RENO, Nev.--When it was launched, it was what some people called the greatest operating system we had ever seen. But 12 years later, the usable life for Windows XP has come to an end. From this point on, Microsoft will no long fix bugs or create patches for the system. That does not come as welcome news for longtime users of the system, who rely on it everyday.
"Support for this operating system has ended," said Nadine Riley as she read off the message on her Windows XP PC Tuesday afternoon.
When she flipped on her computer Tuesday morning, she learned Microsoft no longer supports her operating system. Her computer may no longer be safe to use.
"Unless I upgrade it, or do something for it," said Riley.
The change has been a long time coming. Windows XP is now more than 12-years-old. Microsoft has released three new operating systems since XP, but the system is still very popular.
"There is a whole lot of businesses that still use it. Old business applications that people are still on that only support Windows XP. So there are a lot of reasons why it is still out there," said Wyatt Soulam, computer repairman at The Computer Guys in Reno.
Since the end has come, Soulam has seen computer after computer come in with XP. Owners want an upgrade to avoid a hack.
"Worst case scenario, there is somebody out there holding out on an exploit they found on XP and they are just going to hammer away at it the day after support ends," said Soulam.
Of course you can still buy anti-virus and third party security, but from this day on XP is just not as safe for use any more.
"But it is still not recommended to be online with XP," said Soulam.
That means the best solution is an upgrade. Windows 7 will be familiar to XP users, but it will cost you. About $100 for the software and more for labor.
"The platform is not supported. So what does that mean?" said Nadine Riley, still trying to figure out if her computer will work.
But for her, an upgrade is not an option. Her computer is too old. She'll be forced to start using a new one.
There is some good news, after you've upgraded to the next operating system. You won't have to worry about it for some time. Microsoft will support Windows 7 until 2020, and Windows 8 will be supported until 2023.