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Ask the Readers: Do You Still Use Windows XP?

Windows XP was launched in late August 2001, which makes the OS close to 12 years old now. The company is officially axing all support for the legacy operating system on April 8th 2014. That means there will be no more security updates, free or paid support options, or technical content updates. Microsoft is ending support for Office 2003 at that time as well.

Do You Still Use Windows XP?

On the Microsoft website, you’re strongly cautioned that if you’re running XP SP3 after the end date, you’re using it at your own risk:

Running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in your environment after their end of support date may expose your company to potential risks, such as:

  • Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.

According to a study by NetMarketShare in March of this year, Windows XP still has about 38 percent of the market share, just behind Windows 7 with almost 45 percent.


There is a cool widget from mycountdown.org that you can run on your blog that shows the countdown until Microsoft officially ends support for XP. Microsoft also offers a similar End of Support Countdown Gadget.

Windows XP Support Countdown

I still have an old IBM ThinkPad G40 with a Pentium 4 rocking XP – but the last time I used it? I couldn’t tell you. Judging by the amount of dust on it, it’s certainly been a while. I do have XP running in virtual machines so I can com,pare and contrast features in the newer versions, but that’s about it.

So what about you? Are you still running XP on your main computer system, or on a secondary computer? If so, you should definitely think about moving to Windows 7 at least. I mean, the final version of Window 8.1 is set to be to be released everywhere this fall.

Of course it really all depends on what you need. If you’re old Gateway Pentium III is still chugging along fine and you can email, check the web, and do light document work – that might be just fine for you. Corporations on the other hand will need to make preparations for a migration to a newer version – most likely Windows 7.

Leave a comment and let us know what you’re running on your computer and what you think about XP!

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52 Responses to Ask the Readers: Do You Still Use Windows XP?

  1. Steve Costello July 3, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    I still have to use XP at work. Also, I keep an old laptop running XP, as well as a virtual machine, to answer questions from others who still have it.

    My response to those that ask me if they should upgrade:
    “If it works for you without any problems, keep using it. If you have some compelling reason, such as specific software that won’t run on XP, you will have to upgrade.”

  2. shockersh July 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    No…. sorry, I mean HELL NO.

    Windows XP was solid but really? It’s almost 15 years old man. Windows Vista was a mess and Windows 7 is perfect.

    So no…

    • Steve Krause July 6, 2013 at 9:41 am #

      Heya Shocker — so, I won’t argue that XP was a long time ago but honestly, unless TECH IS YOUR BIZ — once you get something that works, why upgrade?

      Now that being said, yes. Being 2013 it’s probably time to start considering an upgrade from a technology refresh and security standpoint. The latest OS can take advantage of a lot of performance upgrades over the years from a CPU, Disk and network standpoint.

  3. Brian Burgess July 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    Nice Shocker!

    Yeah, like I said in the article, the main reason I still have XP around is because I still have an old laptop. And I do have it in a Virtual Machine so I can go back and check things essentially for research on how things used to work and how they do now.

    @Steve Costello — You’re right! If your XP system works for you, hey… keep using it until it dies! LOL, just make sure there’s plenty of anti-virus and malware protection on it. And enable the built-in Firewall at least. It’s still the OS that’s much more susceptible to malicious code than newer versions.

    Windows 8 has built-in anti-virus and malware utility in the form of Windows Defender and it works really well. Plus behind the scenes, the code is far more secure.

  4. Steve Krause July 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    I think the main thing is the security issues around the OS. XP is just a dangerous OS this day-in-age. It’s been a solid OS and I actually still have it on a SUPER OLD small laptop I have for just basic word processing as it has just 256megs of memory…. it works but yeah, time to upgrade to a modern OS!

    -S

    • kay krause July 4, 2013 at 11:33 am #

      Yes of course I still on the Microsoft 7 XP it is working just fine, just DOWNLOADED your new Drivers and the other DOWNLOAD secondary on your message from groovypost.com this morning July 4, 2012,
      Note: Phil called they are going to Assembly Long Beach Memorial Statium this weekend. Joanne has new releases, u will appreciate. Are u guys going this weekend??

  5. Pascal July 4, 2013 at 7:19 am #

    We have a few computers at home. The main desktop we use has XP on it. Bought it in 2006 and it runs great. We use it to make all the payments, printing, budget etc…it’s the working place at home….office is 2003 on that computer. I also use it to run games which probably wouldn’t work under either of the sequel OS.

    My first laptop (2002-3) is still there too with XP and office 2003. It’s mostly a backup computer which i use seldom.

    Other than that, we have a laptop from 2011 (windows 7) and a netbook (which i use during by business trips) both with Office 2010…

    I have already bought a new desktop at the beginning of this year with Windows 7 on it….it will replace the other one in April 2014. Will install Office 2010 on it. I did this because i don’t see the added value of Windows 8 and i also think that the Office 2013 is actually a worse thing MS has done than Windows 8.

  6. Jim Dorris July 4, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Yep, I still have XP on one machine. Everything else is Windows 7 except for one Dell XPS with Windows 8. After using this machine for a while I sure hope Win8 goes the way of Vista and dinosaurs. XP was the first solid enterprise desktop OS from Microsoft but it is time to put it away. Windows 7 everything that XP was and more. I keep that one XP machine only to run Microsoft Flight Sim. My team converted our desktops at work to Win7 two years ago and we never looked back.

  7. Juan July 4, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    3 with XP–Two Acer Netbooks with the 8GB drive and a 2005 Compaq Notebook with a 40GB HD and 768 MB of Ram. All will head for Linux when XP support ends.
    I never discard anything that works!
    I also have two towers and a laptop running Windows 7.

    • Juan July 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      Now I have 2 units running XP.
      I only attempted to update one of the Acer Netbooks with the 8GB HD yesterday.
      And XP lost the space race.
      And there is nothing on the HD except for the XP OS.
      Not enough room to update and boot time for an item designed for portability was terrible.
      I bit the bullet and installed UBUNTU and so far life is better.
      (Not being able to use RoboForm Everywhere was on of my main concerns against using Linux, but now RoboForm Lite works on Linux with Firefox.)
      I really like XP–but it ran out of space on this machine.

  8. reholmes July 4, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Yup–like it. But then I have “servers” running Win98, Win95, and Win 3.1 ;-)

    • kay krause July 4, 2013 at 11:43 am #

      reholmes, I thought I was old fashion!!! better upgrade those computers or get new ones soon, or you will be lost and left in the dark. kay

      • reholmes July 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

        Well, Kay, I do have a Win 7 machine–guess I’ll have to fire it up and get familiar with it. 7 does have good reviews.

  9. Willy Fontana July 4, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    As new PCs are being installed, we’re using Win 7. Old PCs with XP are still veing used and there are no plans to replace them unless indispensable. We’re not using Win8 in any device.

  10. John Greenhalgh July 4, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    I have 2 computers running XP and the OS has never let me down!
    I won’t abandon it just because it’s old (like me)

  11. Mike Hart July 4, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    XP and Office 2003 are still used at work. We are in the process of upgrading to Windows 7 and I hope the upgrade will be completed before April 2014.

    • Steve Krause July 6, 2013 at 9:39 am #

      Wow…. Office 2003? Some might be surprised however to be completely honest, I probably couldn’t give you more than one or two reasons why you should upgrade from Office 2003. Excel is still…… excel. :)

      Same goes for Word. That being said, from a security standpoint and long-term support — yeah, you probably need an upgrade. Outlook is also a problem in those old versions but obviously it’s still working for your business so “Way to go”. Your owner has probably saved a pile of cash by squeezing every last bit of usefulness out of those old systems.

      • Mike Hart July 6, 2013 at 10:47 am #

        Hi Steve! Yep, Office 2003. But that being said, I still like the feel of Office 2003 and as you pointed out, “Excel is still….Excel” and Word, et.al. And, my employer/owner is trying to “squeeze” every single bit of usefulness out the older system.

        I do have Windows 7 and Office 2010 at home. While I don’t have any real issues with Windows 7, Office 2010 did take a little time getting used to. Today, I really like using the Windows 7 OS and Office 2010. Security continues to be a big issue for me and was a significant factor in why I upgraded my personal computer and software.

        Be well!

        • Steve Krause July 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

          Yeah – taking that first leap to the new “Ribbon” starting in Office 2007 was a big leap for a lot of people. For me personally…. I spent about 10 minutes looking for the PRINT button.

          Once you get over the Ribbon issues…. however it’s fairly straight forward.

          Honestly however, with the exception of database upgrades and stability fixes with Outlook 2007 and later, Office 2003 is just fine. Hard to justify the upgrade for me honestly past Office 2007 but that’s just me being frugal on the corp side of things. ;)

      • Brian Burgess July 6, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

        I have to disagree with your on this one Steve. There are a ton of excellent new features in newer versions of Office, especially 2013. Such as:

        Installing apps for more productivity options: http://www.groovypost.com/howto/office-2013-install-apps-office-store/

        Adding and viewing online videos and photos:
        http://www.groovypost.com/howto/insert-watch-online-youtube-videos-word-2013-documents/

        Awesome blogging capabilities, which I think is going to replace Windows Live Writer… and those are just for Microsoft Word.

        But, if you’re just doing basic text document creation only , you can use anything, AbiWord (which is free) Open Office (also free) Google Docs, or any version of Word.

        Also, PowerPoint 2010+ allows some groovy online sharing capabilities. Perfect for doing presentations online in real-time.

        And Excel has a lot of enhanced features for analyzing data to create charts and graphs, data analysis, Pivot Table improvements, and much easier report generation, especially when importing data from Access < – that is if anyone uses Access anymore :)

    • kay krause July 10, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      Appreciate the tip and info… tks for the history.. We all need to know about the new releases and their modifications etc. Yes those old computers keep crashing, mine never did because I deleted everything, thank goodness, and only used when necessary. Word and Excel were problems, and they MT people keep overloading and adding new programs which the computers cannot handle.
      Hope you guys get upgrades SOON.

  12. j russell July 4, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    I do still use XP, I bought Windows 7 and gave it a 6 month trial. I really hated it. I have gone back to XP and when it won’t work any longer I plan to move to a MAC. Everyone that I know thinks that is the way to go after they switch.

  13. Nicolò July 4, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    …as well a pair of glasses, a book, a shirt, or a chair, y buy and pay for it for all the life…”MY LIFE”…..
    …they should tell me before that what im buying ( and paying) only for several years…!

  14. RH July 4, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    I still use XP on my desktop AND on my old laptop. Why? Because I built a TON of macros to use with my old word processing and database app – Q/A, a DOS application that works for me for all but the nice letters, contracts, and other miscellaneous documents required for “publication”. Anybody who used Q/A knows why I hate the idea of giving it up. Also, I use a version of ACT (build 6.0.3.979) that – as far as I’m concerned – is far and away the best version released, and I’ve tried many later versions. I might be able to continue to use ACT with Win7 or higher, but I’d have to look around and find some kind of app to install to be able to continue to use the DOS Q/A. If anybody knows of that app, please let me know, as I don’t want to be in a position on April 8, 2014 of having my PC unprotected when it comes to new viruses.

  15. Stan Silverman July 4, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    Still using XP because I’ve still got VB6 code to support.

  16. Donald Hecht July 4, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    I have certain old but essential business programs which will only run on XP. I have one computer running the XP os and another with Win 7 pro which has a virtual XP drive running the software. The data on this program will not export so I am fored to either keep running XP or pay someone thousands of dollars to keyboard this data into an new program.

  17. Stephen Fox July 4, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    XP is fine. There is no reason to upgrade. Windows XP and 7 are on the same NT kernel; if Microsoft can patch Windows 7 they can patch XP.

    There is no functional reason why XP cannot continue to be used, other than to keep Microsoft’s business model relevant and the hardware manufacturers happy.

    I have old laptops/systems running Windows 95 and Windows 98. No one bothers attacking these old systems with their low market share. This will soon also be the case with XP. Writers will concentrate their efforts on Windows 7 and 8. I think the security issue is overblown, especially if you’re at home with a firewall and use free avast!

    • RH July 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      So, Stephen, you’re suggesting that running “on the same NT kernel” means that any app that runs under XP will also run under Win7?

      • Stephen Fox July 6, 2013 at 10:17 am #

        No, if XP and 7 are NT based there should be no reason that Microsoft can’t patch both. It’s not like we’re asking them to patch 9x on an entirely different architecture.

        Besides, Vista was the worst OS ever and as it is it will be patched and supported longer than XP.

        So we have a 12 year old OS with 40% of the market share, that Microsoft will refuse to support in 9 months. We also have a 7 year old abomination of an OS (Vista) that only 5% of the market uses, yet they will waste resources supporting it for another few years.

        Do you see anything wrong with this picture?

        • Gaffer July 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

          Microsoft will back down and continue support if market share holds up … well, that is my prediction.
          Regards.

      • Stephen Fox July 6, 2013 at 10:18 am #

        No, if XP and 7 are NT based there should be no reason that Microsoft can’t patch both. It’s not like we’re asking them to patch 9x on an entirely different architecture.

        Besides, Vista was the worst OS ever and as it is it will be patched and supported longer than XP.

        So we have a 12 year old OS with 40% of the market share, that Microsoft will refuse to support in 9 months. We also have a 7 year old abomination of an OS (Vista) that only 5% of the market uses, yet they will waste resources supporting it for another few years.

        Do you see anything wrong with this picture?

  18. kay krause July 4, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Do not understand computers 100% drivers are something that runs computers, yes but I barely use or understand I guess and by gosh. Kay Did help once in a while.

  19. kay krause July 4, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Do I need to upgrade or buy a new computer next year?? kay

    • Steve Krause July 6, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Hi Mom. Yes, you need to get a new computer however please don’t buy anything. I have a spare one I’ll bring over.

      Thanks for reading. I’ll give you a call. And this time, please don’t give the computer I built for you to one of the girls again. :) :)

      • kay krause July 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

        Tks for responding, ya Joanne got a hold of my computer.. Currently I do not have a soundcard, so cannot plan music etc.

  20. Carla Kennedy July 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    Sad to say, I am still an XP’er. I am slow to change, but when you put the dire consequences in perspective… I know it’s time to change.

    What do I have to do to upgrade?

    • Steve Krause July 6, 2013 at 9:06 am #

      Hi Carla,

      You shouldn’t feel bad. Windows XP had a good run but yes, it’s probably time to say goodbye to your old friend. :)

      The first step is to determine how old your computer is and if it can take an upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8. Let me know and I can help give you an idea.

      If you’re going to go with a new computer, the upgrade will be fairly simple. We have a million articles on both Windows 8 and Windows 7

      http://www.groovypost.com/tags/windows-7/
      http://www.groovypost.com/tags/windows-8/

      So let’s start with your PC age. From there we can give you a good path for the upgrade along with a few articles on how to transfer your data and get it up and running with the latest tools.

    • Brian Burgess July 6, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

      Carla, including the recomendations Steve made for our articles that show you how to upgrade, definitely make sure you have a backup for ALL of your important data first.

      CrashPlan is a perfect choice for backing up Online:
      http://www.groovypost.com/reviews/crashplan-quality-online-backup/

      And if nothing else, make sure you have a local backup on an external drive :) Karen’s Replicator is an older program for back up but still does an awesome job:
      http://www.groovypost.com/howto/backup-data-windows-karens-replicator/

      Or just check out the archive of all of our data back up articles:
      http://www.groovypost.com/tags/backup/

      Optimally you should have online and local data backup solutions.

  21. GBrowse July 5, 2013 at 4:55 am #

    We have a Toshiba laptop with XP. Wanted to upgrade it to Window 8 when they had the introductory offer, but the Toshiba upgrade tool on their website said it wasn’t compatible, due to there being no new drivers for that model to work with Windows 8. So, it stayed on XP. It certainly isn’t worth spending much on the old thing to buy a new Microsoft OS. Maybe Linux is the future for it?

  22. Terry Hollett July 5, 2013 at 5:54 am #

    My main computer is a Acer desktop with Windows 7 but I do have two XP desktops hooked up that I still use for various purposes.

  23. QWR July 5, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    I still use XP as my main computer. But there’s no need to upgrade, my XP PC runs like a dream. It’s fast, it’s stable, and with my anti-virus it’s secure too as the PC has never been affected by a threat which the anti-virus couldn’t deny.

    No need to spend so much money on upgrading. My PC runs great with no problems so why should I? As long as I still have a good anti-virus software on it I can continue to use it securely well beyond 2014.

    XP is the best. It never let me down!

    • Steve Krause July 6, 2013 at 9:30 am #

      Hi QWR – I agree, if things are working, why fix it?

      My only concern would be continued support of AV on the XP box and, OS exploits which might take advantage of the older OS and not covered by the AV software.

      That said, if you practice smart computing online, you should be fine however, operating system exploits do exist and can cause serious damage. That would be the only thing I’d be concerned about long-term. Well that and driver support for new accessories you might want to use but if you have a solid platform, you probably don’t care much about that.

      • James G July 7, 2013 at 4:58 am #

        No I don’t use XP on any of my newer machines, but I do have several old 32 bit computers that can not handle anything more than XP. I know several people who also are using 10 year old desktops with only 512mb of ram so they also can not handle anything newer than XP. Old ram is expensive and hard to find for older computers, so unless you convert your old 512mbRam 32bit desktops to Linux servers, you may be stuck on XP until the computer dies. I personally use desktops like these for Windows Server 2003 servers, why get rid of an old computer that still works, you can use it for a router or a Linux web server or you can just leave XP on it.

  24. Al G. July 7, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    For some time now, through all the upgrades, I have been suggesting the following:
    Use your XP machine for your heavy duty work – presentations, documentation, videos, manuals, whatever with all your business software that might be too expensive to upgrade. Take that work machine off of the internet. Don’t throw out your old laptop but use it for the Internet with Mint Linux or Ubuntu or buy a cheap Windows 7 or Windows 8 laptop for about $200 and use that for only the internet with all of your antimalware protections. I don’t even have my Internet machine networked but transfer necessary downloads via a flash drive after I’ve inspected the download and run it through Virus Total for example. Sometimes it’s a PITA but it Works for me.
    Al G.

  25. Paul A. July 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    Last month I migrated from XP to Windows 8 after a computer died. After spending a month with W8, deciding I hate the Start Screen and getting the Start Menu replacement Start8, I like to think I’m using Windows 7.5 and not W8.

  26. Oikono J. July 8, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    The only worthy reason to abandon XP (the most successful OS ever) would be to migrate to some decent distro of Linux. Each next step has to be forward, not backward…

  27. Brian Burgess July 10, 2013 at 3:04 am #

    I just remembered that my parents are still on XP SP3. I gave them an old IBM ThinkPad G40 with P4 CPU a few years back. I set up solid security and enabled auto updates and am using Microsoft Security Essentials on it.

    All they use it for are websites I allow them to access, email, and some photos. It’s perfect for what they use a computer for. But I might get them the cheapo Chromebook because in the end, yeah it’s XP, but it’s far more complicated for anything they need, and potential for viruses are always a concern.

  28. zxc July 14, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    No, Xp is a very solid system, but my father use in his office.

  29. ALA July 16, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    I use XP on my favorite computer. I also have a computer with VISTA and out of the two I like XP better. It is just makes more sense.
    The most recent attempt to question about purchasing a new computer was answered when I attempted to check out the new CPU’s with the current Windows 8. I guess it would help if I had a smart phone. I grew up with DOS and I still like the feel of a programming OS as compared to a bunch of app’s that sometimes are not logical to me. I started and was unable to get back and that is when I deciced to stay with my old junk.

  30. nabrum July 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    Have Thinkpad G40 which is 11 years old. Wife has another Thinkpad R52. Also have an Asus Atom based Netbook that I use for travel. All are XP/SP3. While the Asus is a bit slower than the others because of the Atom chip, it still functions as a nice traveling laptop.

    I also have an Android tablet, but Android isn’t good for doing any real work other than running the Kindle App and basic email/browsing.

    I do NOT plan on upgrading to anything as long as the Thinkpads work.
    Win8 is really Vista 2.0 and is a joke.

    While I could upgrade to Win7, I see no need to. My AV is MSE and seems to be fine. I got rid of AV’s like McAffee, Norton, Kapersky, & Vipre long ago. I also have Office 2000, yes, 2000, on them and it’s fine for everything I do since I retired.

    Some of the stuff in current versions of Office makes one wonder why it’s still called Office. In fact I prefer Lotus 123 to Excel and use Lotus for all my spreadsheet functions. I had to build complex spreadsheets in Office 2010 and couldn’t believe how clutzy it was. I ended up doing the spreadsheets in Lotus, saving them as Office 97 files, and importing them into Excel 2010 and then fixing them up so they would work properly in 2010. Simple things like table lookups have deficiencies in Excel.

    I partitioned my HD’s to keep Windows separate from the data just in case. I have Paragon Image copies of the C-drive and the keep backups of the data on the Data Partition. So if a virus does sneak in, I’ll just refresh the C-drive from the backup image.

    I had tried Win7 on another Thinkpad when it came out and wasn’t impressed. So for us it’s XP.

    • Brian Burgess July 20, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

      Man, I love my ThinkPad G40’s yup, I have two of them. At the time, they were top of the line desktop replacements. They weigh like 8lbs each, but they took a licking and keep ticking.

      in fact, my Parents are still using one of my old ones with XP.

      If you continue to use XP past the cut off date, I would definitely make sure you have a SOLID daily back up plan, keep all security and other software up to date — uninstall Java if you don’t need it too.

      In the end, usually getting an infection is due to “user error”, but after the cut off date, if there are exploits, you’re out of luck from MS patching them anyway.

      The upgrade path from XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8 for that matter is pretty seamless.

      Also, you’d be surprised how well 7 runs on older less powerful hardware. It’s not a beast like Vista was.

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