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If you want to get a boxed copy of Windows 7 to upgrade to, you may want to get it online — boxed copies of Windows 7 are still sold on websites like Amazon, although you probably won’t find them in many PC stores.Windows 8: Windows 8 can be rather awkward on traditional PCs without touch screens, especially at first. It actually offers many desktop features that are an upgrade over Windows 7 and you can hide much of the new “Modern” environment.That means all but the oldest PCs should be able to cope, perhaps with some extra system RAM or storage.If you plan to upgrade your hardware, make sure you buy the right parts for the sockets on your motherboard, which may predate modern standards.If your system isn’t too ancient, you can upgrade it to a more recent edition of Windows and carry on with minimal disruption.Microsoft lists the core requirements for Windows 8 as a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and a 20GB hard disk.Sure, you could keep using it — it won’t just stop working one day.
We’ve already explained why it’s time to let go of Windows XP and what will happen when Microsoft finally stops supporting it on April 8, 2014. It doesn’t support modern hardware properly and it isn’t as secure as modern versions of Windows because it doesn’t have User Account Control and other modern security features.Consumer licences are no longer sold by Microsoft, but you can still obtain them from online retailers, and the software will continue to receive security updates until 2020 at the earliest (see Support lifecycles, below).Windows XP won’t be officially supported for much longer.In many cases, your easiest option will be simply to buy a new PC with a more up-to-date version of Windows preinstalled – especially if your current system dates from the early years of Windows XP.But if that doesn’t suit, there are several other options for a Windows XP system that’s reaching the end of the line.