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Windows XP has become very dangerous
April 8, 2014 was Doomsday for Windows XP: namely the day on which the support with security updates ended. Microsoft has terminated this support once and for all. XP is dead.
Strangely, some antivirus companies still continue to supply new antivirus signatures for antivirus applications for XP. It's like a hardware store that says: the government won't repair the dikes anymore, but we'll continue to sell buckets and rubber boots....
It's extremely important that you're not running Windows XP anymore. At least not when you're connected to the internet. It's highly likely that criminals will infect your computer with malicious software. Aimed specifically at weaknesses in Windows XP.
It's the ideal moment for launching such attacks: the target will never be repaired!
Antivirus software and other malware protection by third parties, will only be able to provide a partial defence against this onslaught. Because the source code of Windows XP is closed, so that other companies will have insufficient possibilities to provide patches themselves.
Don't wait for trouble, but take action now!
In short, this is your best option: switch quickly to an easy and free (no cost) Linux
Explanation: you have roughly five options:
Option 1. You install a user-friendly free (no cost) Linux, that does get security updates.
- This will cost you two hours, for installing and tweaking/tuning.
- You have to get used to Linux (which in the case of Linux Mint Xfce, is a small thing: it's pretty straightforward and looks a lot like XP).
Option 2. You install an illegal copy of Windows 7 or 8 on the old XP machine.
- The providers of the illegal copy may have put malicious software in it: how could you ever trust them?
- And of course it's against the law to install an illegal copy, which could cause problems for you. For example if you want to claim compensation from your bank when you've been the victim of internet fraud.
Option 3. You buy a new computer with a pre-installed Windows 8, and you do away with the XP machine in an environmentally responsible manner.
- You have to pay a lot of money.
- You have to get used to Windows 8.
So option 1 is the most attractive one for a lean purse. Apart from that: it's a nice chance to get to know Linux for a bit!
And what's more: what have you got to lose by trying Linux? If you can't get used to Linux, you can always simply go and buy that new Windows 8 machine, after all....
OK, but which Linux?
Windows XP machines are of course elderly. That limits the choice, because the system requirements of most Linux varieties have increased over time.
The best choice is probably the lightweight Linux Mint Xfce 13, which will receive security updates until April 2017. It's complete out of the box and has a menu that resembles Windows XP.
Another good lightweight choice is Xubuntu 12.04, which will receive security updates until April 2015/2017.
Note: burning the iso file on a disk, must be done in a special way.
Microsoft Office 2003 has died as well
Support with security updates has also ended for Microsoft Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. So you'll have to buy a copy of a newer version of Microsoft Office, which still receives security updates.
Or you can download a free copy of the excellent Libre Office, which is a complete and fine replacement for Microsoft Office. Libre Office is available for both Windows and Linux. In Linux, Libre Office is usually present by default (like it is in Linux Mint 13 Xfce).
Take action now
Finally: don't wait, but take action now!
Install Linux alongside Windows XP (dual boot), so that you can always choose what operating system to boot.
That way, you'll still be able to use Windows XP, albeit without internet connection. That prevents loss of productivity, tensions and irritations.
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Want more tips?
Do you want more tips and tweaks? There's a lot more of them on this website!
Firefox: improve it
Chrome: tweak it
Libre Office: tune it