The minimum OS is Vista for a PC. And even that is already 4 years old and cheap to have if you shop for used Media with genuine Serial. The business edition has a lifecycle until 2017 ( 10 years ) while the Home Editions stop receiving updates in 2012 ( 5 years ) , so it is not too late to switch to "only" Vista.
Best future-proof OS is of course Win7, again with 10years for the Professional Edition, which would make up a run up to 2019 possible .
Xp lives now in its 10th year for both Home and Pro and is long overdue. Microsoft actively recommends that developers should no longer make software for it, so Apple's move is really not that strange.
There is a simple hack to get iCloud control panel to work on Windows XP to give you synced access to Contacts, Calenders, Reminders and Bookmarks. It also can be used to set up your me.com mail. Photostream doesn't work.
I found a solution here, have written it up in clearer english and added details re IMAP support for me.com addresses here:
The iCloud setup hack for Windows XP:
- Download iCloud Control Panel for Windows.
- Open iCloudSetup.exe file with WinRar or 7-Zip and extract.
- Navigate to and open the iCloud.msi or iCloud64.msi (for 64bit systems) with Orca.
- In the left table select LaunchCondition. Then change in the right table “VersionNT> = 600” to “VersionNT> = 200” and Save.
- Run modified iCloud.msi and install.
- Run iCloud Control Panel, located in the Windows Control Panel, and set up as you want.
I've had reports that you need to keep the files extracted from the .exe file in the same directory during installaton of the .msi file.
I tried, it installs, but can't get it running (XP SP3, iTunes 10.5). when running iCloud from configuration screen (just after entering AppleID and Password) there appears a message that iCloud.exe has generated errors and will be shutdown. There is also mentioned that there will be a log created.
(Don't take this as exact message since I have to translate it from Dutch to English here ). Meanwhile I can't find this log-file on te PC, nor do I get iCloud running ...........
Who can shed some light on this issue???