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Your IT system’s under threat – upgrade or die!

Posted on 8 April 2014

Windows XP is everywhere – in banks, running our railways, behind the scenes at the Health Services and at the very beating heart of UK manufacturing. And Microsoft has killed it off.

Everyone’s favourite software giant wants us all to upgrade. “Save yourselves… XP is old and fragile – its days are over. Here, try Windows 8; you’ll love it. Honest you will…”

And there’s the key issue for XP users - upgrading. They looked at Viasta and thought “Oooh, that’s rubbish” – and they rightly gave it the swerve. They then looked at Windows 7 and thought “It looks just like XP – why bother with the cost of upgrading?”

And then Windows 8 came along with its magic Speak ‘n’ Spell coloured tiles and annoying habit of booting you off the desktop – where you do your work – and into an App that takes up the whole screen.

Management looked at the cost of upgrading, the cost of training people to use a productivity-killing operating system and the cost of increasing IT support during the changeover and thought “Bugger that!”…

And that’s why so many SMEs in the UK and across the globe are still running XP – because it works and it’s known and understood. The old adage ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ defines many companies’ attitude to IT. And in an ideal world that would be a sensible position to hold.

Sadly, the IT world has marched on and despite our love of XP it really is time to upgrade. So grit your teeth, reach for the credit card and call up your IT provider. But whatever you do, don’t choose Windows 8 until you’ve given it a long hard look – it might be great for Facebook [as if you’d care] but the fact that businesses are giving it a miss should tell you something…


I've just got a new laptop which came with Windows 8 and I would strongly recommend avoiding it if you can. I've heard that it's possible to downgrade from Win8 to Win7 but time consuming. Still, I just googled "can i make windows 8 like 7" and there seem to be lots of ways to improve it and get rid of the stupid start screen.

- 09 April 2014 - Stella

It's a no-win situation. No one is impressed with Windows 8, Windows 7 is no longer widely available. And for this IT-challenged user with limited experience with the operating system, Windows 7 has a terrible learning curve because it's enough different from XP that a lot of basic functions don't work the same and, at least for me, the Windows 7 way is not particularly intuitive. I just need to get my work done. I don't have time to spend figuring out how to store, copy and retrieve files. I'm thinking of buying a tablet to do email and other online tasks so I can turn online access off on my trusty XP-equipped laptop and get my work done efficiently.

- 08 April 2014 - Hallie Forcinio

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