Reasons not to use Windows XP on your PC
In the past, we’ve recommended Windows XP as a great choice for older PCs due to its light footprint and low system requirements. Well, here’s the flipside of that argument: five reasons why it’s not a good idea to use XP after all.
1. Microsoft is Stopping Support
Microsoft no longer sells Windows XP, and it plans to cut off support for XP Service Pack 3 (the latest version) in April 2014. There is no doubt that hackers will find security issues in XP following that end of support date, meaning XP will no longer be safe to use. It’s also worth noting that the 64-bit version of XP never got a Service Pack 3, so it’s already bad news.
2. Some Applications Won’t Work
Games with the Games for Windows tag on them require Windows Vista or Windows 7 to operate, due to the advanced video requirements, Windows Live service, and newer Direct X (graphics interface) versions needed. Still other applications without that tag need something other than XP to run.
3. It’s Missing Features
Windows 7 includes a lot of additional features that aren’t present in XP. The Windows Aero visual interface, the Quick Launch bar, built-in CD and DVD burning, and so on. Microsoft isn’t planning to add these to XP anytime soon, so you’d need to upgrade to take advantage of them.
4. Hardware & Driver Issues
The vast majority of Windows XP versions are the 32-bit version, meaning it only has access to about 3 to 3.5 gigabytes of RAM. Many apps require a lot more than that, and there’s a good chance your system can support more than that. 64-bit Windows operating systems really came into the mainstream with Windows 7, which can access a lot more RAM.
Some newer hardware manufacturers have limited or under-supported Windows XP drivers, meaning to get full use out of the hardware and associated software, you’ll need Windows Vista or 7.
5. Touch Screens & So On
If you’ve got a PC that has a touch screen, or have a laptop touchpad with multi-touch support, you really want Windows 7, as it was designed to take advantage of those features. (Windows 8 is even more touch-based.) Windows XP’s touch support is limited at best.
All of these reasons together mean that if your PC is capable of upgrading to Windows 7, you absolutely should. If you’ve got an older PC, stick with Windows XP until 2014. Hopefully, you’ll be able to upgrade by then.
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