Windows XP users will still get some security-related updates after April 8, 2014

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 16, 2014
Updated • Jan 16, 2014
Windows, Windows XP

While still a rumor, it is likely that Microsoft will release Windows 9 in April 2015 or at least around that month. The core reason for that is to move away from Windows 8 as many associate failure with it.

I would not go as far, but it appears as if Microsoft bet big on touch and mobile, a unified platform, and Windows RT, but largely ignored the company's core user base on the desktop.

A clean start could change the perception of the operating system. And while Windows 9 will still be large Windows 8.x, Microsoft may modify it in a way that satisfies desktop users but at the same time does not ignore the company's unified platform goal.

Knowing that Windows 9 is just around the corner, I'd suggested on Google Plus to extend the Windows XP deadline by two years to 2016 so that users of the operating system could comfortably update to Windows 9 right away, and do not have to update to Windows 7 or 8 first, before Windows 9 becomes available a year later.

While that won't happen, at least not to my knowledge, it appears that Microsoft has changed some Windows XP end of support policies.

The company wanted to end support for Microsoft Security Essentials previously on the day it would not offer technical assistance for Windows XP anymore. This would have meant that the remaining Windows XP users who use Microsoft Security Essentials would be without proper security software.

While it is debatable if MSE is proper security software, it would still impact users of the operating system in a negative way.

Microsoft announced yesterday that it will continue "to provide updates to [..] antimalware signatures and engine for Windows XP users". The new deadline is July 14, 2015, 3 months after the rumor says it will release Windows 9 to the public.

The reason for not ending support in 2014 is to help organizations -- read Enterprise and businesses, not home users -- to complete their migration.

The new deadline applies to the Enterprise products System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune running on Windows XP as well.

Microsoft expects an increase of attacks against Windows XP Service Pack 3 systems after end of support. The same was noticed right after support for Service Pack 2 for the operating system was ended, and it is very likely that attacks will be increased as a consequence of ending support and thus not providing security patches for the system anymore.


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  1. Xmetal said on January 16, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Businesses seeing some issues with the newer (I am thinking Windows 8 really … I like Windows 7) versions of Windows and the fact that what they have now (Minus the security thing) works perfectly for them .. “Why Upgrade?” (again minus the really important Security question) is a very good point … I am not sure if I can come with an answer to that

    1. ilev said on January 17, 2014 at 6:28 am

      “again minus the really important Security question”…

      There is no security problem running XP in enterprise as the XP is more secure than the standard Windows 7,8…
      In enterprise and big Businesses… the XP machines are hardened with no usb , cd… access, blocked configurations, monitored web browsing…..So, security isn’t an issue at all.
      The issue is money ,time, and legacy applications.

  2. said on January 16, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    I don’t know who are still using Windows Xp

    1. Zeus said on January 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      People with ten-year old computers. If you have a Pentium 4 you bought from Dell in the early 2000s, Windows 7 isn’t really an option. Plus, it’s $100.

      Switching to Linux after accumulating ten years of crap — documents, customizations, utilities, etc. — is kind of a hard thing to get motivated about. Most people would rather just stick with what works until they buy a whole new computer with a new OS.

      1. Xmetal said on January 16, 2014 at 9:31 pm

        I can understand from a business side the “EVERYONE HAS TO UPGRADE TO THE NEW VERSION OF WINDOWS” stuff, though (maybe not for their primary computer) as others have said .. a computer who doesn’t meet the requirements for newer Windows versions (in my opinion) are anything but useless. I have to prefence that I have already been using Linux for years and have a few different distros installed on a few of my systems. I will NOT have a problem with sticking with XP (for an MS OS) on my older system as I have a number of security programs I trust installed, and I practice safe surfing.

        I know that business-wise I would NOT recommend sticking with XP though I would have already recommended that fact years ago (and not “at the last minute” before XP Support dies)

        For home users who are concerned about not having MS Support I (HONESTLY… no joking) ask those users … “have you really gotten good MS Support?… or have you not been able to find that same EXACT information MS gave you, on hundreds of other sites?”…

        If you have an old PC laying around and you at least want to keep a dualboot system going (with MS) .. I see no issue with AWARE users (hopefully its not their primary PC, though some people cant afford to get a newer PC and the current machine they have works perfectly for what they do)

        Just my Two Cents

    2. ilev said on January 16, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      About 30% of Windows users = 400 million users. Still 60% in enterprise.

  3. InterestedBystander said on January 16, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I think I’ve mentioned some of this before but:

    Six months ago Diebold, maker of ATMs, estimated that 75% of US banking ATMs run XP. Thieves in Europe stole money from ATMs running XP by using USB sticks to hack the machines. India has about 34,000 ATMs running XP.

    Last fall a poll of IT professionals indicated that 75% were still responsible for at least one XP machine on their network. Around 30% expected they would still have XP machines on their network past the end of support in April.

    Also last fall, E-Health Insider reported that 85% of Britain’s national health service computers were running XP.

    I can’t find the stats for industrial automation machines running XP, but I expect it’s over 50%. These are difficult because they run proprietary software from companies which are often very conservative about change…because you don’t shove an update out until you KNOW for CERTAIN it is not going to make a turbine controller overspeed or cause a safety interlock to fail.

    It’s easy to spread doomclangers and dire forecasts, and most likely nearly all business will go on as usual. But, given that insecure XP systems could become an issue of national security, perhaps MS should open XP’s codebase to government and cyber-security professionals. Patches could continue under the auspices of those organizations.

    1. Gonzo said on January 16, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      It’s not lack of options that has brought about this situation. Some things should be air-gapped regardless of the OS. You could run Win 98 for all I care, as long as it’s not online.

      I wouldn’t cross a bridge everyday that was “most likely” not going to collapse. I want some assurances!

      “Most likely” isn’t acceptable when discussing power and water. It shouldn’t be online. Hire more people and station them locally. It’s crucial yet it remains a soft target. One week without either would bring any first world nation to its knees. Greed, naivety, ignorance, apathy and propaganda have no place here.

  4. ilev said on January 16, 2014 at 7:02 am

    “that users of the operating system could comfortably update to Windows 9 right away, and do not have to update to Windows 7 or 8 first, before Windows 9 becomes available a year later.”

    One of Microsoft’s big blunders : no direct upgrade from XP to 7 or 8 keeping all applications and data.

    Windows 7 users running XP Mode will get the same treatment as regular XP users.

    Installing XP after April 2014 will still require activation.

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