A newsletter reader was worried that her computer might stop working on that date. She wrote:
I read that Microsoft is going to cease supporting Windows XP in April 2014. I'm really worried because I can access my CDs on this PC that has Windows XP but not on my laptop that has Windows 7. I think I remember you mentioning the problem a few weeks (months?) ago. You said you keep an old machine just to read the CDs The APG list message made it sound like one would be taking a real risk to keep using XP.
What do you think? I don't have room here to run two computers! Maybe you could write about it.
Indeed, it is a problem, although a small one.
Microsoft will not support Windows XP any longer. However, you can continue to use XP. It should work for years.
The risk is that if any major bugs are found (which is unlikely) or if any new viruses for Windows XP are discovered (which is highly likely), Microsoft will not fix the problem. If you call Microsoft to ask for assistance with a Windows XP problem, the company's employees will not help you. However, as long as there are no major problems, everything should continue to function normally.
Microsoft telephone and email support is used primarily by corporations. I don't think many in-home users pay for Microsoft Support although I suspect a few might do so. However, for most in-home users, the lack of support from Microsoft would appear to be a non-issue.
I generally encourage readers to upgrade their computers and/or operating systems periodically in order to take advantage of the new technologies. However, I see no reason to rush out and buy a new Windows machine before April 8, 2014. If your present Windows computer is working well for you, take your time.
When you do decide to upgrade, you might consider ALL options: Windows, Macintosh, Android, Apple iOS, Chromebook, or Linux. Depending upon your needs, any one of those operating systems may or may not be your best choice.