What were you doing on August 24, 2001? Yes, I’m asking you about a date more than eleven years ago. What about October 25, 2001? Still more than eleven years ago. Those were the dates when Windows XP was released to computer manufacturers and the date it was first made available to the public. Let me throw out one more date and that is April 8, 2014. On that date Microsoft will end extended support for Windows XP. In short, there will be no more security updates.
Let me spell it out for you as clearly as possible, XP users need to move to a newer operating system in less than 18 months and the clock is ticking. Back in February, I highly recommended you migrate your operating system to 64-bit. Windows 7 is already more than three years old and is a very solid platform. Windows 8 has been released and I’m definitely waiting for the interface to be fixed before I’m ready to upgrade.
Now why am I telling you about this today? By now you’ve hopefully read about the awful Windows Update KB2753842 that caused some fonts to stop working in a large number of programs. This update was so bad that Microsoft has pulled it completely. Unfortunately a lot of people already had it installed. Users who have Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista have all been able to easily remove this update. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Windows XP users as some haven’t been able to remove it at all. As of right now the only way I know to completely remove it is to reinstall the operating system and software from scratch.
This is a very drastic step, but is the only sure way I know right now. If you are truly going to do this, please move to a newer operating system at the same time. As operating systems age and support diminishes, problems like this become more common. Pretty much any time I get a call from someone having any type of problem, I can assume they are still on Windows XP. While that isn’t always the case, it is true in the vast majority of cases.
While you may not make the move today, it is something you need to seriously consider sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until 2014! Plan the migration and get it right. Not sure how to install an operating system from scratch? I wrote about it in Setting Up a Computer From Scratch – Part 1 – The Operating System. Now go ahead, start researching the update now.