The final day has come that Microsoft announced as if it is not extending any more support to Windows XP, the most user-friendly operating system that has had its birth more than 12 years ago.

An estimation that around 25% of Windows PCs in the workplace are using XP and even people prefer to purchase Smartphones and tablet computers instead of upgrading their existing PCs to the newer versions. XP successor was a big failure.

Microsoft is trying to make the users to upgrade to either Windows 7 or 8 OS. Windows XP can still be used even after its retirement on April 8th, but with risks. Check out with the risks and your options here.

Windows XP Operating System Support Ends

What’s so important on April 8th for Microsoft and its users?

Microsoft has announced the termination of support for Windows XP. Even though, XP made its debut in 2001, retailers are allowed for PCs with XP for 2 years. Microsoft has released updates on every second Tuesday of a month and this Tuesday, is declared as the last one and no further problems are supposed to be fixed.

You can still use XP and download and install an older version, but at your own risk. Microsoft still provides anti-malware software for XP till July 2015.

How to Check if your system is running on XP?

Microsoft website http://amirunningxp.com/ will check. This website will go through your options and let know about the OS. Even if the site is not visited it will send a pop-up notification depending on the configuration of the computer for updates.

While XP still works, why to upgrade?

The biggest reason behind it is the security. Hackers now know that Microsoft will no longer fix any security issues and so take the chance to work. Any flaws fixed in Windows 7 or 8 will give XP as a loophole to hackers for an opening.

There are some performance issues like new hardware or software’s are not compatible with XP. Especially with faster processors and more memory requirements won’t work with XP. XP lacks some of the features like energy-saving measures as seen with Windows 7 or 8.

What are the options left for upgrading?

You can either upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. Prefer to purchase the DVD rather than the downloadable. Windows 7 retail sales have ended. Your XP PC might be several years old and may not meet the system requirements to upgrade. Instead spending money on upgradation, it’s a good idea to invest in a new PC.

What to do, if you feel fine with XP and don’t want to upgrade?

Despite of the warnings, if you’re still using XP and even in the future, then here are a few things to do:

  • Make sure to run all the updates previously released by Microsoft including the one released on 8th April.
  • If you don’t really need internet then unplug it. This’ll minimize the risk of any malicious software injection.
  • Be careful of using any USB storage devices as they may form the mode of malware injection.
  • If there is any need of using the internet, retain from using email or any other communication channels that are the travel path for malicious software. Use other devices like tablet, iPhone or another PC for such requirements.
  • It’s also a good action point to lock the PC with a profile without administrative rights.

What about ATM’s and any other retail payment systems?

This has to be checked with the manufacturer of the machine as there are 2 types of XPs for such embedded systems, of which one will receive support until January 2016.