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Windows XP and Vista users, it’s time to upgrade. Here’s how

Tips & Updates

One of our developers has just torn themselves away from building new features to tell us that 0.2% of our user base is still using Windows XP or Windows Vista.

This may sound insignificant – but it’s actually a major potential security issue for these people.   We also need to let you know that on 15 April 2019, we will follow in the footsteps of the major browser providers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, FireFox, Gmail, Apple) and also stop supporting these systems.

That means you’ll need to upgrade, pronto. Read on to find out how and why.

Why we’re saying goodbye 

Windows XP is 18 years old, and hasn’t been supported by Microsoft for over four years. If you’re one of our 0.2%, your operating system is legally old enough to drink outside the US.

Vista is a comparatively young 10 years old, but also hasn’t been supported by Microsoft for nearly two years.

If you’re one of our diehard XP/Vista fans, we get it. Those pesky alerts always seem to pop up at the most inopportune moments, and we’re all guilty of clicking Remind me tomorrow at least a few times.

It’s normal to put off updates until tomorrow or even next month. But, if you’re still using XP or Vista in 2019, what we’re going to tell you may come as a shock.

Your data is at risk

No support means no Windows updates. That means no matter what new problems crop up (think new viruses / exploits), there will never be another update.

It doesn’t matter how many hours our developers spend building a secure product. Your data (including what’s in Rex) is at risk, because new vulnerabilities emerge and aren’t being patched (for years!).

They’re slowing down your CRM

There are technical trade-offs to backwards compatibility: each feature we release requires sometimes significant extra work to support browsers on XP/Vista.  This also leads to lots more code – known in the tech sphere as “bloating”. Without going into the technical details – more code means using more memory and processing power, which affects performance and speed for all Rex users.

We’re also forced into working with the oldest feature-set of the browser our users are using. In turn, this can mean we’re limited technically in what features we’re able to build into Rex.

Supporting these systems slows down new feature development

Up till now, we’ve done our best to make sure Rex can be used while running Windows XP or Vista.  Although we’d like to continue – we’d prefer to use the time to build new features for Rex instead.

Rex isn’t unique in taking this view: all the major browser vendors (Microsoft (Internet Explorer), Google (Chrome, Gmail), Mozilla (Firefox), Apple (Safari) and Opera) stopped supporting Windows XP and Vista over a year and a half ago.

We’ll do our best to support these operating systems for another few weeks (until 15 April 2019). After the 15th, we’ll be discontinuing support for browsers on Windows XP and Windows Vista. So that you stay safe and get the most out of your computer (and Rex), it’s important you upgrade to a newer operating system.

It’s time to upgrade your browser. What now?

You’ll want to upgrade to the most recent version of Windows: Windows 10. You can buy it directly from the Microsoft store – but you may be able to get a better deal from a Microsoft partner such as Uniq, who seem to be selling a Windows 10 license for five times less.

We’ve never dealt with Uniq ourselves – so don’t take our word for it. If you decide to go with a partner, rather than Microsoft, make sure you check them out online.

Upgrading from Windows XP or Windows Vista can be tough. Remember, they’re very old operating systems. So, instead of trying to upgrade in place, we highly recommend you first backup all of your data – and then install your new operating system. That way you’ll get a fresh start, and you can take all of your apps, settings and files with you.

The upside is your computer will run faster, your Rex experience will improve a lot, and your data is going to be much, much safer.

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