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End of Life for XP

Posted on 2013-10-24
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Last Modified: 2013-10-29
I have lots of customers whom are very happy with XP.  Is it that necessary to replace the OS to Windows 7 or later?  Obviously skipping Vista :).

I still have a couple old workstations that run very proprietary software using NT4.0 and they haven't self destructed.

The above being said, if someone choose to stick with XP what will happen?

Business environment and personal use.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:1namyln
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by:Bird Dog
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nothing should happen other then no more windows updates. So they won't fix anymore flaws to stop virus, problems, etc. Also newer software and hardware will probably not run on xpas other companies will stop making drivers etc..
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by:awawada
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If somebody will stay with XP they will simply don’t get any updates.
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by:Nick Rhode
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It will just no longer be supported by microsoft.  This means no more updates to close vulnerablities and such.  Eventually get thrown to the wayside as newer software progresses for it wont be able to handle certain things.  Still have time :).
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by:Pradeep Dubey
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Windows XP support will be stopped by the MS as per given link:
http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?ln=en-gb&c2=1173

but still you can continue to use the XP there are many sites which will give support to XP.

If you want to upgrade to win7 no issue you can do that. Also those legacy software can run on XP or you can create VM and run software on that.

Business or personal environment will not be having any issue if you continue with the XP.
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by:awawada
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XP is not supported by Microsoft since April 14, 2009. We opened a case in January 2009, after 14. they told the Problem was caused by a bug and this will not be fixed.
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by:Alan Henderson
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by:Lee W, MVP
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What will happen?  WHO KNOWS!  I think the comments so far are incomplete or pure speculation at best.

XP was the first operating system to use an activation system.  Yes, NT4 and 2000 had keys, but XP needed to verify that key.  Maintaining the systems necessary to do so takes resources.  It might be easier to shutdown those services completely.  So MAYBE XP starts choking.  Or maybe it doesn't.  I'm sure we'll have people point out that every subsequent Microsoft OS has had activation so they won't turn off the activation servers... of course they won't, but do you TRUST that MS didn't optimize things and perhaps move all XP info to one set of servers (there were a LOT of XP systems) or one database?  WHO KNOWS!

Then there are the updates.  The one think I'm comfortable saying is that there will be no more NEW updates.  But will they pull the old?  Will they "enhance" the update services for newer technologies and thus drop certain features on them so you can no longer even apply OLD updates unless you've previously downloaded them?  I don't know... do you... DEFINITIVELY?  Windows Update in XP was a web page... in Vista and later it's a control panel - all those IIS services used to support the web page are no longer needed if they aren't support XP so... WHO KNOWS!

Honestly, NO ONE will know what exactly it means until May or June.  I doubt even MS can tell you - they may be having these very conversations with some wanting to outright disable things and others just willing to let them die... YOU DON'T KNOW.  

And because you don't know and ESPECIALLY because XP required activation in my opinion, you should be moving ALL your XP systems to Win7 or Win8.  And if the client has apps that require XP, then they've got 7 months to get upgrades and you need to be telling them they have to do so or there's a CHANCE they will be shut down when Microsoft stops supporting XP.  And if these apps are significant, it could take weeks or months to get them replaced and working as needed with newer ones if they don't - which could have a HUGE DETRIMENTAL IMPACT on their business.
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by:Alan Henderson
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Thanks to leew for that excellent advice.

Regarding applications requiring XP.
In most cases Windows 7's XP mode will cope. There's a good guide here:

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2010/01/windows-xp-mode/
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by:miller3773
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If you have a problem with the hardware but need to run XP, you can use XP mode on Windows 7
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by:ampranti
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You can stick to Windows XP as long as you want.

But

- you will not receive any windows updates, including security udpates that are critical for workstations/servers exposed to internet

- New hardware will not be supported to Windows XP. If Windows XP are simply workstations, running a legacy application you will not face enay problems until the hardware fails.

- Its a good idea to prepare your transition. You dont ahve to upgrade to Vista, but you can go directly to WIndows 7 or 8

- If you have a MS contract including support, you will receive limited support or you have to pay additional fees to get support for legacy OS.
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by:Bird Dog
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I do agree leew it is all a guess if xp will continue to work or not. I based my guess and statement on the amount of companies and personal still running xp and older versions due to the facts of Costs of replacing hardware, not being able to upgrade certain software, older equipment attached to pc's requiring older software, having to store rocords ie (financials, health, etc.). Also if they do shut down the servers for activation you can still call in for a activation I don't figure our good old microsoft will fire all it's over sea's workers just yet. So I still figure it will be around for some time yet. Also Don't get me wrong I figure everyone should be going to at least win7 but sometimes it just don't work that way.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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If someone held a gun to my head and said CHOOSE - will XP work 5 years from now or not?  I would say YES, it will.  BUT, I'm FAR from 100% confident in that.  But much more than 50% confident in that.  But I'm STRONGLY and REPEATEDLY warning my clients about this.  Maybe everything works fine for current installs and new installs are problematic - I don't know and NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE HERE.
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garycase earned 500 total points
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"... I have lots of customers whom are very happy with XP.  Is it that necessary to replace the OS to Windows 7 or later? "  ==>  "necessary" is a strong word.    The answer to that is clearly No.    A functioning XP system will continue to function just fine.    As noted already, you won't get further updates from Microsoft; but that's not going to stop the system from running.    Think of this like a classic car => the car will still run fine; but when you need parts ...

The biggest concern I'd have is good security protection ... antivirus and antispyware.    It's unlikely that virus definitions will stop being updated; but as newer program versions come out, the may very well not be XP compatible.    I'd be certain that you have a good IMAGE of a fully updated, virus-free install of any XP system you plan to keep using as of the final XP support date.    Then you can always restore that system with a simple image restore.

"... I still have a couple old workstations that run very proprietary software using NT4.0 and they haven't self destructed. " ==>  I know several folks still using Windows 98 to keep all their financial data on, and it works just fine.   Obviously they don't go on the internet, but the systems themselves work as good as ever.

The real issue is what happens when the hardware breaks (as it will).   At that point an upgrade is almost certainly required, as new hardware simply won't have XP drivers.

The more compelling reason to NOT stay with XP isn't technical -- it's policy.   Many corporate policies require levels of security compliance that can't be met with an unsupported OS.    If you're subject to those; or to industry compliance requirements (e.g. HIPAA), you simply don't have a choice.    This probably means you're more compelled to move forward in a business environment than for personal use.

Another consideration that will likely tend towards upgrading is the evolution of browsers.   XP already can't support the most current browsers ... and as more web sites REQUIRE the newer browsers, this will be a growing problem for XP users.

Bottom line:   It depends :-)    If you're using XP for a standalone system that doesn't have much (or any) internet dependencies; then it'll work just fine as long as the hardware continues to work.    If you're heavily dependent on the internet, the simple evolution of those technologies begs for an upgrade.     In addition, you clearly need to meet any specific policy standards that you're subject to, which may be the deciding factor for many businesses.


By the way, Windows 7's XP Mode, XP virtual machines in VMware, etc. are NOT "solutions" to this => they're still XP systems ... and have the same security update and support issues as "real" XP systems.    When XP support stops, it stops -- it doesn't matter whether the underlying system is real or virtual.
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by:1namyln
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Excellent responses.  Thanks to all!
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by:1namyln
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This is pretty good at scaring the hell out of people.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJj2TjFZFOk
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by:Darr247
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For what it's worth, XP Mode requires Win7 Pro, Win7 Ultimate or Win7 Enterprise... the 3 versions below Pro (Starter, Home and Home Premium) will not run XP Mode.
I'm not sure if any embedded Win7 versions can run XP Mode.

If you have older machines that lack Win7 drivers, I recommend putting linux on them. e.g. RedHat if you want enterprise level support, or CentOS if you can get by with free help when volunteers have time.
Many windows programs will run in WINE (windows emulator), though some won't, too.
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by:nobus
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i would like to see what happens if MS goes through all the bad moves in order to shutdown, or cripple XP....i guess hell would break loose from millions

so my guess is that they can't afford to shutdown too much
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by:ampranti
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As long as Windows XP are activated (with a genuine key), they will run forever.
They don't connect to windows authentication servers continuously!
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by:garycase
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The real "unknown" at this point is whether or not Microsoft will still have activation servers and Windows Update for XP after the end-of-life date.   It would be a good idea to IMAGE your fully up-to-date XP systems after downloading and installing the last updates so you never have to worry about this in the event you need to reload a system.

As for installing XP after the EOL date => if the activation server is no longer available, that won't be possible (although you can still reinstall on OEM systems with BIOS-locked keys that don't require activation (e.g. HP, Dell, etc.).

The question here, however, was whether or not you could retain your XP systems => that was reasonably well answered.    As long as you have a fully up-to-date and activated system, it's going to keep working just fine within the bounds noted in this thread.    Anything beyond that (e.g. installing XP on new systems) is not a good idea.
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by:ampranti
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Peresonanly, I think that MS will not stop you from activating Windows XP in future.
The licence key you have does not have a time limitation; they cant force you stop using a product you have bought!

They try to force you upgrading indirectly: by limited hardware support, no security updates, outdated applications (Office, browser, setc)
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by:ampranti
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Check also this article:

Windows XP Compliance and Risk Nightmares WP

http://resources.infoworld.com/ccd/show/200018353/00833040100111IFW7KSEUGMNLR/
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by:1namyln
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Thanks for all your advice.
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