With Microsoft’s discontinuation of support for Windows XP from April 2014, it is now in the best interests of Windows XP users to upgrade their operating systems.

Each operating system that Microsoft produces has a limited life cycle of around 10 years. Given that Windows XP was released in 2001 it is now well overdue to be phased out by Microsoft.
You are not going to notice any immediate difference in the use of your computer initially, for a while it will appear as though everything is functioning the way it always has.

The problem is that the Windows update function will no longer keep your computer protected from the latest security threats, which means your system will become more vulnerable to hacking, viruses and other nasty activities! A further complication is that the applications such as internet browsers, email clients, and office software on your computer will continue to be updated as technology advances. Over time these updates will become incompatible with XP, as applications become designed specifically for later operating systems such as Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Microsoft has an interesting history of releasing an operating system that is problematic, followed by one that is very good: Windows ME (poor), Windows XP (excellent), Windows Vista (poor), Windows 7 (excellent), Windows 8…?

The reception of Windows 8 has been mixed to say the least. Even if you are a fan of the module design and touch-screen-ready operating system, you may want to reconsider jumping straight from Windows XP to Windows 8. There are a number of reasons for this, here are the three biggest ones:

1. Given that two operating systems co-exist at the same time, it makes more sense to hop the poor operating systems and stick with the trend of every second release being better. So move to Windows 7 now and then upgrade to Windows 9 in another 5 years!

2. Upgrading to Windows 8 is going to cost you more then upgrading to 7. This is because most computers running XP will run Windows 7 quite happily, however, moving to Windows 8 from an XP machine means you will be needing a new computer as your hardware will not run Windows 8.

3. Windows 7 is an excellent operating system, and Microsoft has promised extended support until 2020, by which time they will have released Windows 9 anyway! Given the reliable trend, all bets are on for Windows 9 to have less teething problems than Windows 8.

Microsoft has released a tutorial on how to effect the XP to Windows 7 upgrade is is avilible here: Windows XP to Windows 7 upgrade

For those who may find the process too technical or risky, we would be happy to complete it for you.
There is no need to panic about getting the upgrade completed tomorrow, but we do recommend getting this underway in the next couple of months.

-Eric and the SmartLogic Team