Microsoft released the Windows XP operating system on October 25, 2001 and since then it has become one of the most widely used OS’s in the world.
Microsoft will end its extended support of Windows XP on April 8. This means security updates and support information will no longer be made available for the OS.
But that doesn’t mean you have to upgrade right away.
“It’s not a doomsday clock for your computer,” Best Buy Geek Squad manager Alex Oldfield said. “It’s not going to self-destruct as soon as that date hits. You’ll get a pop-up message that appears, but it’s saying that it’s a 12-year-old operating system. It predates the smart phone, even before the iPhone was even a twinkle in Steve Jobs’ eyes. It just doesn’t keep up with modern day operating systems. There are so many new things that you can do with your devices and it’s about time for an operating system that’s been out for about 12 years; it’s time to put it out to pasture.”
Should you decide to take the next step, however, you have options.
If you’re more of a basic Internet user, a Mac will work just fine. If you want to keep using many of the programs on your computer, Windows 8 and 8.1 work well with those.
If you’re ready to do away with your desktop or laptop, there are even options for you.
“For people who are big into social networking and web browsing a tablet will do about 90% of what a normal desktop computer or laptop is capable of doing so that’s definitely a viable option and we do have lots of choices to go with either for getting an iPad, or Microsoft Surface or an Andriod based tablet,” Oldfield said.
And while upgrading immediately isn’t necessary Best Buy is running a promotion April 6-19: trade in your working Windows XP computer for $100 toward a new device.