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Still insisting on using the unsupported, end-of-life, antiquated Windows XP? Here's a tip or two.

  1. If your system is currently fully functional? If it is, there's a few critical files you should really back up. Locate them and COPY them to a safe location
    1. C:\Windows\System32\Config\SYSTEM
    2. C:\Windows\System32\Config\SAM
  2. Can't get any more Windows Updates?
    1. That's because Windows XP is now so old that Microsoft are no longer supporting it, or releasing updates for it.
    2. While XP may be a great operating system, it's just time to move on.
  3. If you argue that it's Windows or Microsoft's fault that your software doesn't work on the newer operating systems, well, It's NOT Microsoft's fault. Microsoft build the Operating system that your computer runs on. Period. They don't really have a hand in what your Point Of Sale developer chooses to write software for.

Think about it, Microsoft have to produce an operating system, that will offer at least some support for literally millions of different hardware combinations. There are two major brands of CPU, (Intel and AMD), both manufacturers make a vast selection of CPUs in different spec's. Their hardware supports at least two different architectures (x86 and x64), so each CPU they produce supports both, lets say there's 50 different CPU models from each manufacturer, there's 100 CPU models already, two architectures for each, there's 200 variants already.

There are also several major brands of motherboard, Gigabyte, MSI, Asus, Asrock, etc. Each manufacturer makes hundreds of models of motherboards, each with a different sound chip, different LAN chip, wifi chips, hard drive controllers, CPU support, RAM support, BIOS variants etc.

There's also ATi and nVidia, who make a huge selection of add-on graphics cards for your PC. Windows has to work with each of them.

How about Wireless network cards? D-Link, Edimax, Ralink, Realtek, to name a few. Again, each manufacturer produces a list of different models. Yup, Windows has to work with them too.

Keyboards and Mice? Yes there are many brands, different configurations (USB, PS/2), keyboard layouts (do you wan't 101 keys? 104 keys? How about a more technical keyboard with 12 programmable macro functions?) You guessed it, Windows has to support them too.

Then there's any peripherals attached to the computer. Mice, keyboards, optical drives, hard drives, I/O adapters, the list goes on.

But, as you can see, there's literally millions of combinations of hardware, Microsoft has to write ONE piece of software (Windows) that is compatible and will function correctly on each and every different combination of hardware. You may have two identical looking computers, but the insides can be very different, Windows may or may not perform the same on each computer.

Now, there's the software level. The applications you use (Office, M.Y.O.B, Quicken, Firefox, Chrome). These are programs, developed by people OTHER than Microsoft. It is the task of the developers to create. These developers can't influence the way Microsoft writes WIndows, any more than Microsoft can influence how these third party apps are written. Microsoft DOES however, offer support to these developers so they can better understand how the Operating System functions. There's a little thing called the MSDN, Microsoft Developer Network. This is basically where MS will say, "here you go, if you're developing an application for our operating system, we'll help where we can".

So, you see, Microsoft have very little to do with how software you use, such as MYOB, Quicken etc are written and what "platform" they're developed for. So if your Point Of Sale software only works on Windows XP, you should really be talking to the people who develop the software you use, and ask them why they aren't developing for the latest main stream operating system. Don't let them control how your business runs, don't let them control how your game functions. Tell the developers and stop whinging about how Microsoft is such a useless developer. They make an Operating System, not an application. And they do a hell of a job of it.

So if you really must continue using an archaic operating system, that is no longer supported, don't be surprised if it won't run on a modern computer. If you update to a later version of Windows, don't be surprised if 15-20 year old point of sale software won't run. I know several P.O.S developers who simply won't write software for later Windows versions, forcing their customers to use an old, insecure, operating systems.

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