Microsoft to continue Windows XP security support until 2015

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Microsoft has announced that they will provide security support for Windows XP until July 14 of 2015. This extension is a year and a few months longer than their previous date, which was in April of 2014. Reports from Microsoft are saying that they have done this to give any companies or organizations still on Windows ample time to move their software towards newer versions.

Microsoft does warn that there will be limitations to the amount of security support for Windows XP. “Running a well-protected solution starts with using modern software and hardware designed to help protect against today’s threat landscape,” Microsoft said in a blog post.

They’ve also warned that once support does end, user systems will be even more vulnerable to hackers than before. I know it’s obvious, but that’s the warning.

“The very first month that Microsoft releases security updates for supported versions of Windows, attackers will reverse-engineer those updates, find the vulnerabilities and test Windows XP to see if it shares [them],” Tim Rains, who is the director for Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing group, wrote.

“If it does, attackers will attempt to develop exploit code that can take advantage of those vulnerabilities on Windows XP. Since a security update will never become available for Windows XP to address these vulnerabilities, Windows XP will essentially have a zero-day vulnerability forever.”

Let’s here it XP users: hip, hip, hurray!

[via The Telegraph]

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4 comments

  1. Bub

    What this post doesn’t make clear is that Microsoft’s announcement of extended support only applies to Microsoft Security Essentials for XP. It’s irrelevant to you if you are using some other anti-virus product such as Avast or Avira.

    What hasn’t changed is Microsoft’s intention to stop issuing security patches for the operating system itself.

    Really, I think Microsoft’s announcement is at best a bit of a yawner (because plenty of better anti-virus than MSE are freely available anyway, and expected to have continuing support), and at worst a source of confusion (because people might now think they don’t have to upgrade to avoid being on an unpatched and insecure OS).

  2. Suze

    If I read the blog post (link in the 2nd paragraph above) correctly, I think the title of this article may be a little misleading. These are the first two paragraphs:

    “Microsoft has announced the Windows XP end of support date of April 8, 2014. After this date, Windows XP will no longer be a supported operating system*. To help organizations complete their migrations, Microsoft will continue to provide updates to our antimalware signatures and engine for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015.

    This does not affect the end-of-support date of Windows XP, or the supportability of Windows XP for other Microsoft products, which deliver and apply those signatures.”

    If you read the blog, and some of the comments below it, I think you’ll find that there is some confusion . . .

    Heck — I still use XP, and I’d love to postpone the inevitable a little longer :)