IRVINE, Calif. -

Microsoft Windows XP is a PC based OS (operating system) which first appeared in October of 2001 as the highly anticipated upgrade from the MS-DOS based Windows 98. The newly redesigned look and feel of Windows XP was centered on ease of use, making the navigation of common areas like the start menu and control panel more intuitive. The great success of this design and function sparked a revolution in the OS world, spawning superior user interfaces which can be seen in our modern day PC’s and smartphones. Due in part to this, Windows XP has led a long and fruitful life being sold and shipped preloaded on boxed machines as recently as 2013.

If we take a moment to think about that, Windows XP is nearly 13 years old, which is well dated and even ancient by modern computer standards. Even with well over 43 million lines of comprised code and all of its updates like service pack 3, Windows XP is having a difficult time adjusting to the current digital world, much like a teenager in today’s society. To put things simply, Windows XP just wasn’t built for the demands of our current personal and business environments.

April 8 will mark the official EOL or “End of Life” for all versions of Microsoft Windows XP as well as Microsoft Office 2003. Now I am not saying your Windows XP computer will suddenly self-destruct on this dooms day, however, its continued use is not recommended by Microsoft , and has been followed with statements like “running Windows XP after April 8 should NOT be considered to be protected” and “will be at your own risk”.

While many proponents of Windows XP will argue that third-party security soft ware will “keep you safe”, the honest reality is that they will provide limited protection at best, and as time passes, your security software will be unable to protect you at all. Even simple everyday processes like Web browsing will continue to become more difficult since the only versions of Internet Explorer supported by Windows XP (IE6, IE7, IE8 Shipped with XP) will also be terminated by Microsoft .

To place things in more perspective, Windows XP machines are to the PC world as BlackBerries are now to the smartphone world — out of touch. The closest comparison that can be made to this EOL would be the Y2K scare as many were forecasting an electronic doomsday apocalypse, in which human society as we know it would crumble overnight resulting in a “Planet of the Apes” type outcome.

The expiration of XP is a bit more insidious, and I am nervous that business owners are not taking this threat seriously enough, or that they assume the sheer amount of time, Effort and cost that an XP migration would require is out of reach. Business owners small and large are reacting with a “deer caught in the headlights” stare that if not acted on soon will result in a disaster that will in some ways be a realization of the Y2K predictions.

It’s time to get serious about the rapidly approaching April 8th deadline and the emanate requirement for migration ahead. There are options out there so if you’re dead-set against Windows 8.1 for some reason, Windows 7 can still be found by itself in many online retailers or preloaded on boxed Pcs. However, as we near this approaching deadline and urgency increases I would not expect to see windows 7 or Windows 7 PCs available much longer.

Don’t become just another statistic, and stop making excuses for the change you should have made years ago. Migrate now before the clock stops ticking.

Chris Jackson is president of Auto Search Technologies and a delegate for the Independent Auto Dealers Association of California. Jackson can be reached at (949) 200-7605 or