Microsoft Muddles Up The XP Situation

Microsoft, as it often seems to do, has managed to muddle up something that should be rather straightforward, and is putting out mixed messages about it's granddaddy of an operating system, Windows XP. In case you were somehow unaware, Microsoft has announced they will effectively retire Windows XP by no longer offering security patches or fixes after the April 8th 2014 Patch Tuesday. Fair enough, it's ancient in computer years, and you have to stop somewhere; pick a date and be done with it. Then they announced, that, well businesses could perhaps pay extra to get some support after that date to allow them time to migrate to a newer version of Windows. I can even see that, I guess.

Then they announced that updates for the Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) free antivirus would be ended at the same time, and also that you would not be able to download and install MSE for XP after that time.

Then, on Jan 15th, they reversed that decision and declared they would provide MSE virus signature updates till 2015. Why would you do that for an operating system that could rapidly become a security nightmare? No idea.

Other antivirus makers are extending support for Windows XP past the April 8th deadline too, so again you will probably have quite a lot of home users who will continue to use XP because they don't realize what is happening and their antivirus is still being updated, so they are okay - right? Umm, no.


John D Carmack said...

I'm not so sure how much difference this will make. Most people that stay on XP will either do so very intentionally (cost of upgrades, particularly software related for specialized software) or because they are already woefully ignorant of the situation. The first group will simply seek out a solution that works for them, and the latter probably wouldn't notice even if the AV software quit working.

Trust me, I see it all the time. "I have Norton," they say. "Is it up-to-date?" I ask. "I don't know," they answer, "I bought it 4 years ago, and it came with the PC."

At any rate, thanks for trying to get the word out.

Richard Keggans said...

@John, yep it's a bit of a mess, and most "normal" folk will just carry on until their current Windows box mechanically breaks, or otherwise becomes unusable for the things they want to do, then they make a move - which I completely understand. I just wish Microsoft would bring some clarity to all this, instead of being wishy-washy and indecisive.