Windows XP Impossible to Secure as of April 2014


Windows XP Impossible to Secure as of April 2014

By Anand Khanse for The Windows Club

In April 2014, Microsoft will end support for Windows XP – making the popular OS almost impossible to secure.

UPDATE: (1/15/2014)

MSE on Windows XP will continue to get updates for at least another year after support for the operating system itself ends in April.

I get this question frequently of late. Honestly, it’s time to move on from XP – but if you have to stay this is good news. It’s not great – anti-malware cannot protect you from everything, and experts are expecting April will also bring a flood of malware using exploits in XP that won’t be fixed.–Leo Notenboom–PC Pitstop.

Securing Windows XP after Microsoft ends support in April 2014 is not going to be an easy job. In fact its going to be nearly impossible! But given the ground realities where around 20% users still use Windows XP, and considering the fact that there are many still many home users from various parts of the world, who just would not be able to afford to upgrade to a newer version of the Windows operating system, securing their computers is going to a big challenge!

Even today, Windows XP holds around 20% of the operating system market share. And this is the global figure. In Africa, Windows XP still commands a market share of around 33%. In Asia its 27%! In India it is around 30%, whereas in China it is 51%! That’s like literally hundreds of millions of computers still running Windows XP!

Microsoft wants this figure to come down to around 10% globally by the time it ends its support in April 2014. But, although the figure may (or may not) come down, the figures in developing countries will continue to be high. There will still be those users, in some countries, who will predominantly still be using this outdated operating system.

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40 thoughts on “Windows XP Impossible to Secure as of April 2014

  1. I agree XP has been supported way longer than you’d expect. Although- it wasn’t due to MS being kind- it was because businesses complained- hard.

    The other hand says, couldn’t they have improved the security & the file system w/o trying to alter it to the point of completely alienating their huge XP base?

    On to the safety aspect- I would say to move to Linux Mint Mate & install Virtualbox. Then, run XP inside that. This gives them Firefox to safely access the net, while keeping XP around in a sandbox for older programs that may still be relevant to the user.

    It allows them to “move forward” into a new OS- but one that more resembles XP than does 8. Doesn’t cost to try.

    Imho. As a Mint user for years now.

  2. Kevin Doty
    Looks to me if MS isn't gonna support it, then people shouldn't have to have a license key or register it after April 8. What would be really bad is if MS stopped authenticating and validating the license key when XP is reinstalled on a machine.

    Michael

  3. Linux as a replacement. Yup that's what I am doing for my customers. So far not a complaint of anyone wanting to go back to Windows. In many ways it works easier than Windows. Of course the opposite applies also, but overall I give Linux the top mark now. Only thing about Linux is no Dircect3D which means no big time game playing. I am using Ubuntu for replacement of Windows.

    Don't pay Justin any mind. He's still wet behind the ears, probably a kid or MS employee.

    Michael

  4. I can’t believe that Microsoft has complete control of the world of computers. Tell me that some young man isn’t going to come up with a million dollar idea to keep XP running. Look at the sucess of Mark Z. with Facebook! I’d be happy to pay a few dollars a year to guaranty my XP will be safe
    and still productive. Come on guys, we are smarter than that! The big guys will someday wake up!

  5. Bertie, I changed my desktop comp for a newer one recently, had to go to windows 7, was a different platform after having windows xp for a LONG time, but it would b the most suited for u I reckon.

  6. a word of warning, never dual boot any Linux, even Pclinuxos or Zorin, on windows WITHOUT first creating a system image & a repair disk. Linux cannot be cleanly uninstalled. And Linux is not suitable for casual users in the first place without a lot of hand holding, even if they are experienced Windows users

  7. As a customer it is my right to be able to choose the kind of operating system that I am comfortable with or that suits my needs. Taking away support for the legal customer that bought my own copy of XP is typical of a big company vs personal individuals' needs. They know they have us at the groin. Even so, technology certainly cannot remain in the early 2000's…

  8. The complete article isn’t that bad, and actually does contain at least some useful information. This excerpt of the beginning that most people are likely to read, though, is basically FUD. 90% of security issues most people are likely to encounter are removed by a cheap home router since they all come with at least basic firewalls these days. The other 10% come from stupid users, and far as I know there isn’t a software patch for any OS to fix that.

    • @Red Frog: horny stupid users are the ones. My friends are 60+ and still go to the XXX sites and get malware. Then they get the fake Amazon order emails, open them & call me to ask what to do about it. Then they want to complain to Amazon !

  9. staying with XP people payed for this program and no matter how long it takes they should not be fucking people over the waY they are. they should support it period! im keeping mine and ill keep it safe windows has yet to to do tht..

    • @Kevin Doty:
      On mainframes systems, people pay an annual maintenance fee. Maybe Microsoft should implement such a model. Evey registered user could pay $10/year for ongoing maintenance and support.

      MS didn’t put a gun to anybodys head an force them to install windows. Tandy had their own version of DOS as I recall.

  10. Ok, so you're saying I'll have to buy a NEW LAPTOP, since WinXP barely fits on the little hard drive in my comp. NO Way can I fit Win7 or 8 on it! 😛 Even if I wanted to!

  11. Who the heck proofreads these articles? Almost every article this week in PC Pitstop weekly email has errors that actually make you have to stop and re-read it to make sense of it… very unprofessional.

  12. Bruce Willenberg: Linux Ubuntu is certainly slick for Internet but is a different animal and doesn’t support many of the apps. Americans use. Not sure they care since they are not a “for profit” enterprise. But, makes an interesting dual boot to avoid the security mess that is part of Microsoft. In terms of WIN 7, I find it irritating to use, even after months of use. The WIN XP screens are intuitive, clear. WIN 7 tends to be confusing, not sure what they had in mind.

  13. Most german banks use Windows XP on their ATM systems, still after April 2014. The costs to upgrade to another operating system would cause a new banking crisis.

  14. XP works fine for me I don't want improved graphics . MS is not that good at keeping out viruses eg Bit defender almost useless. I have yet to see MS better than Malwarebytes/Avira at detecting malware or a virus .I am sure some will develop third party firewalls to be equal if not better .There is the possibility that some programs will be made not to work in XP if from MS for sure .

  15. It is certainly not out-dated on a desktop. For the average user what does Windows 7 and 8 offer that is significantly better than XP? It will be deliberately consigned to the past by withdrawing essential support and the media who is always clamoring for something new, be it good or bad, preferably both at the same time.

  16. I find Win 8 works great with a free program called Classic Shell. I did a reg hack to bypass the useless lock screen (it doesn't lock anything) and my laptop needed a reg hack to turn the numlock on at startup, and it works as good as win 7, maybe better.

  17. My desktop would not support Windows 7. I’ve tried it, for windows 7 to run decently, you need at least 4 GB’s of ram, my PC maxes out at 3 GB’s. Right now I just don’t have the money to buy another desktop. Fortunately I have a lpatop running Windows 7, so for now I’ll keep using it. I have absolutely NO INTEREST in Windows 8. Ive seen it in action, not impressed, Microsoft made a STUPID decision when the took away the start menu, so now you have to install a third party app just to get it back…

    • @Kenneth:

      I don’t know what sort of processes you let run on that desktop- but 2GB RAM is plenty to run seven extremely well. Heck, it’s plenty for Vista SP2- & 7 runs much smoother than Vista!

      That said, you could always do a live Linux Mint DVD & have a test run (runs from DVD- doesn’t need to install) to see if it suits you? It’s free & easily superior to MS (imho). If you like it, you can then install it. Best community support around.

  18. …but on Thursday or Friday Microsoft announced that it is minimally going to support XP for another 15 months. Didn’t PC Pitstop get the memo?

    • @dave:

      Quoting our good friend & TechTalk contributor Leo Notenboom:

      “Honestly, it’s time to move on from XP – but if you have to stay this is good news. It’s not great – anti-malware cannot protect you from everything, and experts are expecting April will also bring a flood of malware using exploits in XP that won’t be fixed”.

  19. Gates and Buffet are going to give away all their money, but you can bet the cow that keeps on giving, isn’t going to give any free milk, especially to those who can’t afford to upgrade. No publicity opportunities in that!

    • @DEnnis:

      Gates & Buffet “give away” their chump-change. What they give is the interest on the “real” loot- don’t you worry.

      When they start to give chunks out, say millions in one go- w/little fanfare, I’ll think somewhat better of them. Until then, it’s deluded to think that these two are “kind old guys” who got that dough by being sweet…they had to have thrown plenty of knives into plenty of backs.

  20. Someone hasn’t been keeping up to date on the latest technet news, Microsoft is extending the date until 2015 now with their internet security software and other Anti Virus companies will still support it even further.

    • @Graham R:

      Quoting our good friend & TechTalk contributor Leo Notenboom:

      “Honestly, it’s time to move on from XP – but if you have to stay this is good news. It’s not great – anti-malware cannot protect you from everything, and experts are expecting April will also bring a flood of malware using exploits in XP that won’t be fixed”.

  21. “…there are many still many home users from various parts of the world, who just would not be able to afford to upgrade to a newer version of the Windows operating system”

    And Gates could afford to give copies of 8 to all of them. Set it up so you apply & provide low-income details for a free upgrade. It’s not as nice a publicity shot as the other things Gates likes to dabble in, but it would help all of the world’s computer users.

  22. So in essence Microsoft is saying “If you like you operating system you can’t keep it because we no longer support this product.” Now I know why Gates was a main contributor to the Obama campaign, they both play by the same set of rules when it comes to fucking their supporters.

    • @leont328: You buy a product and they support it for 13 years. How many companies support their software for that long after release?
      You’re lucky if you get more than a year support for no additional charge.
      Their a company, not a charity.

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