Not only is Microsoft ending support for the Windows XP operating system on April 8, 2014 (yes, less than three months from now), those who continue to use XP will do so without updated virus definitions from Microsoft's free Security Essentials antivirus software.
The ending of Security Essentials support for XP could be even more problematic than the lack of patches to the operating system. It could expose XP computers and the networks on which they operate to a host of new threats. Add this potential vulnerability to the growing list of reasons to consider upgrading to a newer and fully supported operating system.
Third party paid (and perhaps a few free) antivirus programs may still work with XP after April 8, however. Those who will continue to use XP after April 8 (not recommended) will need to switch from Microsoft Security Essentials to a different antivirus program that will provide continued definition updates for XP.
The best way to upgrade from XP is to buy a new computer with Windows 7 or 8.1. It will be faster, safer, and more reliable than an old XP machine, and it will almost certainly cost less than what you paid many years ago for that computer running XP. Contact us and we can help you configure a new computer that will precisely fit your needs.
Update: Despite Microsoft's desire to move users off XP to Windows 8.1, it has modified its stance on updating the virus definitions in its Security Essentials antivirus software. Definitions, although not the Microsoft Security Essentials program itself or the underlying OS, will continue to be updated until July of 2015. The problem is that XP users may think they are protected because of the continuing virus definition updates, but the underlying XP operating system will remain vulnerable due to the ending of security patches.