Despite Declaring End of XP Support, Microsoft Issues Patch to Fix Zero-Day IE Exploit
May 1, 2014 1:51 PM
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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:
change data (memory injection)
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.
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RE: It's not a 14 year old operating system...
5/1/2014 11:17:05 PM
The last date of sale doesn't change the date it was released. You could maybe make an argument about the major revisions (Service Packs) released for the OS but those were released for free to all XP users and thus they didn't get to sell a bunch of new licenses to existing users.
Anyway, compare this "unacceptable" support to smartphones. If you buy a phone that has been on the market for a year or so, don't expect a lot of support. Heck, some Android OEMs drop support fairly quickly (particularly on non-flagship models) so they can sell you a new phone every couple of years. Often this is proceeded by a large final update designed to make the phone feel old and slow.
Maybe MS should consider doing the same thing. Release an SP4 for WinXP... it's got lots of security enhancements... and makes your PC incredibly slow so you'll buy a new one!
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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