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News & Press: Feature

Prepare – The End of Windows XP Is Near

Monday, December 30, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Larry Schmitz, CCP, CMC, 1999 AITP President

For those who thought the Y2K "event” was stressful, you ain’t seen nothing yet !!

Wait until April 8, 2014. That is the day Microsoft (and many hardware/software vendors and websites) pull the plug on my beloved "XP with Service Pack 3”.

For those of you whose employers supply you with new computers every couple of years, and upgrades to Microsoft’s latest operating system, this will be no big deal. But for the millions of home users who not only use their PC’s for personal things (email, etc.) but also to access their bank records, stock broker website, retail store accounts, credit card accounts, etc., this is going to be a calamity!!

Microsoft’s XP operating system has been around for 11 years and Service Pack 3 (which stabilized it and made it the most reliable Microsoft offering up until then) has been around since 2008. People using XP/3 have computers that do what they need to do, and an operating system that does the same. They don’t feel any urgency to pay a lot of money for the latest technology if they don’t need it. Much the way they don’t run out and replace their refrigerator, wash machine or automobile just because somebody introduced a new one. Boy, are they in for a shock!

If you thought single men and people in their 50’s were upset when they found out they had to buy health insurance that included maternity benefits and abortions, you haven’t seen real anger. Wait until they find out that they have to replace their computer to run Windows 8, pay upgrade fees on applications they have run for some time, and not be able to run others AT ALL !!

But in the end, we will all succumb to the power of Microsoft in order to participate in the internet. This will mean HUGE sales of new computers, lots of related software applications, AND a need to dispose of millions of old computers.

Painful (and expensive) as all those replacements/upgrades will be to consumers/computer users, the disposal of all those computers will present a challenge. What about the concern over the data stored on those computers?

Most of the user population I am speaking of has not dealt with concerns that their old computer includes LOTS of information they don’t want shared. Safely recycling those hard drives, etc. will get lots of press—my prediction.

My daughter, who is a Law Professor at the University of Colorado, and an expert on Consumer Protection law, noted that Consumer Reports just ran an article on that subject. You can find it at:

Or you can use the "Lucky Larry” approach. When I recycle an old computer, I carefully remove the hard drive and gently place it in a vise on my work bench. I am careful to make sure that at least 50% of the drive surface protrudes above the vise jaws. Then I take a 16 oz. hammer and have some fun with it (LOL). Nobody will copy any data off my old computers.


Larry Schmitz, CCP,CMC
Common Sense Solutions LLC 
Box 311 
Menasha, WI 54952 

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