As you have already heard Windows XP is considered End of Life on April 8, 2014. Vista is End of Life as of April 11 2017. What does this mean to you? How important or critical is it to update or upgrade? What options do you have to upgrade and so on shall attempt to be answered here.
First and foremost, DON’T PANIC but start planning to replace. While Windows XP and Vista will continue to receive antivirus updates from a few vendors it will lose support from more companies at time goes on. As for security as a whole, the most important factor in how any PC runs is determined by the person in front of the keyboard. Most exploits on Windows come through Java and Flash. If Adobe and Oracle decide to stop supporting XP/Vista as well then the concern for replacement will be much higher. IF any truly considerable vulnerabilities are discovered after support for XP/Vista is over then one must use more caution or consider replacing their operating system (OS) sooner than anticipated.
To upgrade or replace: Generally speaking many computers greater than 5 years old would benefit from just being replaced. There are certain minimums recommended for a good experience with a newer Windows OS. We recommend at least a Core2Duo processor and at least 2GB RAM for a 32 bit install. However this will still mean slow performance. Ideally, any ‘i’ series processor (i3, i5, i7) and 4GB+ RAM for the best experience. IF your PC meets those requirements then the average cost to upgrade to Windows 10 Home would be $200 which includes backing up the existing data and installing the new OS. If any upgrade options exist they may be recommended for optimum performance. We will continue to offer Windows 7 for as long as possible as well but inventory is becoming more limited. To upgrade to Windows 7 Pro the average could would be $240 with optional recommended upgrades.
Other factors to consider if upgrading or replacing are to look at your existing software and hardware. All programs would need to be reinstalled so you would want to make sure you have all the appropriate installation media and licenses for your software and make sure it is supported on Windows 7 or 10. If you are unsure you can do a simple Google search (use caution opening links) or visit the manufacturers page. The same is true of any hardware. Older printers, webcams, scanners, or other specialty devices it is a good idea to check Windows 7 or 10 support and if replacing the PC make sure you can still plug those devices in or be willing to replace them.
If your PC does not meet the recommended suggestions above have a look at our systems on the site. Our Gold System will easily out perform any system not up to par with the suggestions above and last for many years.