Out with Windows XP and in with Windows 8.1?

Windows XP was the second most popular operating system (OS) from Microsoft.  As of 2006, Microsoft had sold 400 million copies, and no one knows how many pirated copies of the OS were illegally installed in that time.  But all good things must come to an end.  As of April 2014, Microsoft has officially discontinued software updates to Microsoft XP.


Now, if you do still have this archaic OS installed (XP came to market in August of 2001, that’s like the Middle Ages to us computer nerds!) there is hope for you to keep using XP.  In January of this year, Microsoft revealed that its Anti-Virus product (MSRT) would continue to be updated for XP until July 2015.  This is a good thing for people who still have to use XP.  I have clients in the printing and machining industry who have machine-controllers that only run on XP.   It’s one thing for a small company to replace a computer for $500-$1000, but it’s another thing altogether for a machine shop to change out a giant piece of equipment for $20k-$100k!

The problem that IT professionals are running into is that the latest OS from Microsoft isn’t quite ready for prime time in the professional environment (and many IT professionals doubt if it ever will be!).  Just the other day I was advisingone of my older clients that they should only get Windows 8.1 if they’re going to be using the touch interface.  Every time I’ve used Windows 8.1 in the office environment, the new Start page simply gets in the way of me being able to do my job quickly and efficiently.


So what are the advantages of the new Windows 8.1?  Well, if you find that you need to have a tablet with a touch interface that can run Windows applications, then this is the system for you.  If you’ve always wanted to run Office (or other typical, Windows-compatible programs) on an iPad, then this is the product for you!

What are the disadvantages of the new Windows 8.1?  Compatibility.  Not all of the major business software packages work on Windows 8.1 (especially older versions of software).  For example, older versions of Quickbooks are not compatible with Windows 8.1.  If you want a keyboard and a mouse to create documents, or to enter numbers into spreadsheets then there’s no real advantage to Windows 8.1 for you.

Halo Information Systems recommendation:  Stick with Windows 7 Professional for your business needswindows7prof

If you, or someone from your company needs further advice on new computer systems, or if you have any comments about the newsletter, please email us at:


About Matt

Matt Wotring is a life-long technophile. His past rolls include Level 1 and Level 2 IT tech support, Associate Producer and Game Designer in the video game industry, datacom project management, and IT sales. Matt is an IT Tech and Business Developer for Halo Information Systems.
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2 Responses to Out with Windows XP and in with Windows 8.1?

  1. Steve Scott says:

    I remember when Windows first reared its ugly head. I was a DOS wizard, able to coax/produce just about anything from DOS, BASIC, or dBaseIV. I went kicking and screaming to Windows, but still ran in-house dBase applications on DOS computers at my workplace until Windows morphed into a version which did not use DOS as its foundation.

    So it will be with me and touchscreen. I’m just now using an iPad Mini for this, but will soon arise and go down to my much more friendly Windows 7 laptop. After all, I’d like to get something accomplished without a fight.

  2. Steve Scott says:

    P.s. Whoever thought “Shades of Gray” text/background would make reading easy was mistaken.

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