Linux viewed as XP replacement

HEATHER SIMPSON
Last updated 11:29 06/05/2014

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Computer users on the defunct Windows XP do not have to buy costly upgrades to bolster their security but can download an alternative program for free, a computer expert has said.

Microsoft retired the Windows XP operating system last month which made the software unsupported and open to viruses and cyber attacks.

St Luke's Church Reverend Derek Harding, who has more than 30 years experience working in the IT industry in Europe, said the Linux program was free and proved to be more secure than Windows 7.

However, BP Computers operational manager Brad Clark said Linux was not mainstream and would frustrate computer users that weren't technically savvy.

Small business and home computer users on XP who used their computer for security related tasks such as emailing or internet banking were no longer secure after April 8.

Harding said the free Linux system which is popular in America, Europe and China looks similar to Windows and can be used for security related tasks.

The most common version, Linux Mint, can be downloaded from linuxmint.com

"You don't buy a new car every time a model changes," Harding said. "If you are on Windows XP and your computer is working as normal, you don't run the risk of being on internet sites that make you vulnerable and you run an anti-virus program, you will find yourself in a safe position for anything security related. There is no real reason for people to change their version of XP."

The Linux system has free updates within a couple of hours any security threat is discovered.

BP Computers operations manager Brad Clark said computer users could move to Linux but it was not a mainstream system and proved frustrating for computer users unfamiliar with the program.

"It is not that easy to install and if you have any problems with it you are unsupported," Clark said.

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