Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

How feasible is it to use XP after Microsoft stops support?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / June 7, 2013 9:10 AM PDT
Question:

How feasible is it to use Windows XP after Microsoft stops supporting it?


After reading the sad news that Windows XP support is going to be discontinued by Microsoft, I'm wondering how feasible would it be for me to continue using Windows XP after the support ends? If I have a firewall and antivirus and antispyware software that's not made by Microsoft, should I be worried about my security using XP given that I won't be getting any more XP security updates and patches? Are there any other concerns I should be thinking about besides security? I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering about this. Please advise. Thanks.

-- Submitted by: John T.
Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: How feasible is it to use XP after Microsoft stops support?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: How feasible is it to use XP after Microsoft stops support?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
"Use" is Easy.. Just Do It.. "Security" Is Another Thing....
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / June 7, 2013 10:04 AM PDT

Newly discovered security vulnerabilities to the operating system will not be patched when Microsoft discontinues XP support.. If those vulnerabilities apply to you and your use of the computer, then the machine runs the risk of getting malware or at least, being susceptible to the vulnerability. If you're using your computer on the internet, it's a risk.. If you are using your computer as a standalone machine, apart from access by the internet or other means of infection, there's not much risk at all.

In addition, as other third party programs are updated regarding security issues, they won't be tested for XP.. Drivers and other apps simply won't include XP in their testing process.. Each one of those apps will eventually become unusable on an XP machine and future workable applications will be harder and harder to find..

Basically, the best advice is to move to a current computer with a current operating system.

That said, some folks simply can't get the new operating system because of financial issues.. Remember, since security is 90% related to the person behind the keyboard, some users may still choose to use the older operating system. A few will do well.. Others won't. I now some who are still using Windows 98 and Window 2000 simply because they "can".

Hope this helps.

Collapse -
Reduced risk of threat?

"Newly discovered security vulnerabilities to the operating system will not be patched." Let's look at this from anther perspective. Remember, as the OS ages, it loses users and as users fall away, the appeal of attacking the OS diminishes. Now, this will take a long time with XP because so many business functions depend on it.

"If you are using your computer as a standalone machine...there's not much risk at all." Can't viruses be passed via infected files on optical disks and flash memory? I had thought about using a stand alone system for a little bit but decided it wasn't worth it. You are right, though, most risks come through the internet and spread through networks. If your computer is on a network, it is at much greater risk of infection if one computer on your network gets infected. Think of it this way: if you child is in daycare with other kids, he is much more likely to get sick than if he's in a bubble all by himself.

"some folks simply can't get the new operating system because of financial issues.. " I would add a number of reasons for having a stand alone computer and XP is a good OS for it. For example, my dad was using an old (2001) copy of Quicken financial software on a Vista machine. Ironically, his 98 machine (upgraded from 95 years ago) was still ticking perfectly until he threw it in the trash. Having XP or even 98 or NT machines make a lot sense as stand-alone systems. You don't need the latest os for these machines.

Collapse -
ARRRGH! (knashes teeth & rips out hair)
by nbahn / June 15, 2013 9:08 AM PDT
Collapse -
why would you do that?
by itsdigger / June 15, 2013 9:20 AM PDT

if your 98 was workin' just fine, keep it. Don't let all of these people make you think you can't use it . Don't let this forum make you get rid of what works. Us old retirees aren't rich and are perfectly happy with what we have and know how to use it. If we just want to check our e-mail and do what we do, and happy, Keep What You Have and let the children play....Digger

Collapse -
You Completely Missed My Point
by nbahn / June 15, 2013 10:31 AM PDT
In reply to: why would you do that?

My point was that if you absolutely MUST dispose of a computer, then please (PRETTY PLEASE!) recycle it! DON'T THROW IT IN THE GARBAGE!!! You'd be very surprised by what can be refurbished!

Collapse -
I re -read it
by itsdigger / June 15, 2013 10:36 AM PDT

he already threw it in the garbage.

Collapse -
(NT) I was afraid that that was the case.
by nbahn / June 16, 2013 9:56 AM PDT
In reply to: I re -read it
Collapse -
It wasn't my decision
by libertyunderlaw / June 16, 2013 6:45 AM PDT
In reply to: why would you do that?

It was my dad's computer; it wasn't my decision one way or the other. If I remember correctly, I came home from work one day and he had already thrown it out. I remember I was very, very surprised.

Collapse -
Just be aware of the risks
by CinemaDude / June 17, 2013 9:22 PM PDT
In reply to: why would you do that?

If you are using a Win XP and it works, or you can aquire a working PC with an older OS, just be aware of the risks. These are not like old vacuum cleaners or bicycles or food blenders that as long as they are working they are just as useful as the day they were manufactured. Those are self-contained machines. They don't interface with anyone else by you. But as has been stated, PCs are a different animal. If you choose to use a PC as a stand-alone piece of equipment to do things like WordProcessing, storing your photos or music, or using it to do your accounting, AS LONG AS IT'S NOT HOOKED TO THE INTERNET, it will work beautifully and flawlessly for eons, or until it's moving part -- the Hard Drive -- fails.

But most people are driven to use the PC to communicate and share with others if nothing else, the all important email. For that the PC must be connected to the Internet and therein is the safety issue. The internet....think of it as a vast wasteland populated with 45% pornographers, 30% theives whose sole mission is to get into your computer to steal everything you own including your identity, 10% businesses whose sole driving purpose is to separate you from your money...legitimately perhaps, but your money will be gone, nonetheless, and then 5% unverifiable misinformation and lies, and about 2% actual, useful information. Given THOSE percentages, you really need to rethink how useful that old PC is when it isn't updated with the latest safety upgrades to protect it from that host of evil which continually seeks to attack it. And if you think computers are not constantantly under attack...

At a major college IT department here in NYC, they installed very sophistocated monitoring firewall systems which would alert the staff whenever a hacker was detected trying to breach the firewall and other protections built into the system to protect the network. As soon as they turned it on, the alarm, lights and sound began to show attacks. After a day of this, they had to at least turn off the audible alarm because it was driving everyone nuts. They get hundreds of hits a day. Of course that could be less for a single home user, but no the less, thing of your PC's network card as a beacon that is constantly shouting out your IP address to the entire planet. It's saying "Here I am....Here I am." The world KNOWS it's there; it's just a matter of time some nefarious hacker decides to respond, "Here I come...Here I come."

Seems to me, when making the decision to use a non-supported (think non-protected) PC, just be aware of the risks you assume the minute you plug that network cable into your service provider's modem. OK, use it for simple stuff, but I certainly wouldn't use it for on-line banking or accounting or any thing that contains banking or accounting information. In fact, I wouldn't even use it to buy anything on line because that requires you to input just too much information and if somewhere along the way a trojan virus has silently gotten into your computer and some felonious ******* is out there recording your keystrokes and passwords, you can kiss your account balances goodbye.

I won't buy anything on line unless I can use the proxy credit card that banks like Citi have which create a unique card number for each sale. Once the merchant uses that number to complete the purchase, it becomes invalid AND you can make the balance match your purchase exactly so that the merchant cannot charge you a penny more than the purchase price. It dices and slices those "recurring" billing practices. Just let them TRY to bill me again next month....HA!!

All I am saying is, you really need to be cautious when on the internet with an older machine. Hackers know the odd that the majority of people DON'T update the OS or anti-virus protection regularly. They plan on those odds being in there favor. Imagine how happy they are to find millions of Window OSs which haven't had security vulnerabily holes plugged in decades still connected, still broadcasting their IP address beacon.

I keep a link on my desk top to XPs Network Connection. You can right-click on it and DISABLE the connection with a mouse click. Whenever I am working on the computer and doing stuff that doesn't require an actual internect connection, like composing a letter or email, playing a game, or anything that is stand-alone, I simply disable the connection -- think of it as switching off the outside world and all who would try to get at your computer. When I need to connect to the outside world, it is just a click away. I know people who leave their computer on DAY AND NIGHT connected to the internet. Silly, silly, silly.....IMHO.

Collapse -
When I move to a new machine...
by 4Denise / June 15, 2013 9:34 AM PDT

I find someone I know who needs the old one. If I ever run out of those people, I will find someone who knows someone who needs it. There are many people in the world who cannot afford to buy a computer at all. Those people consider your old machine a blessing.

I do a clean install, put in the updates and a free antivirus program, and teach them to take care of the machine properly, if they don't already know. Then I send it home with them. Not only is it a blessing, but it allows people who would otherwise not have access to a computer to learn to use one, it allows their children to get homework done, and I get to teach safe computing to someone who might otherwise not know that downloading copyrighted software is illegal and harboring viruses on your computer is a risk to other computers. Not one of those people have not kept their machines clean and legal.

Collapse -
afford
by gowalkin / June 17, 2013 12:14 AM PDT

if someone cannot afford to buy a computer. how would they
be able to afford the internet

Collapse -
To answer your question...
by nbahn / June 17, 2013 2:31 AM PDT
In reply to: afford
Collapse -
That's a ridiculous assumption
by 4Denise / June 17, 2013 8:12 AM PDT
In reply to: afford

Many places that rent apartments (the local senior apartments come to mind) are starting to put in free wifi for the residents. Also, consider that internet service is not very expensive. A new computer is very expensive. It sounds to me, though, that you are more interested in deciding how other people spend their money. If someone wants a computer, and cannot afford one, why in the world would I throw away a perfectly good machine that I no longer need? That is the point.

Collapse -
Internet is not chep
by gowalkin / June 17, 2013 10:45 PM PDT

.Mediocre internet speed is about 38 dollars a month.
I do not think that is very inexpensive at 456.00 dollars
a year from AT&T. could by a nice new pc and still have
some money left over. ps, I do not care how other
people spend there money. I care about how i spend my
money.

Collapse -
I don't know where you live...
by 4Denise / June 18, 2013 2:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Internet is not chep

...but I live in a rural area and my very high speed internet is a lot less than that. Even so, 38 dollars a month may be a good investment for someone who does not have cable, game consoles, or 3000 movies at their beck and call. Add children to the mix and it starts to get downright cheap. If someone does not have a reasonable way, outside of the internet, to stay in touch with close friends and family (as many do not now), then it becomes almost a necessity.

You are still making ridiculous assumptions based entirely upon stereotypes that don't even vaguely resemble reality.

Collapse -
assumptions
by gowalkin / June 18, 2013 6:42 AM PDT

a reasonable way out is called a phone.
you are the one stereotyping thinking
that those people don't have phones and tv.
they may not have enough left in there budget
at the end of the month to pay for very high speed internet.
i have Mediocre dsl 3mb and that is not enough
to stream 3000 movies at beck and call.without it stumbling
and buffering. very high speed internet is very expensive.
all i ever meant to say is that buying a computer is
the cheap part.. the high speed internet is not.. who provides
very high speed internet like you have for less than 38 dollars
a month. I live in a rural area also.

Collapse -
No, I am not using a stereotype
by 4Denise / June 18, 2013 1:25 PM PDT
In reply to: assumptions

I have been in that position. It is not a matter of the poor being all the same. Someone who does not have enough money to get internet is not going to have internet unless someone provides it for them (and don't assume that it never happens). Someone who can afford internet might find it a much better bargain than the far more expensive cable.

You are claiming that all poor people are alike, and that they all have the same circumstances. You are also assuming that long distance phone service is cheap and that the friends and family are willing to communicate that way. These days, most are not.

Your argument doesn't hold water. I have the highest internet speed available in my area. I can stream 2 movies at once (one in the bedroom and one in the living room) and still have plenty of bandwidth left over to surf the internet on the third computer. I pay 25 dollars a month. I'm sorry you have the problems that you have, but it is definitely not an excuse to throw computers away instead of giving them to people who would be happy to have them.

Collapse -
25 dollars a month
by gowalkin / June 18, 2013 10:41 PM PDT

hey you called me out . my reply was simple.if someone cannot afford to BUY a computer. how would they be able to afford the internet.i took a quick look at b.b site. 279.99
dollars win 8. 4 gig memory laptop.the speed you are talking about is is 79.95 dollars a month after 1st year from cable. i don't know if you are telling the truth about 25.00
per month I would like to here from other people on this site on how much they pay for
highest internet speed available in there area. and i never said to throw computers away instead of giving them to people who would be happy to have them.
i said .if someone cannot afford to BUY a computer. how would they
be able to afford the internet. never said or meant poor people. a lot of people who
are not poor can't afford the monthly internet bill. they live with in there budget.
if someone wants a computer for internet the 279.99 dollars is the cheap part. the
internet is not. reoccurring bill month after month

Collapse -
I give up.
by 4Denise / June 20, 2013 1:21 PM PDT
In reply to: 25 dollars a month

You are making no sense at all. You replied to my statement that I find someone who needs my old machine. I did not "call you out."

I pay 25 dollars a month for high speed internet. Calling me a liar isn't going to accomplish anything. I'm not stupid enough to post one of my bills.

This thread is about disposing of an old computer. It has nothing to do with the issues you are bringing up. What do you care what other people do with their money? Why should you care what I do with my old machines?

Collapse -
What to do with junk computers
by pugug / June 18, 2013 2:12 AM PDT

As a hobby, I take in used and junk computers . I rebuild, upgrade and clean them. There are ALWAYS school age children who do not have computer access at home, and are at a disadvantage in school.
Remember please----What is junk to one is a helping hand to another.

Collapse -
High Five to You!
by PastorPaul / June 19, 2013 8:18 AM PDT

Our local computer group often takes used and junk computers, rebuilds them, and passes them on to school children whose parents can't afford a computer. When my previous laptop died, I didn't scrap it. I sent it, along with any software that wouldn't work on my new unit, to the president of the seminary I had attended. My only stipulation was that, if it could be resurrected, it be given to an international student who couldn't afford a computer. I received word that the sem's IT department was able to rebuild the computer and there is now one very happy student on campus. It's great knowing, not just that the computer didn't end up in the landfill, but that someone really benefited from it.

Collapse -
Recycling electronics
by walldoo99 / June 15, 2013 8:11 PM PDT

Contacts you waste management or local government. They should have all the info on that.
Or you could just install LInux . Most people looking to buy a computer today seem to be looking for something to watch youtube and check email. Once most people see that linux mint looks very much like windows it don't take them long to adapt.

Collapse -
Too old for internet
by libertyunderlaw / June 16, 2013 6:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Recycling electronics

This machine was too old for the internet, way too old. It only had two gigs of hard disk space, period. We might have been able to upgrade to a gig of ram. This would only have been a stand-alone computer. There is nothing it could do on today's web.

Collapse -
Internet is not the whole purpose of computers
by 4Denise / June 16, 2013 8:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Too old for internet

I understand your reasoning, but there are still people who would love it. In fact, it would be an ideal starter computer for a child (of a reasonable age). My first computer was hopelessly out of date and could not possibly have connected to the internet, but I learned a lot by using it. I admit that I didn't have it for long, but that short time taught me a lot that I then used when I bought my brand new computer (which had Windows Me on it, so I would up learning a lot about how to make an operating system work when it was garbage to begin with!).

Yes, those very old computers have very limited uses, but they are not entirely useless. If you wipe out the hard drive and reinstall the operating system, you might be surprised how happy you can make someone who might otherwise not get a computer.

Collapse -
You WOULD Be Surprised
by nbahn / June 16, 2013 10:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Too old for internet
Collapse -
Beyond security, no new devices.
by billd888 / June 7, 2013 10:58 AM PDT

The longer you continue to use XP, the more likely it is that you will need to upgrade some of your hardware, disk drives fail, etc. and you will likely find it difficult to find newer hardware that will continue to work with XP.

Collapse -
Question??????
by yes746 / June 25, 2013 10:17 PM PDT

I'm running a old Dimension 4500 (That works just fine) Windows XP Home Svc pac3. I am unable to upgrade IE9 and do not have enough room to even upgrade to Vista. Would switching to Google Chrome end the worry of the end of XP support? And if so , Is there a tool sort of like a upgrade adviser to tell me if Chrome is compatible ? Thank you.

Collapse -
I don't think Chrome runs Windows programs
by remmeler / June 26, 2013 2:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Question??????

I think it is kind of like Windows RT and will only run apps. Most of the time you will need to be online, even to print.

Collapse -
OS or browser?
by Hartiq / June 26, 2013 3:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Question??????

From your post, I can interpret you as asking whether you can run the Chrome browser or the ChromeOS operating system and whether they will solve your WinXP problems. I'm not sure which you meant, so I'll try answering both.

The Chrome browser can be used instead of IE (or even on the same machine as IE) as easily as any other browser. Just download it and start using it. Most browsers are pretty much the same as far as the user's interface with them goes. You type an URL in the address field and it displays a webpage.
Chrome browser can be installed on Mac's or any other PC's running just about any operating system.
Get it at https://www.google.com/intl/en_us/chrome/browser/

ChromeOS, the operating system, currently *ONLY* ships with new ChromeBook machines. It is a sort of dumb-terminal approach to computing where most of the stuff (data and programs) is kept in the cloud and your Chromebook needs web-access to work.

"Chromium OS" is a Chrome-for-PC's offering that allows us to download the source code and compile it on our Win/Mac/Linux box and run it as an alternative operating system.
You can read about and download Chromium from http://dev.chromium.org/chromium-os
If you are not extremely geeky this may not be for you. I think it looks like fun, but my sister would not even try it.

To summarise:
Chrome browser: like IE or Firefox, runs in Windows, just a web browser
Chrome OS: complete unixy Operating System, installed on Chromebooks, *NOT* like WIndows
Chromium OS : like Chrome OS only it will run on windows PC's (for real techies only).

To answer the question: no, switching to the Chrome *BROWSER* won't do anything about WinXP as you'll still need WinXP to run the browser.
Switching to a different operating system, like ChromeOS or ChromiumOS would solve your WinXP issues but those are very, very bad choices if you want to keep your old computer. You'd need a proper Linuxxy flavour, like Mint or something. Installing a Linux is dead easy. You can run them from CD's and never have them on your original WinXP hard drive.
Switching to a Chromebook machine might be a very, very good idea if you need relatively cheap hardware that runs web-type applications. Some Chromebooks are lovely and if you have a good connection it can be a very good choice. But, so far as I know, ChromeOS is *only* sold on Chromebooks, you can't install it as a dual-boot or virtual machine.
Does any of this help?

Collapse -
About ChromeOS.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 26, 2013 3:42 AM PDT
In reply to: OS or browser?

As the office got a new touchscreen laptop we wanted to try that live bootable CD with the ChromeOS on it to see how well the hardware supported it.

I was surprised to find everything working from webcam to wifi and more. And all from a bootable live CD.

So your statement that ChromeOS is only sold on Chromebooks is true but I wonder what would stop me from installing it as a primary OS (yes, that's an option when you boot the live CD.)
Bob

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Help 47,885 discussions
icon
Computer Newbies 10,322 discussions
icon
iPhones, iPods, & iPads 3,188 discussions
icon
Security 30,333 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 20,177 discussions
icon
HDTV Picture Setting 1,932 discussions
icon
Phones 15,713 discussions
icon
Windows 7 6,210 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 14,510 discussions

Tech for the school year

Smart tech for smart students

Forget the pencils and notebooks. Gear up your students with these portable and powerful note-taking machines.