It seems I may have as many as 10 old XP PCs to replace with something newer over the next few weeks.

Some of these upgrades have definitely been spurred on by the annoying popup now coming up on XP screens informing the XP user – that’s it, we’re finished – outta here – you’re on your own, now – or whatever it is, it actually says.  This seems to be working better than any previous warnings  Microsoft’s  users  ever had.

Though I don’t remember Windows 95 or 98 going out with a ‘popup’ ad for the next release.

And, as is often the case,  at least a few of these upgrades have been suddenly brought on as a result of the user being bitten by malware in some way.  Now, it’s highly possible that these same users would have picked up the browser hijacker or the Trojan horse they’ve now got, without the recent demise of XP support but, as it happens, it turns out to be just the kind of catalyst they needed to upgrade.

So, what to do?  Can we upgrade our still functioning hardware or should we buy something brand new?  And which Operating System should we be moving to anyway? The obvious option is Windows 8.1 but the type of user who is still using XP really doesn’t like the look of Windows 8 – and all talk of ‘you’ll get used to it’ really fails to convince.  So, for some, Windows 7 is the preferred option.  There are, of course, many who will flee the Microsoft camp entirely and attempt to get to grips with either Linux or OSX.  Well good luck – on both these fronts.  Linux will end up taking too much of their time and Apple too much of their money.

But the problem really, is that none of the options are technically an ‘upgrade’.  There is no smooth Microsoft upgrade path from XP to Windows 7 or 8.  Technically, these are migrations. They involve backing up your current documents, photos, emails etc.. , installing Windows on a new, clean hard drive – or buying a new PC – then, re-installing all your applications software (including MS Office usually) and then restoring all your personal files and folders from the backup. And that’s, very much, the short description.

The fact is though, that if you’re reasonably competent and understand what you’re doing, you should be perfectly capable of carrying out this migration for yourself, but don’t underestimate the time it will take. Think of a number and then multiply by 4 or 5, is a very good rule of thumb.Which, I guess, is why I’ll be doing quite a few of these over the next few weeks.