Making IT work… Should I upgrade Windows?
The Windows XP Operating System (OS) has provided business and home users with over ten years of reliable service to computing on a PC. Microsoft is phasing out Windows XP and Office 2003, with support ending on 8th April 2014. This means that any security vulnerabilities discovered or driver problems with new hardware will not be patched. This could leave literally millions of computers exposed to cyber attack. To be fair to Microsoft, they have been pro-active and the UK Government and UK business community have been well informed of the end of support date. All IT suppliers, Microsoft Distributors and Microsoft Partners have been encouraging their clients to migrate to a newer version of Windows.
So what are the choices? Well, there are two choices, both of which work for a Laptop or PC, and one dedicated to tablet style devices.
The successor to Windows XP, Windows 7 is the OS of choice for business and home users too. Solid reliability, great security and usability, have all meant that it is a worthy upgrade from XP. Fewer resources are needed than XP, so this means less memory and processor time is needed, giving better performance than XP on the same hardware. An upgrade is really cost effective, this costing around £145 for an upgrade from XP/Vista to Windows 7 Professional, for example.
Designed for touch-screen devices, with gestures and touch based user input, this is the latest in innovation and technology from Microsoft. A recent upgrade from Windows 8.0 to 8.1 has tidied up some functionality for desktop users who now get the desktop by default, and the ‘windows’ button has been added back in.
If you or your employer still uses XP, then you really need to encourage them to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.1. If you are already on Windows 7, then there’s no urgency, but it’s worth looking at 8.1 if you plan on buying a new touch screen tablet or laptop for Christmas.