Mike's personal web site

Microsoft Update in Windows XP. According to this report, Windows XP still accounts for approximately 1/3 of computer desktops. The word Microsoft wants to spread is the end of support for XP in April 2014.

If you like Microsoft Windows, be sure to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8 before next year as they will quit dispensing software fixes. Once that happens you might as well paint a bullseye on your computer if you continue to use this product. Those individuals which create software exploits, take advantage of any computer system that doesn’t have the latest program updates. They continue to disseminate these exploits through the Internet and if you are using an out of date product, it will eventually receive a virus or some malware that will create problems for you or your co-workers.

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My decision 4 years ago was to completely get off all Microsoft operating systems. My computer systems experience started when the IBM mainframe was king of the hill. I wrote assembler programs for the IBM system 360/370 series, DEC VAX and continued to use higher level languages on mini and micro computers thereafter. I taught computer and microprocessor controls at a technical school for several years. I covered hardware and software of the 6502, Z-80 and 8088 CPU’s. I continued in the private sector, designing and installing large wired and wireless networks, primarily using Cisco products. This may have not made me an industry expert in all areas but it sufficiently informs me as to what constitutes a usable product.

I use Linux Mint and I could also recommend Apple but Windows has left the station for me. Too many constant exploits and bug fixes. There’s nothing compelling for me to stay with such problems. If I had a car that required as much servicing, updating and retraining to use as a Microsoft Windows environment I would certainly have made the switch to something significantly more reliable. That for me, is Linux. Image I started using Linux in the 90’s with Red Hat 6 and Suse 2.1. I’ve tried several others but for the past several years I found UBUNTU to be one of the simplest and most easily supportable flavors of the Linux operating system spectrum. More importantly, I experimented with a slight branch of UBUNTU called Mint. The Mint version of the Linux OS favors using a more conventional desk top, GNOME, than when UBUNTU decided to implement Unity. Don’t misunderstand, the Unity desktop is a great look and feel however I don’t have a touch screen and that is where it would really come into play. Windows 8 patterns their own vision of a symbolic desktop. The Unity desktop is just another way of a similar presentation.

ImageThe bottom line, use whatever you want but as for me, I’m sticking with a tried and true system which typically uses fewer resources, meaning I can use somewhat older hardware and still have good performance. I also appreciate the rock solid nature of Linux and more importantly, fewer exploits and virus crud to have to be concerned over. Simply put, would you rather drive a Yugo (Microsoft OS) or a Mercedes (Linux) or a Bentley (Apple)? You decide but keep up to date on your software.

You may also want to look at the links below for additional end of life support information.

Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 Support Ends April 8, 2014 
Windows lifecycle fact sheet
Cisco End-of-Life Policy
Citrix revises end of life dates for XenApp
Apache OpenOffice – The Free and Open Productivity Suite
6 Alternative Ubuntu Desktops Worth Trying
Five things Desktop Linux has to do to beat Windows 8

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