Windows XP: Pros and cons of not upgrading

Microsoft plans to support Windows XP Service Pack 3 until April 8, 2014, which means XP users have 30 months before they're on their own.

By Ian Paul, PC World |  Software, Microsoft, Windows XP

Windows XP users, your favorite operating system is a decade old, and if you're still using it, you're not cool anymore, at least according to Microsoft. That's the software giant's recent take on its aging OS, which is still more popular than Vista or Windows 7 worldwide. Microsoft is hoping the final cadre of users hanging on to XP will start to dump it and move to the more modern Windows 7.

"Windows XP just turned 10 years old ... 10 years is a long time to have the same old technology," Microsoft's Kristina Libby said in a recent blog post. Libby also included an infographic in her post showing you how out of date XP users are. Ten years ago, people were carrying flip phones and watching "Friends" on TV. Now they've got iPhones (oops, Windows Phones) and watching "Modern Family."

The last of the XPicans

Of course, switching to a new phone or giving up your favorite TV show isn't that tough, but overhauling your home PC is an act some would prefer to avoid as long as possible. And it's not as if the switchover is imminent. Microsoft plans to support Windows XP Service Pack 3 until April 8, 2014, (SP3 is available for 32-bit systems only). That's about another 30 months of more XP updates and support from Microsoft, after that you're on your own.

So is it time to switch or do you plan on running XP until your machine finally gives out and sputters its last blue screen of death?

Here's a look at the pros and cons of sticking with XP, along with some comments from PCWorld readers who are still die-hard XP fans.

Pro: Stability

Microsoft has had 10 years to work many of the bugs out of Windows XP. And while many people will cite XP's pre-Service Pack 2 days when you could literally get a virus just by connecting to a network, that age is long gone. As with any Windows computer, you have to watch out for malware, but most users are happy with how smoothly XP runs even 10 years later.

Pro: Cheap


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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