But recent developments might give XP users a bit of a reprieve. When and how Microsoft will blink are the open questions.
Contrary to what some XP users believe, "end of life" doesn't mean that XP computers will stop working, that XP can no longer be installed, or that existing security patches will be pulled from Windows Update. It means that officially, on April 8, Microsoft will no longer support XP — there will be no more updates for the OS (unless you qualify for and pay for ongoing support)
Just to highlight a pet concern of mine...that ending support for XP malware detection and removal WILL expose people in previously undiscussed, secondary ways. For example, malware on financial institutions' XP-based systems could have a huge impact on an unexpectedly large number of primary and tertiary financial customers (I also bet lawyers will introduce all sorts of crap into this...that "business XYZ should have migrated from XP and by not doing so 'knowingly' exposed its customers to financial risk, etc" )
To add to the confusion, in mid-January Microsoft's Malware Protection Center announced in a TechNet blog that it would continue to provide updates to MSE for XP machines for another 15 months. The blog states, "To help organizations complete their migrations, Microsoft will continue to provide updates to our anti-malware signatures and engine for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015."
That's certainly a customer-friendly development — although I'm still scratching my head about blocking MSE downloads on XP. It's possible that somebody at the Malware Protection Center ran a simulation of the fallout from some nasty virus compromising half a billion XP machines after April 8. (whether they did or didn't, that should have been done long ago-ja) That could cause something of a hiccup on the Internet!
That MPC statement is noteworthy because Microsoft will not only update MSE signatures but the MSE engine, too. Bravo. (I concur-ja)
In a more recent development, Computerworld broke the news in a Jan. 26 story that Microsoft will update the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) for Windows XP through July 14, 2015. MSRT isn't a first-line-of-defense AV tool, but it's effective at removing existing infections. It's also delivered via Microsoft Update, so most XP machines will get it.
Fairly simple article, but has some useful info and links.
Sticking with Windows XP? Here are your options http://www.techrepublic.com/article/sticking-with-windows-xp-h...r-options/
If you're a Windows XP stalwart, you may decide to stick with Windows XP, even after Microsoft officially ends support. Scott Lowe discusses some of your options for making things work with what you have.
-Economics of an upgrade
-Application virtualization to the rescue
-Leverage the gift of anti-malware extensions
Provides links to additional resources: *Restore a Windows XP backup in Windows 8 *Windows XP deadline looms, but many firms still aren't ready to leap
But even now, despite exhortations from Microsoft which is keen to push customers onto later iterations of its operating system, XP still runs between one quarter and one third of the world's desktops....XP migration projects also have the potential to suck money out of other initiatives unless budgets are carefully planned, warned Kelly Bodway...Derrick Wood, group CIO at Wood Group, said it took a three-year multi-million dollar programme to get his company ready for life after XP. "The cost/complexity of this exercise (following on from the similar exercise on to XP in 2004-2006) has prompted us to look at other solutions going forward – specifically OS-agnostic applications," he said.
*Windows XP and Windows 8: The worst possible combination for Microsoft--ZDNet
(The ZDNet item is interesting, but not like headline sounds. It's Microsoft shooting itself in the foot by dropping legacy OS just as it introduces a radically different user interface-ja)
The additional training, the cost of new hardware, and the sheer newness of the user interface in Windows 8 will all be offputting for traditionally cautious tech professionals. For some, the shock of the change from the old desktop view is so great that they might as well look at Android or Chromebooks or iPads when they are looking to upgrade.
The end of life of Windows XP is true. So, exactly after two months from this data i.e April 8th,2014 be ready to face the disaster, if you are not willing to go for an upgrade.
Some people are arguing that if the user isolates his/her Pc from internet, the system will run on windows XP for long. But this is absolutely baseless argument. Unless, a PC gets regular updates to its operating system, it cannot be function in a secured way. So, it needs to connect to internet by all means and if not it will loose its ability to work in few days time.
Practically speaking, i have used an XP Operating system a few years ago and it was a pirated version. What i used to practice is to format the system for every 1 month and it was working like a charm and was quenching all my basic computing needs.
But having a PC without an internet is like starving for food, when is in front of us and our hands tied to the chair.
The other update from Microsoft people is that Windows XP OS support will be available even after its death date. But for a smart price of $200.
Wonder who will spend such a big amount when you can get a tablet nowadays?
The IRS has failed to upgrade more than half of its computers from Microsoft's Windows XP operating system to Windows 7....
This, despite the fact that Microsoft announced all the way back in 2008 that the it would be retiring XP in 2014 in favor of Windows 7. Retirement means there will be no more regular software updates critical to protecting the 13-year-old OS from malware and cyber attacks....
To finish the XP-to-7 conversion will cost the IRS some $30 million. This money will cover new hardware, software and the man-hours actually spent installing them
(note: That figure does NOT cover the XP-to-Win7 re-training costs for both contractors and govt employees)
In interim, IRS will use Microsoft's Custom Support, 'normally' ~$200 per PC per year. But, IRS is getting special deal from Microsoft, apparently negotiating the cost to only about $9 per PC. That's the smart move given the problem. If accurate, someone did a good job in saving taxpayers' a lot of money given the limitations of this situation.
Thanks John, nice article. The reason why the IRS required years of decisions and required multi-million spending for a simple Windows upgrade, can be explained with just one word: bureaucracy. Yes, they may have some real technical issues, such as legacy software / data migrations and such, but mostly it was because of too much politics, regulations, paper work, etc involved.
Government issues major warning over Internet Explorer bug and says hackers are ALREADY exploiting it
28 April 2014
* Microsoft says Internet Explorer bug is present in versions (Internet Explorer) 6 to 11 - which dominate 55 percent of PC browser market
* Department of Homeland Security advised computer users to consider using alternatives * Windows XP will not receive any updates - though between 15 and 25 percent of world's PCs use it (note: some XP remaining user estimates range considerably higher, and that the market-share of IE browser is lower)
The bug is the first high-profile security flaw to emerge since Microsoft stopped providing security updates for Windows XP earlier this month.
That means PCs running the 13-year old operating system could remain unprotected against hackers seeking to exploit the newly uncovered flaw, even after Microsoft figures out how to defend against it. (however, keep in mind that 3rd party anti-malware programs/services likely also will address the vulnerability for XP-based systems once details are distributed amongst cyber-security firms)
In addition to possibly switching to an alternative web browser, US-CERT advised businesses to consider using a free Microsoft security tool known as EMET, or the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, to thwart potential attacks.
Security experts say EMET is helpful in staving off attacks, but businesses are sometimes reluctant to use it because it can cause systems to crash due to incompatibility with some software programs.
'It's a campaign of targeted attacks seemingly against U.S.-based firms, currently tied to defense and financial sectors,' FireEye spokesman Vitor De Souza said via email.
'It's unclear what the motives of this attack group are, at this point. It appears to be broad-spectrum intel gathering.'
Microsoft said in the advisory that the vulnerability could allow a hacker to take complete control of an affected system, then do things such as viewing changing, or deleting data, installing malicious programs, or creating accounts that would give hackers full user rights.
Until otherwise determined, one should assume this also applies to Windows Phone versions of Internet Explorer...which kinda ticks me off as I just changed to a Windows Phone to check out its look and feel. So far, I'm less than impressed. It appears to assume every user is an technological simpleton, and default privacy and internet "push" settings are both disturbing (privacy-wise) and unless they have an unlimited data plan. likely to surprise people when they see their first bloated bill from the cellphone company.
Microsoft has finally fixed a disastrous bug in its Internet Explorer web browser so severe the U.S. Department of Homeland Security advised computer users to abandon the software.
Adrienne Hall, general manager of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, said in a statement that the company decided to fix the problem quickly for all customers, saying it takes the security of its products 'incredibly seriously.'
The firm also decided to issue a fix for users of Windows XP, even though it officially no longer supports the software.
EDIT to add: http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-had-to-patch-windows-xp-7000029008/
Much of the news about the recent Internet Explorer zero-day attacks had to do with the prospect of Windows XP not being patched. This was in spite of the fact that THE ACTUAL ATTACKS IN THE WILD DIDN'T WORK ON WINDOWS XP. Even so, Microsoft decided to patch Windows XP, even though it passed its expiration date several weeks ago.