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Windows Ends XP, What Now?

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28)  After 12 years as one of the more stable operating systems for home and small business computers, Microsoft is ending all support for Windows XP as of midnight Tuesday April 8th.  It means the software giant will no longer update the system or design patches or fixes for whatever might attack XP.

The deadline is known to many in the software world, but it is taking a lot of casual users by surprise and causing some to panic a little.  At RJ Ender Computers in Cedar Rapids, Marty Ackerman has answered the phone more times than he can count in the past week.  The callers all have the same question, I have Windows XP, what do I do now? 

The work counters in back are stacked with components for new computers as Marty tries to put them together amid the ringing, In terms of the sheer number of phone calls from people going through this, Ive probably been busier than the last two holiday seasons combined and I dont believe thats an exaggeration.

Martys answer to their question is .. it depends. Many older computers can be updated with more recent operating systems, but he says by the time you invest in the software and labor it may end up costing more than the computer is worth or even what it would cost to buy a new computer.

Marty says RJ Ender wont even consider an upgrade on systems built before 2008 because of the cost and potential for future problems.  The biggest concerns for owners of XP systems are hackers, security and viruses.  Microsoft quit selling XP nearly six years ago, but its still installed on nearly 30% of home computers, a lot of police squad car computers and in most of the places they keep the money, ATMs.  Lindsey Turrentine with CNET says that is just asking for trouble, Everytime theres a security flaw that bubbles up or somebody finds a way to take advantage of holes in Windows XP, there will be no one there to fix it.

Marty says everyone has the option of doing nothing, but he compares that to driving on bald tires, its strictly at your own risk, You may find that you get 3,000 more miles on those bald tires or you may find they blow the first mile down the road.  People using Windows XP really should not be using their computer on the internet.   


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