Do you still use Windows XP and if so, what are your options?


Are you one of the 10% still using Windows XP?

Here's what you can do:

  1. Do Nothing
  2. Install a newer version of Windows on your current PC
  3. Buy a new PC with a newer version of Windows
  4. Install a completely different operating system on your current PC

Option 1 - Best of luck!

Option 2 - This will be cheaper than buying a new machine, but check that your machine is up to running a newer operating system that was created with more modern hardware in mind.

There have been three versions of Windows since XP; Windows Vista (generally regarded as a disaster), Windows 7 (generally held in high esteem) and Windows 8 (generally ignored by everyone who doesn't work for Microsoft). The fourth post-XP operating system, Windows 10, is set to be released later in 2015 (don't ask about Windows 9 - it never happened, which some say is a shame because we'd all got used to the idea that odd-numbered versions of Windows were the good ones!)

It's probably fair to say that Microsoft have given up on Windows 8 now and are pinning their hopes on making a success of Windows 10. In any case, for many people, especially those in business, the more traditional look and feel of Windows 7, along with it's middle-aged stability, will be the clear winner. It will also be more popular with existing staff who are often averse to change.

Remember also, that if you are using your PCs for business and especially in a networked environment with a Server, it is important to buy the professional version of Windows 7.

You may think at the moment that you have no choice but to buy Windows 8 as most machines ship with it pre-installed, but if you have the professional version of Windows 8, you also have what Microsoft call downgrade rights - the right to install an earlier version of Windows without extra cost. Indeed, Business focused PC manufacturers such as Fujitsu generally pre-install Windows 7 and simply include Windows 8 on a DVD for those who really want it.

Option 3 - It's said that the life-time of a computer is just three years, because technology moves on at such a pace, with processors becoming faster and more efficient while at the same time software becomes more demanding.

So, if you haven't updated your hardware for a few years (and if you're running XP, you probably haven't) then there really is no time like the present; especially while you still have the option of Windows 7 which will be supported until 2020.

Of course, if you need to update several machines, then cost may be an issue. In that case, consider option 2 or if you're more adventurous, look at option 4.

However, there is another way that is often overlooked by small businesses, but can nail the perpetual problem of keeping up with technology without the sudden need to spend large amounts of money; now, may be the right time to consider the benefits of leasing.

Option 4 - You may not be aware that Microsoft and Apple aren't the only show in town when it comes to operating systems. There are many others, most of them, variations of the Linux Operating system.

If you've never heard of Linux, or if everything you've heard about it leads you to believe it's only for technical people, then may I suggest you take a look at Linux Mint or my current favourite, Elementary OS.

Linux is free to download and use, it has a familiar look and feel with Windows, Icons, Mouse and Pointer, and in that respect is more like traditional Windows than Windows 8. It has a repository of nearly 65,000 software packages that are free and easy to install in every category you can imagine: Internet, sound, video, graphics, office, games and education. It's true that Linux doesn't run Windows software, but unless you have a bespoke software package, you probably don't need to. And one major benefit of that is that it can't run Windows viruses either!

If you're curious or want to test Linux before committing, most distributions will allow you to burn them to a DVD, boot your computer from that without disturbing your Windows Operating System. Once you've got it running, you can test it and even choose to install it alongside Windows on your hard drive so you have a choice when you start your computer as to which you want to use. If you find yourself choosing Linux, then your XP problem is solved at no cost!

If you have any questions about upgrading your systems, including leasing options, please call Clover Consultancy on 01823 336220.

Every business is different, so we tailor solutions around you to fit your needs and budget.


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