FVI Tech Corner
R.I.P. Windows XP
Microsoft has announced that as of April 8, 2014 it no longer supports Windows XP. But what does that mean for you as an end-user?
First and foremost, this is a security issue. Windows XP-based machines will still work, but Microsoft will no longer roll out security updates for XP. That means your computer will be more susceptible to criminals, who will exploit bugs that Microsoft will no longer fix, to gain access to your machine and steal your personal information.
So, What do you do now?
Microsoft has an online tutorial that will help you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. Keep in mind that 7 is nearing it's own end of life. Microsoft provide will updates until January 2015 and security fixes until January 2020.
When upgrading, make sure you back up all your files, as upgrading will not preserve your programs, files, favorites or settings. When in doubt, back it up. You should backup your data to an external hard drive or any of the "Cloud" sites.
Can I upgrade to Windows 8?
It's not impossible. However, Microsoft warns "Windows 8.1 isn't designed for installation on PCs running Windows Vista or Windows XP". This is mostly due to the processor and memory requirements of the new operating sytem. Most older PCs will not meet the minimum system requirements to run it. Microsoft.s website has tons of information to answer almost any question you might have regarding upgrading, including a Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant utilty. This small utility will run a system check on your existing system and will notify you of any potential issues for upgrading. If you're thinking of upgrading to Windows 8, your best bet is probably to buy a new computer. They have never been less expensive when comparing value vs power. If you want to wait, WIndows 9 is expected around spring of 2015.
Do I still need antivirus if I upgrade?
Yes, yes, yes. Upgrading to Microsoft's latest OS doesn't mean you can forego protection. Although almost all new computers come with a trial version of antivrus, you should always purchase or download a full version for the best protection. Also, keep your antivirus program up to date and run regular scans.
As with anything new, Windows 8 will take some getting used to. It has an entirely new look and feel to it. Though it is geared towards "Touch" displays and devices, Windows 8 is a powerful, intuitive operating system. Those of you who use a tablet or smartphone regularly should feel right at home.
Several viruses are packaged to look like windows add-ons that restore the look and feel of XP. Be careful of what you download and install!
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