Microsoft Windows XP on New Computers

It's rare but the older version of the operating system is still available

Several years ago, Microsoft stopped providing security updates or technical support for the Windows XP operating system. Nevertheless, some retailers still offer refurbished computers equipped with Windows XP because the hardware requirements are less than those required for Windows Vista through Windows 10.

Windows XP logo screen
 Microsoft

As of April 2014, Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP. We recommend upgrading to Windows 10 to continue receiving security updates and technical support.

Risks of Running Windows XP

If you decide to buy a computer running Windows XP, plan for these serious security problems you'll need to deal with:

  • Vulnerability to new bugs: Hackers are constantly searching for bugs in existing operating systems. When those bugs are exploited, companies that make the operating systems patch up (fix) those bugs. In the case of Windows XP, Microsoft won't fix those bugs.
  • Incompatible drivers: Since most hardware manufacturers stopped supporting Windows XP drivers, you'll need to use old drivers. Old driver software is as susceptible to new bugs as the old operating system.
  • Old Software: Most software companies also stopped supporting Windows XP, so you'll be working with outdated software on your computer. Outdated software is at risk for hacking as well.
  • Outdated network cards: The older a network card is, the more likely it is that hackers have found problems that they can exploit and hack into your computer. This makes it especially dangerous to connect your Windows XP computer directly to the internet.

Secure Your New Windows XP Computer

If you do purchase a computer with Windows XP and you cannot upgrade to a modern operating system, follow these special security precautions:

  • Install antivirus software: Even if you took steps to secure the computer, install free antivirus software to ensure ultimate security.
  • Update all software: Even though the OS isn't receiving patches, improve security by frequently updating anything you install on the computer.
  • Avoid internet browsing: Because of the risks, it's not advisable to connect a Windows XP computer to the internet. If you do, avoid using internet browsers.
  • Install minimal software: The fewer applications installed on a computer running Windows XP, the lower the odds are that there will be a software vulnerability that hackers can exploit.
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