Windows XP will not be supported by Microsoft after April 8th, 2014. You may have seen this update appear on your Windows XP machine - this has come through the Automatic Updates service.
Please find below some questions and answers as to what this means to you as a Windows XP user.
1: Is Windows XP going to stop working? Windows XP will continue to work and be fully usable after April 8th, 2014. The key thing to remember is that there will be no more security updates or security patches for Windows XP. As time goes by this will increasingly decrease your computer's security.
2: Can I keep running without security updates?
You can, but you run an ever increasing risk of picking something up malware wise as time goes by. Security vunerabilities will not be patched, and Internet Explorer 8 under Windows XP is a magnet in itself for hijacking and picking up infections through its security vunerabilities.
3: Anti-virus software: Can it help me?
Anti-virus software will only do so much and will not protect against all security vunerabilities in Windows XP. There will come a point somewhere down the line where anti-virus software will no longer be available for Windows XP, and this also applies to other software programs and hardware.
4: What do I need to do?
Your best course of action is to stop using Windows XP as soon as possible, and to upgrade to a more recent OS. Unfortunately there is no upgrade route from XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8, but we can do data transfer for you here at Computer Services.
5: Is upgrading to Windows 8 my only option?
If you don't get on with Windows 8, it's still possible to buy Windows 7 Professional, but after November 2016 the only option will be Windows 10. Alternatively, you could migrate to a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint, or buy a Mac and switch to OS X. These may require new learning curves, hardware and possibly replacement software.