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The End of the XP Era

By Valerie Priester

Published May 9, 2014

Still using Windows XP? To keep your information safe, now is the time to pick up a new computer, or upgrade your old one.

On April 8, 2014, Microsoft's support of Windows XP ended. There will no longer be patches and updates for Windows XP, leaving those machines vulnerable to security breaches and bugs. Without vendor support, organizations like UB can't continue to support Windows XP either.

“People are always better off staying current.”
Saira Hasnain, Director
Enterprise Infrastructure Services (EIS)

Valerie Priester (UBIT Staff) is a valuable member of UB Information Technology and has worked for UB for over 17 years, most recently as part of the IT Policy & Communication team. When not writing Web content for UBIT, she can be found rowing on Tonawanda Creek, gardening or walking her dog, Maddie.

If You Can...Upgrade and Save Money

Some computers running Windows XP can be upgraded to a newer, supported operating system, such as Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, so check the requirements to see if your machine can handle Windows 7 64-bit or Windows 8/8.1.

Newer computers are 64-bit, so in the future it may be harder to get a 32-bit version of software.  "People are better off staying current," said Saira Hasnain, Director of CIT's Enterprise Infrastructure Services. Upgrade to 64-bit, if you can. Keep in mind that you can’t upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version without a fresh install.

Windows upgrades are available free for UB students. Most UB staff and faculty can also purchase Windows upgrades for their personally owned computers for a nominal fee.

Contact the CIT Help Desk, Lockwood 2nd Floor Cybrary, at 716-645-3542 or ubithelp@buffalo.edu with questions about upgrading.

Time to Go Shopping?

Many computers with Windows XP just aren't robust enough to upgrade. They're too old, slow or don't have enough memory to handle a new operating system. In those cases, you really have no choice but to purchase a new computer to keep both your computer and personal information safe.

"Most people can find a new computer that meets their needs for around $400," Saira noted.

When XP support was on the eve of going away, Saira admitted she also needed to buy a new computer for home. "[My XP machine] could do everything I needed, but as of tomorrow, it wouldn't be safe," she added. Because her home computer was unable to meet the upgrade requirements, it had to go. If your XP machine can't be upgraded, UBIT strongly advise you to replace it as soon as possible.