Our experts answer some FAQs about Windows XP End of Support.

Ask the Expert


With today being the Windows XP End of Support we look to some of our experts from the Canadian MVP Award Program to answer some of our most frequently asked questions about why you should upgrade...


Can I keep my system safe by changing my web browser or anti-virus?    


David Wesst: Although changing your web browser or anti-virus may help keep your system safe from web-based or virus based, it is only a short-term solution and does not cover all of the potential security risks that come with not upgrading past Windows XP.


With the end of support for XP, so ends the release of new security patches and improvements to vulnerabilities that actively malicious users find moving forward. The end of support also means, although not immediately, that software vendors that make the web browsers and anti-virus applications for XP will eventually stop supporting it too.


Can I protect myself by permanently disconnecting my device from the Internet?            


Brian Bourne: If you disconnect your device from the Internet, then you will still need to be extremely careful about removable media (such as DVD, USB, etc).  Of course, if the machine is on a network with other machines, it has many of the same risks as if it still had access to the Internet directly.  If it is truly disconnected from all networks, and you avoid using removable media, then this can be a good approach for keeping your machine safe. However, it goes without saying that a machine that cannot be connected to the internet offers limited functionality. For more information on mitigating security concerns for organizations still running XP, check out this blog post.


Do I need to buy all new hardware?   


Colin Smith: While the question is rather simple, the answer is a bit more complicated and it is best answered with 'It depends'. So what does it depend on?  In order to provide an answer that satisfies as many readers as possible, I will rely on my standby approach:  understanding the use case(s).  I have created this blog post which features a series of questions to ask yourself to help determine if new hardware is the best approach.


Can I migrate my important applications?


Marcos Nogueira: This will depend on the application. If your application it was created for Windows XP (and not migrated from the previous versions), the majority will still run on Windows 8.1.


There are several different ways to achieve this, but the first thing you should do it's check if your application it's listed on the Compatibility Center for Windows 8.1. If it's not listed your next step it's run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter on the application. If you don't have luck you can always check manually.


If you are running this application on a corporate environment you could see if using Application Virtualization (App-V) would be beneficial and if it will solve your compatibility issues.


For the latest news on Windows 8 go here