should you stop using Windows XP?

Windows XPocalypse


Windows XPocalypse

A sample of the recent industry buzz about the Windows XP end of life and the potential for a Windows XPocalypse.

Windows XP users should ditch Internet Explorer, says US Dept. of Homeland Security
by Mike Epstein for Digital Trends

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) say that Windows XP and Internet Explorer are a bad combination. CERT doesn’t really think you should be using XP at all, but if you have to, they want you to at least switch to a more secure third-party browser.

CERT, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, warns consumers of software that may pose a security risk. According to a bulletin released Monday, Microsoft includes software updates for IE into other system-wide patches. Users will no longer receive updates when Microsoft stops supporting XP next month, potentially leaving them exposed.

Microsoft Is Doing Us All A Favor By Killing Windows XP
Tony Bradley for Forbes.com

If the Windows XPocalypse actually happens, there will definitely be those who point the finger and blame Microsoft.

Too bad.

The reality is that Windows XP is significantly less secure than its successors. Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 all include security features and controls designed to thwart attacks, and reduce the potential impact of successful attacks. There are many flaws that exist across all supported versions of Windows, but they are easily exploitable on Windows XP, and only moderate threats

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on later versions of Windows. The reality is that Windows XP is already a ticking time bomb, and the only thing that has allowed the ancient OS to maintain the façade of functionality are the valiant efforts of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing.

Instead of focusing on Microsoft’s supposed “obligation” to continue providing support to users—most of whom have contributed little or nothing to the PC revenue stream in the last decade—we should be focusing on the responsibility those users have to adopt more current, more secure operating systems if they want to continue to share the Internet with the rest of us.

Perspective: Microsoft risks security reputation ruin by retiring XP
for Computerworld.com

If every PC sold in the next 12 months was one destined to replace an existing Windows XP system, it would take more than a year and a half — about 20 months — to eradicate XP. Windows XP isn’t going anywhere.

There’s the real possibility that large-scale infections of Windows XP will paint the Windows brand as insecure, fulfilling the implicit prophecy the company made late last year. To most people, Windows is Windows is Windows, with no distinction between XP and the newest, locked-down 8.1. And for those people, Windows is Microsoft because it’s the best known of the company’s software.

Killing Windows XP Wastes Billions
by John Dvorak for pcmag.com

Imagine if Microsoft charged a mere $1 a month to those 500,000,000 XP users for continued support—forever. This would add $6 billion per annum to the bottom line. What would it cost Redmond to maintain a team to continue patching this OS? $50 million a year? At most?
At least half of the XP users would take the deal and result in Microsoft getting $3 billion. How can they pass this up? It’s like free money.

Does it really matter to Windows XP owners if Microsoft pulls the plug? by Preston Galla for computerworld.com

One might think that owners of those nearly half billion machines would be panicking so close to the deadline. But so far, there hasn’t been much more than a peep. That’s likely due to the nature of the people using XP.

It’s hard to get a handle on who they are. But most likely, there aren’t a lot of major enterprises among XP holdouts. Most big businesses tend not to trust their most vital corporate resource — their computing infrastructure — to 13-year-old operating systems about to lose support.

Inside the muddled, misguided mind of a Windows XP holdout
By Robert X. Cringely for InfoWorld.com

…those people still using Windows XP and desperately protesting its April 8 support death knell. For them, this will be a hard one to hear.

Basically, these folks are saying they’ll hold their breath like 8-year-olds until Microsoft agrees to keep supporting XP. But aside from oceans of blue faces, their main argument is that allegedly a little more than 32 percent of the computers on the planet are still running XP, so Microsoft’s stellar security reputation will suffer if all those machines are suddenly compromised like nuns in a biker bar.

…Times change, and life sucks. XP users need to take a drink, stop wishing, bite the upgrade bullet, and join the rest of us living modern lives with compromised crypto currencies and flying Taser-bots. It’s far from perfect, but sticking your head in prehistoric software sand isn’t going to help.

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15 thoughts on “Windows XPocalypse

  1. As a technician who repairs computers most about XP insecurity is just Microsoft pushing Windows 8.
    I get desktops/laptops with Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 infected as well. Some with with very nasty viruses that i have to rebuild the computers. That also include Apple computers.

  2. Scare tactics, most of the ppl who advise that the world will end when support for xp o/s is gone probably have a vested interest for ppl to move on to the other o/s. The only real reason to move on is when vendors and third parties quit supporting their devices, apps, programs, add on's, etc for the xp o/s.
    The amount of fear mongering going on when ms mentions an o/s support is being suspended is tremendous, and it has happened the same with the older o/s such as windows '95 and I have not heard of end of the world from that o/s, just that vendors and third parties quit support for '95. I believe a stable o/s such as xp will be around a lot longer after ms support ends.

  3. I spent over $1100 on a new computer running WindowsXP in (I think) 2003. Up until then I had been getting along fine with Windows98, on a computer that cost me almost $1300 in 1999 (my first home PC.) Last year the FBI (screenlocker) virus got me and put my machine out of commission. Once the OS was wiped out and restored to factory condition, it would have been necessary to go through an arduous process (about 20 hours worth) of downloading and installing updates just to get back to WindowsXPsp3. That's when I decided to go buy a new computer. For $400 I got a computer with a processor about 5 times faster, more than 12 times the hard drive space and 12 times the RAM, that runs Windows8, which I have now upgraded to 8.1. This was the best thing that ever happened to me regarding computers. I don't understand all these people bitching about how they "can't afford" a new machine. For basic home use you can get a new machine with the keyboard mouse and monitor for under $300. I kept my old monitor, wireless mouse and keyboard and opted to put a little more money into hard drive space and processing power. I'm not rich. I make around 20 grand a year. But the price of Computers has come down so far (and you get so much more in terms of space, power and memory) that I don't see how anyone thinks they can afford to compromise their online security by sticking with an old PC. To me it's just plain stubbornness, for the sake of being mule headed and rejecting progress, to stick with an old unsafe and unsecured OS. Microsoft may not have a stellar record of protecting Windows based operating systems from hackers and viruses, but their newer systems are far more secure and reliable than the old ones like XP. And they are under no obligation to provide support for an outdated system forever. So I agree with Mr. Cringely. Suck it up and go buy a new PC or just don't get on the internet and expose responsible users to the plethora of viruses that hackers will use your old PC to perpetuate.

  4. One reason for Win XP’s popularity is that you CAN install it on multiple devices, which exist in many families. Not so with later versions of Windows, making it truly unaffordable for these folks.

  5. One reason for Win XP's popularity is that you CAN install it on multiple devices, which exist in many families. Not so with later versions of Windows, making it truly unaffordable for these folks.

  6. I read that the majority of ATM machines in the US and other countries still run on the Windows XP system. Unless they can all be converted overnight, what happens when they are no longer supported?

    • @Dianna: You are correct and it’s going to be the biggest problem regarding the end of support for XP. The wealthy banking conglomerates are just going to have to suck it up and upgrade their machines. In the meantime Microsoft will still provide them with some support, but they will be paying for it. I’m just afraid that consumers will be paying a big price due to fraud and identity theft, thanks to their procrastination.

  7. When will giants like Microsoft stop creating OS that require greater and greater memory and processing power. Why don’t they start writing an OS that is reliable and has efficient coding instead of trying to cover up bugs that are inherent in their system. I am an XP user and will continue to use it as 1> I cannot afford to spend out on another machine and operating system 2> Microsoft and other ‘experts’ are always prophesying doom and gloom about everything (e.g Y2K meltdown)
    3> If it aint broke then why fix it

  8. Hundreds of thousands (millions) of XP users world wide will continue to use XP….they simply can not afford another OS. It will continually devastate all MS users w/ uncontrollable virus escalation.

    • I like XP because it WORKS- no fancy hidden menues, no crap. Everything is pretty much right there at hand. I just got a WIN 7 machine after trying WIN8 (dog) and like it because it works like XP….but I don’t like the menu structure. MY question is, as the government of India spent almost a billion $$ 2 years ago buying XP machines, what are THEY going to do?

  9. I am a writer. For various of the more complicated books that I write (e.g., major encyclopedias) I have to work in WordPerfect 5.1: yes, I could use Word, but for what I’m doing Word is ludicrously cumbersome and my work would take twice as long.

    Using a program called Tame, I can work on an XP computer. No later version of Windows will allow me to do this.

    So when I read patronizing, sneering comments like those from Robert X. Cringely — who may feel themselves professionals in what _they_ do but who’re rank amateurs when it comes to what _I_ do — I want to take those “experts'” heads and stuff them firmly up the appropriate orifice.

    I’m planning to sus out Linux.

  10. I’m not a business. I’m a home user that sometimes does work related things on my computer. I use my machine for multi-media, surfing and personal finance and communications. My kids do their homework on it.
    I use a name brand virus and internet security program to protect me from outside threats.
    My machine is working just fine for those things.
    Therefore I don’t want to mess with it.
    I have concerns about upgrading the operating system. Will I have problems reconfiguring it?
    Will my older machine run a new OS without slowing down.
    Will I need to upgrade my software because it won’t work on the newer OS?
    So, now do I have to buy $$$ a new machine.
    Please, just give me a way to keep my machine running dependably. I’ll even pay a reasonable fee for continued support.
    I will upgrade when the functionality justifies it. Not when it is forced on me.

    Chris

  11. You know, I moved to Windows 7 several years ago, but your condescending attitude needs a response. I used Windows 95 until 2004. If it ain’t broke I don’t fix it. There is NOTHING wrong with sticking with Windows XP, many state departments still use it, because they have to save money and can’t spend great gobs of tax payer money because Microsoft and arrogant condescending geeks would like them too, and you are arrogant and condescending.

    AND, I have installed linux on my notebook and begun learning it. We do NOT have to do whatever Microsoft tells us. And YOUR attitude is going to drive people to Linux faster than Microsoft will.

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