Support for Windows XP ended on April 8th and you will need to eventually upgrade.
You will need to decide whether to remain on XP for a while longer, move to Windows 7, move to Windows 8, keep your current computer, or purchase a new computer. Here is a quick guide:
Remain on XP:
Your computer will continue to work as it has in recent history, however your computer will be at a higher security risk because Microsoft will no longer update XP. This leaves security vulnerabilities on all XP machines. To strengthen your security, make sure your anti-virus is updated. It is recommended to limit or restrict your XP machine from the internet because of increased security risks, however if you still plan to use the internet on your XP machine, do not use Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer will not support XP any longer. Move to Chrome or Firefox for more secure internet browsing as they will continue to support XP.
You may also begin to experience issues when you purchase new hardware such as printers. New devices will not be compatible will Windows XP.
Eventually, you will need to upgrade to either Windows 7 or Windows 8. In the meantime, take precaution with internet browsing to protect your PC. Here is a more in-depth article about keeping your XP machine safe once support is ended.
Move From XP to Windows 7:
First, you need to determine if you can continue to use your current computer or if you need to purchase a new one. To see if your PC is ready for Windows 7, download the free Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor from Microsoft. It scans your PC for potential issues with your hardware, devices, and installed programs, and recommends what to do before you upgrade. This tool determines what operating system you are on if you are unsure.
If your current computer cannot support Windows 7, you will have to purchase a new computer at some point in time. You can purchase a Windows 8 machine and downgrade it to Windows 7 if you are set on working on Windows 7. Keep in mind that downgrading to Windows 7 does get costly. Windows 7 machines are still available but are more limited each day.
Move From XP to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1:
It is very unlikely that you will keep your current XP machine and upgrade it to Windows 8, but here is an article about upgrading an older machine to Windows 8. Unless your machine was very powerful for its day, then you will need to purchase a new computer with Windows 8. Before moving to Windows 8, make sure to call your 3rd party software and application providers to ask if their programs will work with Windows 8. You do have the option to buy a WIndows 8 machine
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