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

Since XP is now 10 years old, many users bought and paid for their OS years ago. So if you decided to upgrade to Windows 7, chances are you'll need to buy a new computer, unless you bought a new machine in the past few years and deliberately downgraded it to XP.

A prevailing theme among PCWorld readers still running XP appears to be an aversion to purchasing a new device. Arguing that all that will do is line the pockets of Microsoft and its manufacturing partners. "I don't want a new computer, I don't need a new OS, and I sure as heck don't need to spend the time and dollars reinstalling, buying, and re-tweaking applications that work perfectly fine now," said mb56.

Pro: You can still do a lot of stuff

The truth is you can still keep up with modern technologies and services even if you're running XP. Skype, Mozilla's Firefox 7, Google Chrome, Office 2010, Adobe Photoshop CS5, iTunes, Spotify, and Adobe Flash Player 11 are just a few of the more popular programs that are XP-compatible. The only thing truly holding you back might be your hardware. But considering most programs call for at least a 1GHz processor, and considering the 1GHz Pentium III came out in 2000, chances are your machine will be just fine.

Con: Compatibility

If you've got old programs that you're used to using and are running well, you may want to stick with XP until you've thoroughly researched whether you can take your old apps with you. PCWorld reader JSamuel says he's not moving to Windows 7 since he's running editing software on XP that costs more than $2,000 and is not compatible with Microsoft's latest OS or Vista.

Another PCWorld reader, goshdarnit, lamented that several of his old programs simply disappeared during the XP-to-7 upgrade, some of which were gone forever since he had lost the discs to reinstall those programs years ago.

Microsoft provides a tool called Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor that can help you determine if you'll encounter any problems with old software during an XP-to-7 upgrade.

Con: Time really is running out, slowly

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