As new operating systems come out, publishers naturally want users to migrate from old to new. Naturally they want to sell the new OS, but there are benefits to the users, especially in terms of security. Windows XP is going to be entering an interesting area in terms of security and age before very long.


Currently Windows XP is in what is termed “Extended Support.” The important thing about this is that Microsoft is still issuing security fixes for vulnerabilities as they are discovered. In less than two years from the time I write this, however, Microsoft will be ending all support for Windows XP. No vulnerabilities will be patched. Currently there are still a huge number of people on the net that use Windows XP, and I can understand why. However, Windows Vista and Windows 7 are much more secure, and that's important for everyone's sake, not only the individual user.


A computer running an OS that isn't secure poses a threat to everyone else on the Net. A compromised computer can be used to send spam to the rest of us, or as part of a collection of computers tat bombard web sites and servers trying to overwhelm them. Additionally, once an intruder has access to a computer on a network, it's much easier for them to attack other computers on the inside of the network, even if they're running a more secure OS. You can lock your front door and your garage, but if a thief can get in the backdoor, he's that much closer to getting through your bedroom door.


So, considering updating your operating systems. Sure, it means learning new things, but you're helping yourself and the rest of us.