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Aged Windows XP costs 5x more to manage than Windows 7

Microsoft recently added ammunition to its increasingly aggressive battle to get users off the nearly-11-year-old Windows XP by citing a company-sponsored report that claims annual support costs for the older OS are more than five times that of Windows 7.

Microsoft has been banging the Windows XP upgrade drum for years, but stepped up the campaign in 2012, including starting a "two-year countdown" to the demise of security support. Last month, Microsoft was blunt, saying "If your organization has not started the migration to a modern PC, you are late."Windows XP exits all support, including monthly security patches, in April 2014.

In a blog post Thursday, Erwin Visser, a senior director for Windows, used data collected by IDC to make Microsoft's upgrade case.

|Date: 2012-06-04 visits: 3911| comments  0 Read more

Building an XP SP3 Recovery Disc

Adds are your computer came with a recovery disc, a CD with all the programs and drivers that were installed on your PC's hard drive when it was new. And odds are you have absolutely no idea where that disc is.

The good news is that it probably doesn't matter. First of all, the recovery media most PC manufacturers provide is designed for a singular purpose: to restore your computer to the state it was in when you bought it. This process typically involves wiping your hard drive (say bye-bye to your spreadsheets and vacation photos) and then reinstalling Windows and the handful of programs originally included with your system. Unless you're simply preparing the whole kit and caboodle to sell on eBay, this is probably not something you will ever need.


|Date: 2011-02-22 visits: 8114| comments  0 Read more

Limber Up Your Sluggish PC

As we get older, most of us tend to put on weight. We bulk up in all the wrong places. Over the years we ingest a lot of things that are bad for us. We may still suffer the effects of long-gone viruses. Our gait slows, and we're not as sharp as we used to be.

If computers could hear, they would think we were talking about them.

Computers, like people, do not always age gracefully. What was once sprightly and limber becomes sluggish and bloated. Like an elderly person who moves through life ever more slowly, a once-speedy PC starts taking many minutes to boot up, days to display the printer menu and what seems like eons to get to a Web site.

But there's hope. Most office supply stores will be happy to provide you with a PC tuneup.

But do PCs really need tuning up?

Definitely, say the experts. "Proper PC maintenance and tuneup is essential," said Dan Ackerman, senior editor at CNet.com. "If you owned a car you wouldn't go two to three years without maintaining it."

But unlike a car, a computer has few moving parts that can fail, so what goes wrong? Among the factors that can contribute to your PC's general malaise are downloading third-party applications and failing to remove all their bits and pieces when you are done with them, adding and deleting files, asking the computer to start up multiple programs simultaneously, and failing to completely remove viruses and malware.

Taking a PC to a store for a tuneup is an easy way to set things right, but most often you will pay for the privilege.

"This is a customer acquisition strategy," said Bob MacDonald, a Staples vice president . "We look forward to selling services and hardware. The analogy is paying someone to wash your car, versus doing it yourself. Absolutely, what we do could be done by a consumer."

Since washing a car is a task that can easily be handled by most adults, it seems like a good idea to learn what tasks are involved in getting your Windows or Mac PC running like new.

|Date: 2010-10-28 visits: 4706| comments  0 Read more