periodic maintenance article
blog that lists malware families
MicroSoft Upgrade Advisor
Ubuntu home page
"32-bit or 64-bit?" question handled
discussion of Windows 8 Start Menu apps
Downes' article on Flashback
miss any of John's other HTML Emails? Click Here.
Services Web Site
Microsoft's support for Windows XP is ending on April 8, 2014. If
you're running XP after support ends, there won't be any more security
or system updates for you. “Therefore, we recommend that
customers running computers with Windows XP take action and update or
upgrade their PCs before the end-of-support date. If Windows XP is
still being run in your environment and you feel that migration will
not be complete by April 8, 2014, or you haven't begun migration yet,
Microsoft is eager to help,” they explained in their Microsoft Support
Lifecycle Policy Newsletter for March 2013. Security threats are
the main reason to abandon XP yourself.
why not just keep on keeping on?
Are there any reasons to keep using XP for now? Until April 8,
2014, IF you continue to allow automatic Windows updates, AND you keep
your anti-virus software up to date, and otherwise keep your system
clean and quick with the recommended periodic maintenance, Windows XP
with Service Pack 3 can be reasonably expected to continue to perform
as it has for years. Beyond that looming date, XP will keep on
until malware catches up with you. There's a link at the left to
a Microsoft Security Blog that names and describes the most common
types of malware as of the second quarter of 2012. These things
and their more recently-hatched relatives are waiting to infect your
system. Infection means you likely won't be able to use your
computer while it's infected. Further, if you are able to get rid
of these infections, without security updates for your system, you'll
be helpless to prevent quick reinfection. In short, it will be
time to move on. You do have some choices.
Upgrade to Windows 7 or
Windows 7 is basically a nicer, more reliable version of Windows
XP. It prefers more memory and generally a faster processor, but
it does all the same things XP does, including getting infected.
The above recommendations about updates, anti-virus and periodic
maintenance all apply. The good news is that if you migrate from
Windows XP to a Windows 7 system, you will feel pretty much at
home. As of this writing, a Windows 7 Upgrade disc costs about
$100, but there are some things to consider before you plunk down your
VISA. Not every XP system can be upgraded, and some can be
upgraded, but with reservations. Click the link at the left to
Microsoft's Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor web site and download and run the
little application of the same name to see if your PC is ready for
Windows 7. It scans for potential issues with your particular
system and makes recommendations in preparation for the upgrade.
Or, you could jump ship on Microsoft and the security problems it
presents by installing the latest version of free Ubuntu Unix.
Ubuntu is compatible with even the oldest Windows XP systems.
Just download and burn it onto a CD, and then run the CD in your
Windows XP (or Vista or Windows 7) computer, even if it's
infected. The only issue is whether your computer is 32-bit
(older) or 64-bit (newer-- see the link pertaining to this question at
the left). Ubuntu comes with plenty of free applications for
dealing with your email, Internet browsing, photo collection, and what
have you. Click the Ubuntu link and read about why 20 million
people worldwide have switched to it.
Buy a new system with
Windows 7, Windows 8 or get a Macintosh
As of this writing there are still Windows 7 laptops and desktops
available in Amazon, along with, of course, plenty of Windows 8
machines. Windows 8 is faster and more secure than Windows 7 and
there are now low cost and free Windows 8 applications (link alert)
that can be used to put the missing Start menu back and otherwise give
Windows 8 users a more Windows 7-like experience.
Macintosh OS X used to be known as the virus-free choice, but alas,
those days are gone. Apple carelessly left the door open to the
Flashback Botnet malware in April 2012, and about 600,000 Mac users
were subsequently infected. Click the Flashback link at the left
to read about it and see what to do about it. Notwithstanding
Flashback, Macintosh still offers the most reliable and user-friendly
choice-- it just costs a lot more.
John can help you with migrating from Windows XP. He awaits your
June 1, 2013