Windows XP – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Windows XP – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

We have been selling refurbished desktops to our clients for quite some time now and although we offer windows 7 and 10, the core system still taken is windows XP. This operating system was first introduced in 2001 (16 years old!!) and despite the numerous Operating Systems (OS) that have been released since it, is still the 3rd most popular OS available. Despite its age, business’s still see it as incredibly reliable and perfect for the software that they use, as the saying goes, why fix what is broken.

 

Should I keep it?

There are still some pro’s to keeping XP, pretty big ones as well which is why so many people are sticking with it:

  1. Stability – as XP has been around for so long, Microsoft have been able to iron out any issues and bugs that have cropped up. This has meant that the system runs smoothly and is very reliable. Microsoft no longer supporting XP hasn’t really bothered people as people see it as a system that doesn’t need fixing compared to OS’s like 7 and 10 that have constant updates.
  2. Cheap – XP and a lot of software on it (due to its age) are cheap or free. Although they are dated, they get the job done and until that changes many people or businesses don’t see a need to upgrade, for many, the cost of upgrading just isn’t worth it yet when the same job will be completed (albeit a little slower).
  3. Cloud Systems – Software via the cloud will allow you to run modern software. This started to happen a lot as XP support started to stop in 2014. This allows people to use older computers with XP (and even smartphones). As cloud systems can work on both old and modern devices, it has taken away the need for having to upgrade especially if it’s to use only one or two pieces of software.
  4. It does work – the fact of the matter is that despite its age, XP does still work. A lot of companies have used it since day one and it has become an integral part of how they operate, and it still works perfect for them. Upgrading could cause a lot of bugs to try and overcome so why deal with it when there really isn’t any need to.

Looking at the above pro’s it does kind of make you think “Why should I get rid of it?” but the fact is, the cons of XP have the potential of causing big problems further down the line. One of the major reasons why is keeping up with the times, it will ensure your company is technologically up to date and in the know of what’s always happening and will keep everything at maximum efficiency and as safe as possible:

  1. No more updates – Microsoft no longer supports windows XP. What this means is XP will get no security updates, system updates, compatibility updates etc. With no more support forthcoming, a lot of new and more modern software will not work with XP which can keep you ‘behind the times’ as it were, stunting innovation and efficiency and just generally slowing things down. Importantly, with no security updates, it can make your system a sitting duck for cyber attackers as there are no updates to change security around, attackers will find it easier and easier to get to XP based systems.
  2. Compatibility – although briefly mentioned, this is very important. As Microsoft will no longer support XP, as companies make new software they will constantly update their software in line with updates that Microsoft make to their OS’s. What this will mean is with no updates coming for XP, it’s a lot easier to create the software to work on systems that are updated as a result the software will not be made available to use with deprecated OS’s.
  3.  Security – the fact is, one of the biggest things that updates give is enhanced security. When Microsoft stopped supporting XP they also stopped updating security. In this modern computer age, attackers are getting better and bolder and so our security needs to constantly be checked and updated, as you can imagine with XP having no updates anymore, when an attacker gets through that’s pretty much it, there will be no update to make sure they can’t do it again you pretty much need to hope that they don’t. If your company relies on XP (as was the case with the NHS attack a few weeks back) it can cause catastrophic damage which will force your hand in upgrading to get better security. The difference here is that damage is already done, the real question is whether you can afford to wait till something like this happens.

It’s for the Better

Comparing the lists, yes XP still has a place and can perform well, but, that place is better at home where it’s not heavily relied on, in the long run it really is time to start upgrading. Security is the utmost importance and with no more updates XP just can’t offer what 7 and 10 can. On top of this, any companies long term aim is to expand which will mean a bigger IT infrastructure and with the cloud’s capability, utilising its power for running your company’s software is a great way to go but is far better to optimize its potential with a current OS not a dated one. Whenever we have people buying desktop’s off us we always stress the need to leave XP behind and look to a supported OS’s to keep everything safer and more secure and allow for better compatibility and we do the same with anyone who is reading this, technology is rapidly improving and you need to keep as up to date with it as you possibly can!

For information about purchasing through Tonic Solutions, please call 03333353533

If you need advice about upgrading or maintaining your current IT infrastructure, we offer IT support packages to suit any business and budget. You can find more information at: http://tpwr.uk/d

– Nick Hill