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My Thoughts on...

 With Windows XP (All Versions) speeding toward it's end of Life (EOL) cycle Tuesday,the 8th April 2014, you should be giving some thought to moving forward with a replacement operating system now rather than last minute. Windows XP was removed from retail channels a few years ago. It remained available through OEM channels rather longer though, and is still available as a 'downgrade' from Windows 7 for users unwilling to migrate to the newer version. (BEAWARE- you may find what you think is a good deal on a used laptop or desktop but will its hardware support Windows 7 or Windows 8)

Microsoft says it will stop providing security fixes, updates and online tech support for the 10 year-old operating system on 8 April 2014.

Windows 7 and Windows 8 (including the 8.1 Preview) can run many Amateur Radio Applications / Software packages despite what you may have heard or been told. Windows 7 and Windows 8 including preview can be setup to run applications to run in a XP compatibility mode, but that is seldom required or necessary. What you really need to watch for is where the applications are being installed directories like c:\windows or c:\programs files and sometimes even the c:\users\ can be troublesome for some applications, if your given the option too set the install directory make a new directory outside of either c:\windows or c:\programs perhaps use something along the lines of (c:\name of application) example: c:\HRD or c:\WSJTX.

Since portions of some applications require being able to have write access to certian files such as an .ini or db files that can be an issue with the new security features in Windows 7 or windows 8. Another option if you cannot change the install directory or even when the above seems to still be of concern is to run the application as an administrator or with administrator access thus allowing read/write access to those files.

If you start planning and testing now you'll avoid the last minute gotcha come April 2014. There is no UPGARDE or MIGRATION going from Windows XP (any version of it) to Windows 7 or Windows 8 (you can upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8) so You'll need to plan for backing up of needed files and have installations ready or downlad and install them after the installtion completes. Personally I have run Windows XP Professional since it came about, I have run Windows 7 as well since its intoduction without much of an issue and the last 4 months have been running Windows 8 after Upgrading from windows 7 professional to Windows 8 professional and most recently to Windows 8.1 Preview. All with no issues. The one to stay away from was Vista a harware and software nightmare from day one.

Windows 8 or 8.1 runs smoothly, boots fast and I haven’t had 1 issue with a Ham application I have run before on windows XP or Windows 7, as long as I used the suggestions above. sure a lot of folks have made comments that Windows 8 is a Smart Phone or tablet application, I don’t see it that way, once you look past the tile window and open to the desktop it is a fast smart and much more secure operating system then either Windows XP or Windows 7 that offers many improments.

The current applications related to amateur radio that I currently use with Windows 8.1 follows:

Power SDR (I need this to even play radio since I run a Flex SDR) current PSDR version 2.6.4: No Issues runs very well.! Low DPC and low CPU usage!

VSPM a Virtual comm port manager: NO ISSUES

DDUTIL version (VSP comport redirector lest SDR radio talk with MANY Ham apps running at the same time) No Issues

HRD Version (Version 6 works as well but with the flex the front panel isn’t needed and DDUTIL acts as an interface allowing me to run logbook and DM780. NO Issues

JT-65 HF: No Issues

WSJTX: No Issues

JT-Alert add-on for JT65 and WSJTX : No Issues

EasyPal: No Issues

Meinberg Time sync: No Issues

W4ELP utilities (Lookup, Field Day and the Weather scripts) No Issues

TMATE PLUS- nice graphical metering for Flex No Issues

VAC-Virtual Audio cable a virtual sound card version No Issues


Grab a Windows 8.1 preview to test drive its free from Microsoft: Windows 8 Preview Downloads

Don't wait to the last minute to find out that there is no longer any security updates or support for windows XP, once the security stops it will QUICKLY BECOME A HACKERS PARIDISE!


WHY? Is Microsoft ending support for Win XP and Office 2003?

In 2002 Microsoft introduced its Support Lifecycle policy based on customer feedback to have more transparency and predictability of support for Microsoft products. As per this policy, Microsoft Business and Developer products, including Windows and Office products, receive a minimum of 10 years of support (5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support), at the supported service pack level.

Thus, Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 will go out of support on April 8, 2014. If you have not started the migration to a modern desktop dont put it off any longer. To ensure you remain on supported versions of Windows and Office, you should begin your planning and application testing immediately to ensure you deploy before end of support.


WHAT? Does end of support mean to customers?

It means you should take action. After April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hot-fixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.

Running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in your environment after their end of support date may expose you to potential risks, such as:

  1. Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and un-patched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.
  2. Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) & Hardware Manufacturers support: A recent industry report from Gartner Research suggests "many independent software vendors (ISVs) are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP in 2011; in 2012, it will become common." And it may stifle access to hardware innovation: Gartner Research further notes that in 2012, most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on the majority of their new PC models.
  3. So get current with Windows and Office. This option has upside well beyond keeping you supported. It offers more flexibility to empower and to be more productive, while increasing operational efficiency through improved PC security and management. It also enables you to take advantage of latest technology trends such as virtualization and cloud services.






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