If you’re still running Windows XP, you have just two weeks before you will no longer receive updates or support. Microsoft’s ageing, 12-year-old operating system will finally reach its end-of-support date on April 8th.
What this means for you if you still have XP: after April 8th, Microsoft will not be providing support or releasing any more updates for your operating system. April 8th is the last day that updates will be released or that you will be able to get support through Microsoft. Since security holes are found and patched monthly, any Windows XP users will be at high risk for malware after support ends. Technically, since Microsoft releases updates on the second Tuesday of each month, XP will not be truly unprotected until May 13th. However, no patches will be released after the 8th of next month, no matter what security flaws are discovered.
Once support ends, it also means that drivers and common Windows programs will no longer be written to support Windows XP. If you continue using XP, you will not only stop receiving updates for your operating system but also for the programs you use.
What you should do: once support ends, you have a number of options. If you still want Windows, check if your computer is capable of running Windows 7 or 8.1. You can find the system requirements for Windows 7 here and the requirements for Windows 8.1 here. An upgrade to either of these newer operating systems will be about $100, so if you are not interested investing that much money into older hardware consider buying a new computer or switching to Linux. Whatever you do, don’t continue using XP if you plan on staying connected to the Internet.
Check out Microsoft’s official end-of-support help page here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help