Upgrading from Windows XP will be a question of preference

The clock is ticking on Windows XP support.

The days in which Windows XP can safely be used are dwindling. On April 8, Microsoft will officially discontinue support and patch development for the almost 13-year-old operating system. While this, ideally, should not be a concern for many people, it has become apparent that a vast number of computers are still running it – and plan to continue past the cutoff date.

While there are ways to stretch out the longevity of Windows XP, it is advisable to make an upgrade sooner rather than later. For those interested in staying within the Microsoft ecosystem, this will mean deciding between one of the two operating systems that have been released in the time since XP has been around.

Windows 7 and Windows 8, despite only being one incarnation away from each other, are vastly different operating systems. When upgrading to one or the other will finally be viable for XP users, choosing which system will be a matter of personal preference. Those used to a more traditional feel might not respond well to the most recent member of the Windows family tree, and Microsoft has responded by paying equal attention to Windows 7.

Here is a breakdown of what to expect from each of the newer Windows operating systems. It will be essential to take all of the facts into consideration before selecting which one is going to be a better fit.

Windows 8
The most recent of the Microsoft operating systems, Windows 8 is representative of the generation around it. Microsoft has, in recent years, branched out from PCs and laptops to tablets and smartphones. As such, the company designed Windows 8 to function primarily in a touchscreen environment.

This is also a response to the growing rate at which touchscreens are being incorporated into more traditional devices. Laptops that respond to touch, as well as tablets that connect to keyboards, are perfectly accented by the functionality of Windows 8. But some who will primarily want to work at desktop computers with standard monitors might find this operating system cumbersome to navigate. This is why Windows 7 has retained much of the same popularity that Windows XP did.

Windows 7
While touchscreen technology is considered a wave of the future, there has yet to be a wide adoption of it past mobile devices. Windows 8, for all its ingenuity, is not right for every device. In the modern world, there is still something to be said for the “old school” look and feel of Microsoft operating systems that many people grew up with. This is why Windows 7 is still being sold, not to mention built standard into many of the new machines available today.

The argument for Windows 7 definitely depends on if the computers that currently run XP are going to stay in place when an upgrade occurs. If there are going to be new devices with touchscreen capabilities involved, then using Windows 7 would be selling the equipment short and not maximizing the potential return on investment. But if older hardware is still completely useful and memories of XP are still fresh in the heads of users, then Windows 7 is probably going to be the way to go.

Whatever choice is finally decided upon, Faronics will be there to help ease the transition. Deep Freeze computer restore software will still be compatible with Windows XP for the foreseeable future, meaning that even if migration to a more advanced operating system is unable to occur before April 8, users will have another form of protection while they navigate these new changes.

Matt Williams

A self-proclaimed ‘tech geek’, Matt has worked in technology for a decade and divides his time between blogging and working in IT. A huge New York Giants fan, when not watching football Matt gets his game on playing Call of Duty with his friends and other tech bloggers.