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As Windows XP turns 10 today I'm really wondering what to do with my parents ancient Windows XP computer.

Before I moved out I knew it was aging badly. Its an old Pentium 4 box. Works okay-ish for now, but its simply getting worse. And since I've moved out, I can't do the 6 month reformat cycle that I think was the only thing keeping it running at all.

The holiday season is coming up meaning great deals on Windows 7 computers. However Windows 8 is just around the corner, it doesn't seem to make sense to be an OS behind everyone else 6 months after you bought a new computer.

Whats the recommended course of action in a situation like this? Wait for Windows 8 while the computer degrades rapidly or upgrade and be out of date in 6 months?

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closed as not constructive by Shinrai, slhck, Nifle, ChrisF, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 26 '11 at 20:14

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Note: I don't consider this too localized as Windows XP sits at 36% market share. If 36% of the world's computers is too localized, then I don't know what is. There are probably many in this predicament as well –  TheLQ Oct 25 '11 at 18:06
    
It's just one reformat left. ;) Remember Microsoft usually offers some technology upgrade, so you'll be able to buy a windows 7 computer and upgrade it to windows 8 for free (or little bucks). –  Jens Erat Oct 25 '11 at 18:11
    
I'd probably consider it as too localized in the sense of "a specific moment in time". When Windows 8 is out, well, what are your choices when buying a new PC? –  slhck Oct 25 '11 at 18:13
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I'd consider it too subjective, not too localized. What if you LIKE 7 more than 8? –  Shinrai Oct 25 '11 at 18:20
    
I agree with @Shinrai. Your parents are not equivalent to my parents or anyone else's parents in terms of computer savvy. They might use their computer only for one software package many of us have never heard of. They might be easier to help remotely than other people, and the list goes on. This question might be better off written as "What factors should I consider when determining whether to switch a 'computer dependent' -- nice term, Kara -- to Win7 or Win8?" in accordance with Jeff's "the goal is to teach" philosophy. –  Pops Oct 25 '11 at 20:40

3 Answers 3

I wouldn't put my parents - or any non-savvy person - on 8 until at least SP1. In that scenario, I'd get them on 7 - probably skip 8 - plan on getting them on 9. Realistically, they already skipped Vista (hahahahaha) so getting 7 keeps them on the every-other-OS plan.

It'll be a while until you and I know the kinks of 8 - I like to keep my computer-dependents on an OS where I know the kinks already.

So yeah, I'd definitely cash in on a cheap win7 computer for them. No more security patches for XP just means they're more likely to be calling you with issues related to unavoidable malware.

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I'd go with Windows 7 now. Windows 8 is going to be a while. On top of that, the security threats out there that absolutely own XP make the user experience a complete nightmare.

Plus, we have no idea how the final Windows 8 product will look. I'd hesitate to base any decisions now on what is essentially a dev preview, ie pre-RC, pre-Beta, pre-Alpha. I'd like making decision based on what job you'll land when you haven't even picked a major in school.

At least with Windows 7, you can go back to the Classic theme to at least comfort them in the transition period. Change is hard. My parents almost freaked out when I merely changed their wallpaper.

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This is pretty much up to you. 8 will be a little while coming yet. 7 is pretty good and has had it's first service pack already, though there weren't really any significant issues with it pre-sp1.

With 8 coming out relatively soon after 7 (compared with the XP to 7 time period) I think it'll be a while before 8 is on a majority of computer desktops. And I'd assume being caught up with the Joneses isn't necessarily a big requirement on your parents part.

So personally I'd go ahead and get them a new computer if their old one is getting too long in the tooth. But if you'd really rather they stay current, waiting for 8 is entirely possible so long as their current computer isn't dying.

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