Today, as Microsoft discontinues support for Windows XP, a 12-year-old operating system, users around the world are left with only a few options to choose from. It’s no surprise that Microsoft is encouraging users to migrate to Windows 8.1, but of course there are other alternatives. The best by far is Linux. With over 100 distributions, Linux not only offers flexibility, but also reliability and support.
First, let’s see exactly what happens with Microsoft’s discontinuation of support for Windows XP.
What is the end of assistance?
There will be no more security or technical support updates for the Windows XP operating system.
Support Office 2003 also ends April 8, 2014.
What does it mean?
It means you have to take action. After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for Windows XP.
Security updates fix vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malware and help keep users and their data safe.
PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014 should not be considered protected and it is important that you migrate to a currently supported operating system.
This is the opportunity to try something completely new and different from Microsoft.
First, you will need to find out which Linux distro is best for the job you do. DistroWatch is “a lightweight way to measure the popularity of Linux distributions” and a great place to see all the options for desktops, servers, laptops, netbooks, mobile phones and tablets (and some minimal environments).
My Linux distribution breakdown:
- secure and suitable for military and financial applications (RHEL)
- avant-garde and dynamic (Fedora)
- universal (Debian)
- educational (Edubuntu)
- for the hobbyist (Raspbian)
- for the media artist (Ubuntu Studio)
- for the simple user (Mint)
- for desktop and cloud application (Ubuntu)
- simple and light (Arch)
- faithfully built from source code (Gentoo)
- reliable and unpretentious (Slackware)
The list continues with dozens of other distributions that are constantly evolving.
Make a change
In addition to the many Windows XP desktop users in homes and businesses, financial services companies that provide ATM services will be looking to make a change.
About 95% of ATMs around the world run Windows XP. Faced with the end of support, these organizations are exploring the adoption of Linux in order to better control their hardware and software evolutions. It is estimated that today, less than 40% of ATMs in the United States will have migrated out of Windows XP.
Health is another sector that will be strongly affected. About 10% of healthcare providers still use Windows XP, and they could be attractive targets for cybercriminals as patient data and personal data comes at a high price on the black market.
Today is not only a good time to make a change, but it is a great time in the history of Linux. These operating systems demonstrate maturity, reliability and versatility. Start today!