Lets Look at This Carefully
WIN 95 and WIN 98 don't know a thing about what a USB port is. They can only handle disks of a certain size. There are very few drivers out there for modern equipment and there is even less software. Fast Forward a bit. How about WIN NT? WIN 2000? Maybe some but not a lot out there. Eventually, software will NOT be issued for XP either. Why? If you were a developer? would you test your new software on some of these really old pieces of software? No, so it is possible your software may work on them but maybe not. So how long is it going to be that software will continue to work on Windows XP? Let's use the case of 32-bit XP. How much RAM can you have in your PC before it stops being used? Right know, if you have 32-bit XP and 4+ GB of RAM, the system will only use 3.75 GB of it. No matter how much the general tab says you got. So, A program that needs 4, 5 or 6 GB? That stuff is coming eventually.
So, let's forget about the security issues, just for the moment. Eventually, you will be long behind the curve it terms of software and hardware capabilities. As an example, let's look on the Windows server side. You can still run Microsoft Exchange 2003 on a 32-bit OS, but what happens beyond that? You will need 64-bit. The same is going to eventually be true of the OS version itself. New and exciting software just won't run on XP anymore. Maybe not in the 2014 deadline timeframe but it will eventually go off.
Now, let's look at security,. Several people said that if you don't connect to the Internet, you don't have to worry about patches, viruses, security, etc. This, most of us know is completely false. There were a LOT of viruses and worms back in the day of MS-DOS! and long before people went online at all. How can you get malware? Floppy? CD? DVD? Jump drive. I mean, what good is a PC without some way of getting data/software on and off the system? Remember when someone dropped a whole bunch of jumpdrives in a parking lot? I think it was out here in California. Anyway, everyone scooped them up and tried to use them and nailed their systems. Malware, traditionally, was not a specialty of the online world. Besides, come on! Who is going to use an unconnected PC these days? Remember the Michaelangelo virus? Infected your system from a floppy disk and then just stayed there moving from one diskette to another until Michaelangelo's birthday and then it formatted your hard drive. Not everything is online-related.
So, to sum up, eventually you are going to run the RISK of getting hit with something. You won't be able to stay offline or email-free or not use optical drives or jump drives. They will stop making drivers eventually too for XP and I predict 32-bit will eventually go away too. You will want the latest version of some software you are using and it will eventually stop being supported on the old stuff. It will be too big. It will just not work.
Can you stay on XP? For right now? Yes. I'm on XP as I type this. Anyone want to know why? Some of us feel that the OS came with the PC. Why should we spend time, effort and money to move up when we will eventually need a new PC anyway which will come with something else in the way of an OS? If we try to fall back to XP on newer hardware, will we wind up with lack of driver issues. Maybe not right away but soon.
All of this is really relevant to the home/personal user. What will happen with businesses? Well, will they want to accept the risk? No. They will do something to move up. Will Microsoft stop pressuring larger businesses/governments to move up? No. So, what will happen? Many businesses skipped VISTA for obvious reasons. Many will want to skip Win 8 for internal reasons. So, where I work, they are going from XP straight to WIN 7. Can they get there easily? No. Why? because there is no real upgrade from XP to WIN 7 or even 8. You lose all your stuff. So, what they are doing where I work is to replace hardware with hardware purchased with Win 7. You will have to reinstall new software but they made a poor effort to keep drivers the same. It didn't work out too well. 32-bit XP drivers on WIN 7 64-bit didn't work too well. They gave me a new PC and I almost had to rebuild it from scratch. Today, we still have users that can't get duplexers on printers working. What about mobile? Not going to happen on users that sit in their cubicle day in and day out and never go anywhere. Work from home? No way. Our data does NOT leave the building. We lose a laptop and we get a visit from the FBI. HIPAA data costs too much in fines if lost. I deal with criminal data. CJIS compatibility. Nobody can see the data even other employees, least of all Google or dropbox. So, if you sit in your cubicle 8-9 hours a day, would you use touchscreen? No. So WIN 8 is not a good option for us. We are NOT allowed to stay on XP past the deadline but some people think there will be pressure on the upper management team to allow it. We will see.
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