imagine within seconds. Hook your computer up to your HDMI capable big-screen TV -- add a cordless keyboard and mouse with dongle for about $30 and you have browsing and endless media and entertainment capabilities using Windows 8!
Will (I) Take the Risk and Use Windows XP Beyond April 2014?
No. I replaced my last XP machine earlier this year, something I planned and budgeted for several years ago.
For as long as there are security software packages to provide some form of protection in XP, users can continue without problems.
Being involved in IT service on a daily basis, I still have major (international) corporate clients that are using XP and even older Micro$oft OS without issues.
I am personally still using XP on my multimedia production PC and will probably continue to do so until some of the older production packages can provide 7 or even 8 compatibility.
Even the upgrade from 3.1 to 95 and then to 98 & 98SE was a major step and upgrading to XP (Skipping 2K and ME) was one helluva "bullet bite".
Needless to say, the transition to a new interface in Vista and then 7 was OK and I waited for almost 9 months before installing Win8 on my own desktop and notebooks.
The first preview disks that was provided to us by Dell when 8 was in a pre-launch state, left me very biased because of the seemingly "obscure" interface, but I soon came to love it and it's actually a quicker and more effective way to do things than any other M$ predecessor or even Linux could provide.
I just love the Hyper-V functionality already built into 8 for running my XP and Linux VMs.
As for XP, yes, do stay with it if you're not a heavy internet user!
Short answer: Yes.
I understand the the potential problems. I use XP almost exclusively on my computers because I work with a lot of legacy programs, most notably WordStar (WS6) -- that dates me-- running in a dos or command window. Other Dos programs too. I figured out all the tricks of doing this years ago and have much time invested in the shortcuts, batch files etc needed to do my work. (I do also have one or two computers that use Win2000 and one or 2 Win98 -- these I rarely use anymore. But I can still do work on them. One Vista notebook used almost exclusively for copying DVDs.)
Most Legacy & Dos programs will not work in Win7, except 32 bit version -- I have one Win7 64 bit machine configured with Virtrual PC 2007 running XP Pro which works well (as well an occasional fling with Linux, and a virtual copy of WinME which I keep handy because it has a copy of the Oxford Dictionary on it)-- but cannot use VPC 2007 on Win8 -- have tried Virtual Box to do the same -- works for the most part on 8, but have been unable to get access to my network with Virtual Box -- internet, yes. Network, no. (Not an issue with VPC 2007 in Win7). Hyper-V, as I understand it, only works with Win 8 Server editions, so that includes me out.)
So I have returned 3 different new Win8 machines that did not work out for me, despite the time spent of modifying the crappy interface and configuring for my idiosyncratic preferences.
Right now I am experimenting with Win 7 32 bit as a possible solution to the risks involved in continuing with XP, but frankly I cannot afford to upgrade all my computers to Win7, and so plan to continue with XP in the foreseeable future. If the future can be said to be foreseeable.
Yes, I run XP on three out of five computers, I have DeepFreeze installed on all of them and if something nasty happens, I just reboot the computer and the problem is gone. I also run Sandboxie and Avast on my Vista system and I have Wolfe Linux installed on my main system. These all connect through two software firewalls; ZoneAlarm, and two hardware firewalls, one in the router and one in the modem. Microsoft can keep w8, I do not need my desktop to look like a phone.
Just remember that that interface is why the majority of Windows sales are now Windows 7, which just surpassed Windows XP. So if you enjoy it, welcome to the minority. By forcing the issue, Microsoft is just driving everyone to other solutions: Mac, Linux, etc.
When M$ decides it wants sales, they will drop the idea that people should adapt to them and adapt to what people want.
I run Linux Mint as my main OS, and run XP in VirtualBox for work I need to do on my VBA (Excel) applications in Office 2000... which runs best in its native environment. VirtualBox doesn't work for everything - for example: editShare's Lightworks Pro and smith-Micro's Poser Pro 2014 only seem to run well in Win 7 bare metal - so on my desktop I do the dual-boot thing, but on my laptop, I only rarely boot to Win7, almost exclusively running Mint only.
I can say overall my experience with Linux has been a good one, but it does help to educate oneself. I think a Linux-based "Internet Appliance" is possible -- indeed, I've got a laptop set-up as such -- but no question one does need to study a wee bit. There is a TON of help out there, of course.
Actually it is better than that...I do need connection for my VM to sync files back and forth to my Linux but I have the VM limited to LAN only so it can share files with the network but it can't get out to the internet.
the interface is awkward, it turns people away, it forces people to buy a 3rd party start menu if they don't like the tiling interface which by the way...most don't. If you like it then that is good for you but you are certainly not in the majority.
I use Linux...not because of W8 (wait) but because of Windows in general. I jumped the sinking ship of Windows years ago and it was the best computing decision I ever made.
Is there some reason you can't use LibreOffice instead of Excell? I don't know what VBA is referring to so hence my asking the previous question.
As far as MV performance yes there certainly is a hit when compared to bare metal but that depends on the kind of metal. For example, if you have a Bonobo Extreme laptop from System76 ( https://www.system76.com/laptops/model/bonx7 ) then you could run multiple VMs and never notice any lag...that thing is a BEAST! If you have an average or subpar laptop then that could certainly be a problem.
Regarding Lightworks, Lightworks is creating a Linux version...yes they have already starting porting it to Linux. http://www.lwks.com/betas-linux -- however, it is far from stable right now and for me I use Kdenlive for video editing. OpenShot is another really good app for editing and the newest version will be even better which should be released in December.
Poser is a totally different beast....I don't even know of any alternatives even remotely to the quality of Poser. Though I haven't messed with Poser since Poser Pro 4 so it is probably evern more intense.
I am glad you first tried Linux with Linux Mint as that is the best version for Windows jumpers so I'm sure you will find many more things you enjoy about Linux.
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