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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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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.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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