Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/172243/windows-xp-users-here-are-your-upgrade-options/
Windows XP won’t be officially supported for much longer. Sure, you could keep using it — it won’t just stop working one day. It will just become more insecure over time as Microsoft and everyone else stops supporting it.
I started upgrading from XP a year ago last June when I replaced my aging netbook with a Win 7 H&S notebook. I wasn't impressed with what I saw with Win 8 last fall so I bought three Win 7 licenses and used one in the desktop machine I built last March so I'm pretty much committed to using Win 7 until it breathes its last gasp early in 2020. I'm happy with Win 7 and see no point in "upgrading" to an OS that has a steep learning curve and have to tweak the snot out of it to make it usable for me.
If you insist on staying with windows XP, just install a linux distro or buy a mac, then setup virtualbox or vmware with running windows XP box in it, perfectly safe and ease of management. You can finally embrace the greatness of UNIX-like system as well as keep you dumb windows legacies, wouldn't that be great?
INSTALL LINUX with yumi.exe you can try several Live ISOs from one USB stick.
TRY Manjaro and Xubuntu
Install Virtual Box and inside it XP with all your programs but NO NETWORK => no malware => no antivirus.
Get familiar with Linux, install Chrome wine and try to run also your XP programs at wine
Install also KDE and Gnome, you can choose at start, but also you can use their bundle programs at your XFCE
Last but not least YOU CAN INSTALL KDE at MS WOS 8
It might be helpful to explain whether OEM versions are in anyway problematic, because that is so much of what is available for Windows 7.
I'd take the time to try Live CD versions of a number of distributions before reinstalling the machine. The various versions are very different and there are a dizzying array of them.
Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Mint Xfce and Mint Mate are all good for older hardware, and they all have different menu systems and window interaction models.
Manufacturer support for video drivers is better for Nvidia than AMD/ATI in my experience. If you get slow video/tearing, the good news is that an inexpensive modern video card (PCI-E) can be had for $50-70. The Additional Drivers control panel will autodetect whether there is native support and offer to install the best driver.
An LTS distribution can be a very good choice if you don't want to have to upgrade your system to the latest release every 1-2 years. If you're ok with doing system upgrades though, Ubuntu 13.10 just went beta, so you can jump on that (or most of its derivatives) and be good for quite some time.
If you've got an XP box hanging around, you're probably not the kind of person who'd want to use an Arch-based distro like Manjaro. Rolling releases can bork your system, so sticking with a more staid distro is probably good advice.
I just gave my old XP desktop to my girlfriend's father to use solely for entertainment purposes. The box can't be upgraded beyond XP. Because of a known kernel bug issue with the motherboard's VIA chipset, it can't accept any version of Linux using the 3.0 Kernel or Higher. My only option to keep that machine running is Windows XP. I've installed a good anti-virus and patched XP so it's as up to date as can be. Beyond that , there's not much else to do with it. He wants to use it for e-mail, playing dvds, online music, and the occasional online game of poker. Even with XP at the end of life, I'm sure it'll be fine for simple home use as long as the Anti-Virus is current. Sometimes upgrading away from XP just isn't an option
Specs for the machine are as follows:
FCI K8-800T motherboard
AMD 64 3200+ 2ghz CPU
1.5 gb ram
ATI Radeon 2600HD 512MB AGP video card
I think there are some old distributions based on Linux 2.6. You might want to try those, they're still safer than XP.
I did some research and I think SliTaz is based on 2.6. http://www.slitaz.org/en/ I may give it a try.
Windows XP will be fine to use after April 2014 - nothing will make it stop working - as long as you stay off the Internet.
If you DO get on the Internet, WindowsXP is unsafe now... you don't have to wait until next April. All the "security measures" - with the possible exception of a firewall - are very much after-the-fact. I base this on having to clean up Windows XP systems that, despite anti-malware, anti-virus, firewall and nailed-down service settings, the systems still fall prey to being rubbished. No one is installing anything, either: this is just through common usage.
The problem is the design. And that hasn't changed fundamentally, either, in later versions.
Which is why I run Mint, which never develops this sort of problem. Ever.
if you have an old computer look for distro's with i386 architecture. (i.e. crunchbang 10, peppermint 3) or you can install virtualbox. installing a linux distro in virtualbox gives you a better idea how it runs and if you run into a snag just google the answer with your host o/s. be sure to join the distro forum that you choose.
While Windows users will have to get used to a different set of software (not the end of the world at all, really), Linux can be a terrific option for much more than just web browsing and e-mail. I've used Linux and Linux only for more than 10 years, for both work and fun. Most of that is not web based at all.
The biggest issue will be if you have specific Windows-only programs that you must use, and that don't have usable Linux-based alternatives. And that's if they don't work in Wine, which allows a fair number of Windows programs to run on Linux, to varying degrees of success.
Individuals frequenting this site shouldn't be ones to have need for this article... Just saying.
I would be astounded if I couldn't find a better PC on craigslist for $50. Or just ask around for an "old PC that is gathering dust and needs a home". I have at least 3 right now. The heartache and pain from identity theft, email destruction, email account theft, bank account theft.....
Forget XP pretty much everything he wants to do is on the net. If your PC can't handle a modern Linux, it needs trashing. If you're absolutely strapped and can't find a freebie, I recommend loading it up with an old BSD.
Didn't he just say he found a Linux distro (SliTaz)?
The problem I"m addressing regarding "modern Linux" is because linux has become a prime target for remote hacking. It's harder to get into, but the rewards to zombie masters are so much greater if they get root on a linux system that they're actively looking.
The referenced kernel is 2.6. I think we're up to 3.5 now. I'm guessing the security situation will be similarly behind. Of course, statistically, ANY linux will be far ahead of XP.
If you do run with the older distro, may I suggest you don't make him root by default?
I still stand by my previous suggestion, which is to see if a freebie box that can take Zorin or some other flavor of Ubuntu is available. Most computer geeks have friends, and many of those have a slightly older box being kept to 'do something later'.
If nixed242 were a neighbor, I'd hand him an Optiplex sitting in my kitchen I bought used and have never started. I'd use DoD level hdd scrubbing first, of course, since I'm still ethically responsible for whatever contents are still there.
If upgrading to Windows 7, I recommend buying a Windows 8 Pro license to do it. MS allows pro versions to run a previous edition.
Even though you'll run 7, you'll still have an 8 license, which will be better for upgrading in the future.
My upgrading history goes like this. Year ago I bought new comp and I got Win 7 and 8 pro versions with it. 7 was ok to be a Windows but I still didn't feel happy. 8 was a disaster for me. I started to feel somehow tired to whole computing hobby.
I looked at my options and they were basically Linux or Mac. So I contacted some friends of mine in IT-business to get consultation.
I ended up to buy a Macbook Pro and for that computer I had those 2 Windows versions I installed Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon. If I would have older comp I would tried Mint 17 Mate.
Linux Mint is very good option replacing XP or even Win 7/8. It has been working so well. Also installation was made so easy. Just few clicks with mouse and vóila.
And what comes to Mac i felt in love to OS X and other features on it. Even that much I changed my Android phone to iPhone to synchronise easier. Haven't regret that neither.
Now I have been with OS X and Linux for 3 months and this has been worry free computing time all along. My decision is to keep away from Windows now-on at least for some time. Even my free time studies has catch the wind when I have been able to concentrate to study, not to solve all kind of problems, error messages etc.
This path has worked for me, and I encourage people to try new things. Yes you might need to do a bit of research and testing but Linux Live CD is one good way for that. Also dropping by closest hardware shop and testing example Mac don't cost a thing. And for this date since topic is old there has come lots of other devices like Chrome-books for casual web surfers and those who survives without full office packets. Be curious!