Bye bye XP

xp

If you haven’t caught up yet (and really there is no excuse for this), Microsoft dropped support for Windows XP last week. While this may disappoint some it should come as no surprise. Released in 2001, and with several versions of Windows being released since (Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1), Windows XP is now over 12 years old. Just how long did you think Microsoft were going to keep on supporting it?

The problem for many churches (especially those with congregations 200 and under) is that many of them are running their offices on donated hardware and software, and in many cases that means Windows XP. As Microsoft themselves point out, XP will continue to work just as it is, but they are no longer releasing updates or security fixes for it. If you use Microsoft’s free anti-virus solution, Security Essentials, that too will no longer be getting any new virus definition updates. In sort, the longer you continue to use Windows XP past it’s “best before” date, the risk of a virus or malware infection increases (read more here from Microsoft).

So what to do?…

Option 1

If you want to continue to use Windows XP, check which anti-virus/anti-malware/security suite you use on it. If it is Security Essentials, it is time to change. Uninstall Security Essentials and replace it with free products either from Avast or AVG. If you’re using Norton, McAfee or similar, check your subscription and make sure you are still getting updates.

Option 2

Go Linux. For those non-tech people reading. Linux is a free open-source operating system. There are a number of different “flavours” (distributions) available, two of the most popular you may have heard of are Fedora and Ubuntu. For most people I would recommend Ubuntu (if you have used Mac OS X before, you might find some similarities). There is a whole suite of free software available, including Microsoft Office replacements, OpenOffice and Libre Office, or you could just use either Microsoft Office online at Office.com or Google Docs.

If you do go this route, you might want to get an IT geek from your congregation to give you a hand. If you do do it yourself, make sure you have a copy of your files either on a USB drive or online (OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox etc.)

Option 3

A full upgrade. This option shows that you take the needs of your church seriously. If your still using a old-clunker with Windows XP, then maybe it is time to realise that it is 2014. There are a plethora of options available… Windows PCs, notebooks, convertibles and tablets, Chromebooks and Android tablets, Macs, MacBooks and iPads, many of which you can get as a complete solution (with Microsoft Office or similar) for well under $1000. Personally I’m a Windows guy, so that’d be the route I’d take, but your (and your churches) needs and your personal preferences are unique. Sit down with a couple of knowledgeable people from your congregation and workout what the best option for your church will be.

If you do want further assistance from us, you can leave a comment below, or ask a question on our LinkedIn group.

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4 thoughts on “Bye bye XP

  1. It’s a sad, sad day. Win XP was one of the greatest iOSs ever made. But you’re right that MS just couldn’t support forever… However I’d recommend just going up to Windows 7 or 8 which are both great iOSs as well (because of the similiraty to XP;) and XP users can quickly learn how to use them. Thanks for those great tips though.

    • Thanks for your comments. XP was a good OS for its time, but that time was a long time ago. I agree, the best move forward is exactly that, to move forward. Both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are excellent OSs, but at this stage I’d suggest that people just move to 8.1.
      That said, some churches and organisation have limited resource or may not be able to upgrade for some other reason. In that instance Option 1 provides the best stop-gap.

      Just a note. You keep mentioning “iOS”, I assume you just mean “OS” (Operating System) as apposed to iOS, which is the OS from Apple that powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (or IOS, the OS inside Cisco network devices).

      • Yes, of course I meant “OS” and I know the difference. It was just a typo (that i did twice? lol). I must have been quite tired when I was writing this;) thanks for your correction and the tip to go to straight to 8.1 – now I have 7 and it’s great though but I will be changing my device in a few months so I will consider choosing some with 8.1.

  2. For the record, for the most part I would recommend that most users upgrade to Windows 8.1 (with new PCs). There are some really good deals around on notebooks, tablets and convertibles that are great to use both at your desk and away.
    Of course you can also take a look at getting a Mac. If you already have a good monitor (and keyboard/mouse), the Mac Mini is an unbelievable bargain.

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