The Norman Transcript

March 22, 2014

Last gasp for Windows XP


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — If your computer uses Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system and you are not prepared, you may be in for a shock, come April 8.

On that date, Microsoft will end all support for the Windows XP operating system. That means no more updates, no more patches, no more security fixes; you will be on your own.

A criminal hacker’s field day will begin, as new security problems are found, but no more fixes will be possible. From then on, it will no longer be safe to put a Windows XP computer on the Internet.

That means that millions of people around the world will need to buy a new computer. In a nutshell, if you still use a Windows XP computer, get ready to buy a new, more modern computer. Your old computer is soon to become junk.

I can’t fix it; we can’t change it. You just have to go with what’s happening and adapt.

Experts say about 570 million computers worldwide will need to be replaced or substantially upgraded, which comes to about one-third of all Windows computers in the world. The U.S. represents about 10 percent of that total, meaning only 57 million computers will hit the trash heap. The country with the biggest problem will be China, lumbering in at 65 percent, meaning more than 370 million computers may end up in landfills.

If you are using a Windows XP computer, I urge you to make the change now. I predict that next month, millions of people around the world will all go to “the store” at the same time. My advice is to avoid the rush and prepare now.

Be prepared to spend at least $500 to $600-plus on a good desktop or laptop computer. If you also need to replace an aging monitor, that will add another $150 or so. Don’t waste your time on el-cheapo computers. Spend a little extra on something well-built, and you will be happier in the long run.

Computer shopping can be confusing for many people. For a Windows-type PC, I recommend at least an Intel i5, i7 or AMD quad-core processor; at least 8 gigabytes of RAM (memory) and a 500 (or larger) gigabyte hard drive. Everything else — like wireless capability, hot-shot graphics cards and fancy video options — are things to be tailored to your individual situation. If you don’t know what to get, ask someone who does to help you.

You may not even know if you use the Windows XP operating system. To find out, turn off your computer and pay attention as it comes back on; it should tell you. You can also go to Control Panel and double-click the “System” icon. A window will open up, telling you which operating system you have.

Dave Moore has been performing computer consulting, repairs, security and networking in Oklahoma since 1984. He also teaches computer safety workshops. He can be reached at 919-9901 or davemoorecomputers.com.

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