After 12 years of reliable service, Windows XP is officially no longer supported by Microsoft as of April 8th, 2014.  While Windows XP will continue to function, it will no longer be supported at ALL by Microsoft.

I never call Microsoft, so do I really need support?

Not so fast;  we’re not just talking about problems with disappearing icons or slow pinball games.  This means that Microsoft no longer develops those nice security updates that your computer downloads to protect itself from bugs and security holes.  Without these, XP is vulnerable to any NEW holes that hackers may be able to poke into the system.

But I have Anti-Virus Software… Won’t that protect me?

Nope… For two reasons:  First,  anti-virus software simply stops malware and viruses;  it does not “patch” vulnerabilities in the operating system.  Think of Windows XP as your house, and anti-virus software as your alarm system.  Even the best alarm system in the world is useless if you leave your front door wide open… Make sense?

Second,  even if anti-virus software developers continue to support XP in a complementary fashion, there will be dwindling incentive for them to do so. Why spend money and man-hours developing software for an operating system that has been abandoned by its creators?

But my XP computer still works fine… You’re telling me I have to go get a new one just to be safe?

It’s a brave new world, friends.  Our computer gizmos aren’t designed with lifetimes of service in mind (what would be the fun in that, right?) In the computer world, XP’s twelve-year service life is a geological epoch.  By comparison, the Linux operating systems that we power many of the college’s servers with turn over every 18-24 MONTHS.   Does it stink?  You bet.  Is it reality?  Indeed.

…Well, can I just buy Windows 7 and install it on my old computer?

Technically, yes… BUT the hardware requirements are significantly higher for Windows 7 than they are for XP.  If your computer has a “designed for XP” tag on it (and you haven’t subsequently upgraded the hardware), chances are it will be a disappointing experience.

…And here’s another kicker:  When you buy a copy of Windows 7 from a retail outlet, you are paying the retail (ie., FULL) price.  When you buy a new computer, you are actually paying substantially less for the operating system as the manufacturer usually negotiates drastically lower “original equipment manufacturer” (OEM) rates.  You can pay $200 for a copy of Windows 7 to put on your five-year old computer, or you can pay $400 for a new computer with Windows 7 pre-installed… See what I mean?

Nice try, but I’m still going to use my XP computer at GC

Effective July 1st, 2014, computers running XP will no longer be granted access to the Georgetown College network.  The ITS department possesses advanced technology to identify and if, necessary block systems that it deems a threat to security.  Starting July 1st, XP is persona non grata.

I don’t use the computer enough to know what version of Windows I’m running

No problem!  Simply point your non-Internet Explorer web browser at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/which-operating-system.  This will detect your operating system for you.

My campus PC is still running XP!  What do I do?

Georgetown College Faculty/Staff

Contact the ITS Helpdesk at (502) 863-4357.  We will arrange to get you upgraded to Window 7 ASAP.

Georgetown College Students

Contact the ITS Helpdesk to discuss options for upgrading.