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Well, if you moved to Macs you could run WinXP in a virtual machine (Parallels Desktop, my preference, or VMWare Fusion) on the Macs themselves and thus still have access to the XP software running on a "real" WindXP operating system.

There's still the danger that the virtual XP could have security compromises as well.  At least the virtual machine isn't sitting directly on the network and you can throw up various levels of protection between the virtual XP and the outside world as well.  You can also create frozen images of a known working system/software combination, so if the machine ever does get infected with malware or otherwise get trashed, you can roll back to a known working set OS/software combination.

All that being said, I wouldn't count on using WinXP within a Mac virtual machine as a reliable way to do high quality audio and other real time sorts of operations.  There's just way too much going on between that older OS and its virtual access to the actual Mac hardware to depend on that working to professional standards.  Though for less hardware dependent and real time applications, like MS Office, etc it seems to work just fine.

Arthur

On Jul 16, 2013, at 3:38 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Yes, agree about being FORCED to "upgrade" when Microshaft stops doing security updates. At both the studio and my other company, we're not sure what we're going to do, but we already know we'll now have to budget lots of money for needless computer changes in 2014. There is very serious thought and talk about just moving to Mac, the idea being that Microsoft has now diverged from our best interests. What we'll do about legacy XP software is anyone's guess.
> 
> -- Tom Fine
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Arthur Gaer" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 2:28 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audio workstation recommendations?
> 
> 
>> Hi Tom,
>> 
>> If you or anyone is still using WinXP you should really try to be rid of it within the next nine months. That's when Microsoft will remove all support, which most importantly means security support, for XP:
>> 
>> http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/endofsupport.aspx
>> 
>> "After April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates..."
>> 
>> If anyone's XP equipment talks to a network in any way, you'll want to replace it, upgrade the OS, or keep it entirely disconnected from the Internet from that time forward.  I can only imagine the security holes the hacker community is keeping in their pockets until April 9, 2014.  You really don't want to find out what those might be.
>> 
>> Personally I'm also a big advocate of Macs as well, enhanced security being one significant benefit.
>> 
>> On Jul 16, 2013, at 1:21 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>>> To be honest, if I had the funds to get rid of all the legacy WinXP aspects of my studio, I'd go Mac today.
>> 
>> Arthur Gaer
>> [log in to unmask]
>> 
>> Senior Systems Manager
>> Harvard University
>> Department of Mathematics
>> Science Center
>> 1 Oxford Street
>> Cambridge, MA 02138
>> 617-495-1610
>>