Upgrading from XP — go to Vista, 7, or 8?

By now, the word should be out that all Windows XP users should have upgraded. If you haven’t, it’s strongly recommended that you do. But what newer version of Windows do you choose? Here’s a guide:

Windows Vista is the version of Windows that came out just after XP. A license key is relatively inexpensive. The mainstream support period for Vista already ended in 2012, however, the extended support period will continue until April 11, 2017. At that time, you will need to upgrade again. Unfortunately, Windows Vista is known for having bugs that have remained unaddressed by Microsoft, and therefore running it on hardware that is outside the realm of mainstream computer models is inadvisable. It will run on most hardware that could run Windows XP.

Windows 7 is the most popular of all the options. It is the most liked version of the three, and provides superior performance and reliability compared to Vista. It also retains the same interface style found in Windows XP, so you won’t have to learn a new system. Windows 7 is in it’s mainstream support period, so Microsoft will still be frequently releasing patches and updates for it. Mainstream support will last until January 13, 2015, and extended support will last until January 14, 2020. It will run on some hardware made for Windows XP.

Windows 8 is the newest version of windows. It has a different user interface, and provides users with tablet functionality. It’s mainstream support will last until January 9th, 2018, and it’s extended support will last until January 10, 2023. It will generally not run on hardware designed for Windows XP.

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