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.
Send questions to ConsumerReports.org/askourexperts.
This article also appeared in the July 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
Copyright © 2005-2014 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission. Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this site.