April 8: the fateful date
Windows XP says goodbye. It?s time to meditate and light a few candles, red, green, blue and yellow, that?s obvious. But before permanently burying the Microsoft operating system on which we spent such good times, we must still be interested in ?after Windows XP?. How to migrate to Windows 7 or Windows 8? What information and what programs do we risk losing, and how can we protect it anyway? And finally, is it possible to make resistance and continue to use Windows XP for a few more years?
Windows XP: 13 years of happiness, are you sure?
While still employed by 27% of computer users, the OS experienced a small decline in 2013, to go back to the start of 2014. It therefore represents one of the lightest and fastest operating systems to date, and remains compatible with almost all of the software that still comes out today. We tell ourselves that the future of Windows XP is bright, and that there are still many good years to live. Except that Microsoft has decided otherwise: as of April 8, 2014, the operating system is not no longer supported by its editor! october 2001, Windows XP was therefore preparing to blow out its 13th candle. Thirteen, a lucky number for some, and a real bad luck charm for others. It must be admitted that, even if Windows XP is today considered by many to be the best Microsoft OS, its journey has been fraught with pitfalls and controversy. We may not remember, but the migration from Windows 98 (or Millenium?) Was not smooth: driver problems, total abandonment of MS-DOS causing compatibility problems, big flaw security, unstable connection (those who have had the Alcatel SpeedTouch will remember it) and blue screens repeatedly? Everything was not as rosy in the first years, and it would have actually been necessary to reach SP2 for the OS becomes really interesting.
2004: the year of all changes
Since 2004, release date of Service Pack 2 of Windows XP, the OS has solved a good part of its initial problems. Blue screens are becoming rarer, the driver base makes it possible to recognize almost all of the peripherals released since 2001, and numerous security vulnerabilities have been remedied over the years. So yes, Windows XP is not perfect, and it remains a potential target for cybercriminals. But with a little bit of savvy, an adequate security suite and some good tools, it?s a very efficient system. The other positive point is that it is extremely light. Imagine: Windows XP was originally running on a very small configuration. The minimum machine to run the OS was indeed a simple Pentium clocked at 233 MHz, equipped with 64 MB of RAM, 1.5 GB of disk space and a simple SVGA graphics card supporting a definition in 800 x 600 pixels! Obviously, the hardware needs have evolved over the updates, even if Microsoft is not very talkative about it. In terms of memory, allow 512 MB to take advantage of the operating system and its SP3, and a ?small? Atom or Celeron at the processor level. That?s all.
But why stop a machine so well oiled?
If Microsoft is about to stop supporting Windows XP, it is for various reasons. The most obvious is obviously for a purely commercial matter. The giant of Redmond having released different versions of its OS from Windows XP (Vista, then Windows 7 and finally Windows 8 and 8.1), it is perfectly understandable that it wishes boost sales and makes sure that the general public and professionals acquire a new operating system ? And renew their hardware in the process, which the manufacturers should not be unhappy in a dying context of PC sales. In addition, the Windows XP ?bugs? fix, costs money. You have to pay the developers, deploy and store the patches on the servers, etc. Finally, and this is one of Microsoft?s flagship arguments, the OS is aging: its faults are becoming more and more numerous, and it becomes more and more complicated to update them. On the user side, it is essential to update the operating system if you do not want to be a victim of the security ?holes? that will be discovered after April 8, so it is high time to migrate to Windows 7 or Windows 8. And this is what we will see on the following pages.