If you're still clinging to Windows XP, at least one security firm will have your back.
As previously reported, Microsoft plans to end support for Windows XP (SP3) as of April 8, 2014. The Redmond company also plans to shut off Security Essentials for the platform, leaving Windows XP users depending on third-party products. For those still refusing to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8, Kaspersky Lab has your back.
According to CIOL, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 will keep on protecting Windows XP users in accordance with Kaspersky Lab product lifecycles, which may span at least two future generations of both security solutions. The corporate protection solution Kaspersky Endpoint Security 10 for Windows will end support for Windows XP SP3 in the second quarter of 2016.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is gearing up to patch a serious vulnerability in Windows XP that could allow hackers to take full control of the PC. "The vulnerability is an elevation of privilege vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in kernel mode. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full administrative rights," Microsoft explains.
Russ Ernst, director of product management at Lumension, recently told PC World that the Windows XP patch was classified as "Important" due to a number of reasons, one of which is because Microsoft will end support for Windows XP in April. For those still using XP, this will be an important patch to deploy and install.
"An attacker must have valid log on credentials and be able to log on locally to exploit this vulnerability. The vulnerability could not be exploited remotely or by anonymous users," Microsoft's bulletin adds.
Investors.com reports that around 30 percent of PCs in use still run Windows XP. According to analysts, many businesses and consumers will take their chances and keep using the platform until their PCs finally bite the dust. And even then, they may not upgrade to a Windows-based machine.
As it stands now, many consumers and businesses are still clinging to Windows XP because they're running legacy software such as a payroll application in accounting or an inventory application that won't run correctly in Windows 7 or Windows 8.
"I was in one warehouse location where they had fixed terminals that were on XP and they're now going to iPads," said Victor Janulaitis, CEO of tech consulting firm Janco Associates. "So they're never going to do anything with those PCs. They're just sitting there. It's like an old-time punch-card time clock in a factory."