Review of 2014
Windows XP and Office 2003 are officially unsupported as of April 8, 2014. XP and Office 2003 are still good systems for many of us, however, not for use on the Internet. Most Windows XP computers can be upgraded to Windows 7, with licenses still available on Amazon, Newegg, and elsewhere while supplies last. New computers can be purchased with Windows 7 Professional preinstalled for at least another year after April 2015.
Windows 7 has become the most popular operating system versus all other Windows, Mac, Linux, etc. operating systems combined.
The year was filled with many data breaches from major business, government, and other entities. The key to Internet security is at our finger tips. Most threats arrive through email attachments or links, or browsers while surfing the Internet. Some threats come via telephone scams. The delete key or hanging up the receiver is a very effective deterrent to these popular scams.
The Chromebook has become a very popular alternative computer versus other Windows-based systems. Chromebooks account for 25% of new laptop sales. Setup takes only a few moments. Startup takes less than 10 seconds. Chromebooks are designed to run primarily as an Internet connected device. You can retrieve your email and surf the Internet. There are many apps available that expand the functions of the Chromebook. There are apps that will allow you to run without an Internet connection (Wifi). Chromebooks don't allow you to install Windows Applications.
However, Chromebooks require no maintenance or security programs. All the updates are managed in the background by Google. They are less expensive than normal laptops, are lighter, and have much greater battery life.