Microsoft announced that on April 8, 2014, technical assistance will no longer be available for Microsoft XP. What does this mean for people who still use Windows XP? Will your software still work? Will you be forced to upgrade?

Why is Microsoft Dropping Support for Windows XP?

Windows XP had a good run and was a very significant operating system for its time. It was first released back in 2001 and a lot has changed technologically in the last 12 years. To put it in perspective, that was 6 years before the iPhone first came out and started the smartphone revolution. Windows XP is still in wide use today and you can even still purchase it on However, three new major upgrades to Windows (Vista, 7, and 8) have been released since then and the next major update rumored to be released in April 2015. Microsoft feels it is time for XP to retire with dignity and would rather put efforts into developing new features and tools than support an outdated operating system.

What does Windows XP End of Life Mean?

Rumors of you computer self destructing on 4/8/14 have been greatly exaggerated. The only thing that will be changing is you’ll no longer get security updates and bug patches from Microsoft. That, and if you call up Microsoft support, they won’t be able to help you troubleshoot a problem if you are running Windows XP. 3rd party support will likely still be available but don’t be surprised if they encourage you to upgrade.

Should I Upgrade?

The short answer is yes. As we mentioned, your computer will still continue to function. However, new security threats are frequently found and exploited. There’s a saying in software development, “software that is 100% bug free is obsolete”. You can continue to protect yourself against viruses and malware by installing Norton 360 and keeping it up to date but it may not be enough.

What are my upgrade options?

It mostly depends on your hardware. Check the technical specifications to make sure your computer meets the minimum requirements for the newer version of Windows. You may need to upgrade your hardware as well and often it is more cost effective to just buy a whole new computer. Royal Discount carries a full range of choices for newer versions of Windows:

Need to upgrade 5 or more computers? Contact a licensing specialist at 877.292.7712 to learn about the Microsoft Open Licence Programs available to you.