Print 39 comment(s) - last by NellyFromMA.. on May 6 at 9:31 AM

Microsoft extends an olive branch to XP users

Earlier this week, we learned of a new zero-day flaw that affects Windows and Internet Explorer. According to Microsoft, the flaw could allow attackers to:
  • view data
  • change data (memory injection)
  • delete data
  • install keylogging software
  • install malicious programs
  • create accounts to give attacker full user rights 
Seeing as how Microsoft officially ended support for end-users of Windows XP on April 8, it was assumed that all of those users would just be out of luck or have to rely on third-party patches to close up the security hole. However, Microsoft made a bold move today by announcing that it would extend the fix to XP users.
Adrienne Hall, Microsoft’s General Manager for Trustworthy Computing, wrote the following on the Official Microsoft Blog:
Even though Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and is past the time we normally provide security updates, we’ve decided to provide an update for all versions of Windows XP (including embedded), today.  We made this exception based on the proximity to the end of support for Windows XP.
As a result, all Windows users (as of 1 PM EST today) can download a patch for this flaw from Windows Update.

Adrienne Hall, Microsoft’s General Manager for Trustworthy Computing 

However, don’t think for a second that Microsoft is content with users sticking around with a 14-year-old operating system. The company is still, understandably, trying to encourage customers to upgrade to a more modern Microsoft operating system like Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
“Just because this update is out now doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about getting off Windows XP,” Hall added. “Of course we’re proud that so many people loved Windows XP, but the reality is that the threats we face today from a security standpoint have really outpaced the ability to protect those customers using an operating system that dates back over a decade.”
So XP users, take this as a warning. Microsoft was kind enough to make an exception this time around with regards to a zero-day exploit it Windows XP, but don’t expect the software giant to be so eager to help out in the future.

Source: Microsoft

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Pry it
By SteelRing on 5/1/2014 2:17:36 PM , Rating: -1
from my dead cold hand

or give me free upgrade to Win7, since you're supposed to be focusing on making money on Win8, nothing to lose for you.

RE: Pry it
By gixser on 5/1/2014 2:32:10 PM , Rating: 5
nothing to lose for you.

Any nothing to gain either it would seem.

RE: Pry it
By PrinceGaz on 5/1/2014 3:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
They would gain from not having so many people running unsupported Windows XP which becomes riddled with malware and is then used to target newer versions of Windows, launch DOS attacks, and send out loads of virus-laden spam.

Anyway, it's the same argument that is used with software piracy-- if they can't get it for free, they wouldn't have got it anyway so no money has been lost when it is pirated. How many people with an old computer running Windows XP (in my case built in 2005, old but still very useable with its Athlon 64 X2 4400+) would buy a copy of Windows 7 for it? I like to think Microsoft prefer it being updated to Windows 7, rather than it continuing to run XP every day.

Note that the above should be read as a hypothetical scenario only, and I do not condone software piracy.

RE: Pry it
By HostileEffect on 5/1/2014 10:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
Bout to put Windows 7 on my P4 2.0Ghz soon, though its still powered off since I was on business for an extended time. I can't stand the thought of paying more ransom money to Microsoft because they want to hold (insert updated feature) hostage. Its pretty cheap to just wait for an old laptop to turn in up the garbage and harvest parts and that shinny little windows OS sticker under it. Licensed Windows OS for free, just borrow some discs.

I have 4-5 old laptops with Windows 7 keys not being used... yeah. Anyone who tells me to pay for Windows needs to pound sand when I can get it for free, legally.

RE: Pry it
By Labotomizer on 5/2/2014 10:13:54 AM , Rating: 2
OEM licenses are non-transferrable. That's why they're so much cheaper. Moving the sticker does NOT legally transfer the license. Does MS care enough to stop you from doing it? Probably not.

Still not sure I'd be proud of rummaging in the garbage bin to save $99... But to each their own.

RE: Pry it
By Mitch101 on 5/1/2014 2:35:06 PM , Rating: 4
You got to give props to Microsoft they don't have to do what they did and consider that XP was launched in October of 2001 seems pretty amazing.

RE: Pry it
By marvdmartian on 5/1/2014 3:04:03 PM , Rating: 2
Nice that they did it, for sure....but in my mind, only right that they did it, too. That exploit has been around since IE6. Meaning back around the time of XP's introduction, in 2001. IMHO, it would have been a much bigger black eye for MS, if they hadn't patched XP, along with newer operating system versions.

RE: Pry it
By NellyFromMA on 5/2/2014 1:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
Well, then you can say MS does actually do the right thing then.

You can say not patching it would have been a bad move, or say that their patching was a smart move. Which you choose to label their action as says a lot about what you think of MS in general and highlights the catch 22 they have been locked in for at least a decade.

Perspective rises its head again.

RE: Pry it
By Argon18 on 5/1/14, Rating: -1
RE: Pry it
By inighthawki on 5/1/2014 5:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
"Amazing"? Lol. Plenty of amazing things in the world, but an IE patch isn't one of them.

He wasn't stating the IE patch was amazing, he was claiming it was amazing how much Microsoft has gone out of their way to support an OS whose life cycles actually ended years ago. Even after being officially unsupported, they took the time and money to develop a patch for it. I can't think of another software vendor that would have done this.

Those without the Redmond Blinders on can see now the fatal flaw of "integrating" the web browser with the OS. When OS support ends, so does your browser support. In a world where the killer apps are increasingly web based, this is a serious shortcoming of Windows.

IE is no longer so intrinsically tied to the OS. On top of that, nothing stops you from using other browsers.

You can run the latest greatest Firefox on XP. Ironic, isn't it, that Netscape's legacy is one of the things keeping XP around?

One of, sure, but hardly the biggest reason. IE compatibility is nothing compared to the amount of application compatibility issues and sheer upgrade cost that most IT departments are dreading.

RE: Pry it
By HoosierEngineer5 on 5/1/14, Rating: 0
RE: Pry it
By SteelRing on 5/1/14, Rating: 0
RE: Pry it
By Sivar on 5/1/2014 2:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
I think Windows 7 is an extremely compelling upgrade from XP, but that is a matter of opinion.

Would you suggest that Microsoft should pay to maintain a 13-yr old product?
Name another consumer software vendor that does this.

RE: Pry it
By tim851 on 5/2/2014 3:35:15 AM , Rating: 2
Would you suggest that Microsoft should pay to maintain a 13-yr old product?

They sold XP licences for netbooks until October 2010. That's three and a half years.
It's not the customers' fault that Microsoft continued to sell a NINE year old operating system!

Name another consumer software vendor that does this.

Apple is frequently criticized for dropping support early. You can't chastise the fruit company for doing so and not Microsoft.

RE: Pry it
By Belegost on 5/1/2014 2:54:45 PM , Rating: 5
Who is holding anyone hostage? Is Mazda holding you hostage because your car is outside the 5 year warranty?

There's a reasonable limit on how long a company can be expected to support a product. 13 years of support seems like a pretty good run, better than you will get from competing OSes. Why people have to act like ending support is some evil plot I have no idea - it's just reasonable business. I don't see similar wailing when Apple stops supporting old OSX versions, or Red Hat stops supporting old RHEL LTS versions.

And there are good reasons to upgrade to Win7, better support for newer hardware, a more stable driver model, better account controls for improved security, etc.

If you in particular don't need them, fine. As for staying with XP, please don't let me stop your search for someone who cares, use whatever you want.

RE: Pry it
By Argon18 on 5/1/14, Rating: -1
RE: Pry it
By themaster08 on 5/1/2014 3:50:42 PM , Rating: 3
The analogy is flawed. Software is hardly comparable to any tangible object.

Compare XP's support lifecycle to RHEL's, and it's comparable. The main difference is that after 10 years, the last 3 years of RHEL support is limited, and an ELS add-on can be purchased to continue support of versions 3 and 4. Similarly, enterprise customers have paid for continuing support of XP.

Do you expect these companies to continue to support these products forever? The main difference is that a tangible object, especially if mechanical, will eventually break, and original parts will no longer become available. Sure, you can purchase 3rd party or pre-owned parts, similarly to how you can use 3rd party applications and security to continue to run your ancient software, but eventually it becomes more of a burden than a convenience. For example, using XP without the internet is absolutely fine, but it's a huge inconvenience. Similarly, a 50 year old vehicle can be restored, but you'll find its main use is for motor shows, special occasions. Using it as a main driver will no doubt run into problems.

How is a company expected to make money if their product has reached saturation? The logic of some people here is astounding.

RE: Pry it
By Dorkyman on 5/1/14, Rating: -1
RE: Pry it
By inighthawki on 5/1/2014 9:17:30 PM , Rating: 5
But instead MS has booked sweetheart deals with hardware vendors so that when you buy a new PC it WILL come with a version MS says you will have, even if you would have preferred the version you had been using.

Buy a PC and install whatever OS you want on it. Some OEMs have in the past offered older OSs or will actually ship a PC without an OS at all. If it's that big of an issue, build your own, because if you care that much about having an older version of the OS, you're also a tech savvy minority who would anyway. No other vendor in the world does what you're asking.

If you buy a new MAC, guess what, you get the latest version of OSX. If you buy a new phone, you get the latest version of iOS, Android, WP, etc. Buy a new tablet, same deal. Nobody buys an Android tablet and then decides "You know what, I'd rather have Gingerbread than Kit Kat."

The Feds should have broken up this MS monopoly long ago.

I don't think you know what monopoly means.

In fact, it makes a lot of sense to buy an old restored car for daily use. It just keeps going up in value.

I don't know a lot about cars, so maybe someone else could comment, but wouldn't putting additional mileage and use on a remodeled 50 year old car make it deprecate in value? Why would I pay a premium for a remodeled classic that someone has been driving around for everyday use?

RE: Pry it
By Alexvrb on 5/1/2014 11:48:25 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know a lot about cars, so maybe someone else could comment, but wouldn't putting additional mileage and use on a remodeled 50 year old car make it deprecate in value? Why would I pay a premium for a remodeled classic that someone has been driving around for everyday use?

It only makes sense to do something like this if money is no object, and even then it is debatable. They often require more regular maintenance over years of heavy driving, racking up miles devalues it, the daily wear and tear gradually ruins it (and further increases the amount/rate of maintenance and repairs), fuel costs are typically significantly higher, less amenities, less reliable (more likely to suffer mechanical breakdown), if something fails parts may not be readily available, and it isn't as safe as an equivalent modern car (no airbags, ABS, traction, ESC, inferior suspension, etc).

With that being said, I'd still love to own certain classic cars and drive them on weekends around town. But not as a commuter car, and I probably wouldn't have them fully restored to 100% like-new condition. Just "close enough to drive". Now, if you were talking about a full restomod, that's a completely different story. But those aren't truly valuable restored classics, since they're not original in many areas. Modern engine, trans, amenities, suspension, brakes, etc. Nicer to drive, but not worth as much.

RE: Pry it
By inighthawki on 5/2/2014 12:10:07 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the input :)

RE: Pry it
By ie5x on 5/2/2014 4:09:53 AM , Rating: 2
In my country, because of anti-pollution norms, running any vehicle older than 20 years is illegal and would attract heavy fine.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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