What should I do now that Microsoft Windows XP support has ended?

Q. As of April 8, 2014, Micro­soft no longer supports Windows XP. For users of XP who cannot upgrade to higher programs and who like XP and don’t want to upgrade, what are the alternatives? Who makes a product that will keep XP updated along with products that will provide good protection against viruses, spam, and the like?—Robert Cleaves, Los Angeles

A. It’s unlikely that third parties will support XP, with good reason: Nobody can guarantee that a new vulnerability won’t be discovered, and only Microsoft can patch XP, which they say they won’t do anymore. But any good anti-malware program will continue to block known malware and will presumably continue to be updated by the supplier. An alternative is to use a newer PC or mobile device for Internet work and keep the XP machine only for offline productivity work.

Read "How to Deal With the End of Windows XP Support" for more details. And check our computer buying guide and Ratings to find your next laptop or desktop.

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This article also appeared in the July 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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