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Microsoft Worried About PCs Still Using Windows XP

By - Source: Scoop | B 221 comments

It's time to let that tried and true OS go for good.

Microsoft has a huge challenge on its hands over the next six months: to not only sell customers on the greatness that is Windows 8.1, but to convince them that Windows XP is too old and too unsafe to use. As we've seen since the launch of Windows 8 last year, Microsoft is pushing consumers and businesses alike to ditch the old but popular OS for something a bit more spit shined like Windows 7 and Windows 8. Unfortunately, upgrading doesn't appear to be happening fast enough.

According to Microsoft's own numbers, around 377,000 PCs in New Zealand alone that are running Windows XP will be made vulnerable after April 8, 2014. Even more, those individuals and businesses could affect others who have already upgraded. Personal information could be put at risk as well as business trade secrets, customer account data and more. As reported earlier this week, hackers could reverse engineer fixes made to the newer platforms and see if the exploits work on Windows XP.

The time to upgrade, if it hasn't taken place already, is now. "We're well and truly at the stage where businesses and personal computer users need to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 – both to protect against risk, and to get the benefits of running a modern operating system," says Dean Edwards, Windows Business Group Manager at Microsoft NZ.

"For businesses, upgrading an operating system takes time," Edwards adds. "Depending on complexity, small businesses could take three to six months to upgrade, and larger businesses can take six months or more. We are really worried that some New Zealand companies are cutting it too close to the end of support date."

Earlier this week, a spokesperson for Microsoft said that the company will not guarantee updates of its anti-malware signature and engine after the Windows XP end of support date of April 8, 2014. More specifically, the rep said that running antivirus software on out of support operating systems is not an adequate solution to help protect against threats. Instead, a well-protected solution starts with using modern software and hardware designed to help protect against today's threat landscape… modern software like Windows 7 and Windows 8.

"In addition, Microsoft recommends best practices to protect your PC such as: 1) running up to date antivirus, 2) regularly applying security updates for all software installed, and 3) using modern software that has advanced security technologies and is supported with regular security updates," the rep added.

So how disruptive will it be for businesses to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8? "We had 1,100 computers running XP in all our offices and branches, and migrating them to Windows 8 caused little disruption to the business," said Dave Veronese, CIO of House of Travel. "It was something we delayed doing for so long, but we've already noticed the benefit of using more up to date software and would highly recommend upgrading for the advantages of the new operating system."

In a chart recently provided by Microsoft, the number of Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) mitigated by Windows XP's built-in DEP were surpassed by the CVEs that could bypass XP's baked-in protection in 2011. By 2012, that bypassing number of CVEs appears to have doubled. Now imagine that number after April 2014.

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Top Comments
  • 18 Hide
    Absentsa , November 13, 2013 4:56 AM
    How difficult can it be for a company the size of MS to keep XP security up to date? If they were really 'worried' they would simply keep supporting it. This is bully tactics thinly veiled as consumer concern. I don't remember buying XP with an expiry date on the package. Should be a legal requirement if they do this consistently (Which they do). Load of bull if you ask me.
  • 16 Hide
    izmanq , November 13, 2013 5:18 AM
    Yes, XP users, time to move to Linux :D 
Other Comments
  • -4 Hide
    Jordan Nwokolo , November 13, 2013 4:45 AM
    And People Also Worry,Because M$ offer them a Cripple tablet OS to their PC..Hell No Microsoft !!! People Already spend a hundreds or a thousand Dollars to Build or buy their PC, So they want a REAL desktop OS,Not a Cripple one :kaola: 
  • 18 Hide
    Absentsa , November 13, 2013 4:56 AM
    How difficult can it be for a company the size of MS to keep XP security up to date? If they were really 'worried' they would simply keep supporting it. This is bully tactics thinly veiled as consumer concern. I don't remember buying XP with an expiry date on the package. Should be a legal requirement if they do this consistently (Which they do). Load of bull if you ask me.
  • 5 Hide
    ohim , November 13, 2013 5:03 AM
    @Absentsa First look at other companies how much support they give you for their older products, then complain about MS not supporting XP, which even if it had security up to date would still be an outdated OS.
  • 5 Hide
    demonhorde665 , November 13, 2013 5:08 AM
    of course MS says those pc's wil be at risk , but the real truth is that hackers will no longer bother with targeting win XP any more. now speaking of out dated OS'es I'd stil like to go build a win 98 "time machine" for nostalgia gaming, compatability programs only get you so far with some older games. wonder what MS thinks of that ?
  • -4 Hide
    ohim , November 13, 2013 5:15 AM
    Yeah sure, because everybody will go build a time machine for old games, don`t generalize just because you want something old and running in particular.
  • -2 Hide
    ubercake , November 13, 2013 5:15 AM
    This is a 12 year-old OS.

    Anyone who hasn't upgraded or doesn't have a plan has had plenty of time.

    While they're at it, they should upgrade their Windows for Workgroups 3.11 machines as well. It is also advisable they stop relying on MS-DOS on their other machines.
  • 16 Hide
    izmanq , November 13, 2013 5:18 AM
    Yes, XP users, time to move to Linux :D 
  • 7 Hide
    Avus , November 13, 2013 5:19 AM
    If microsoft worry so much about the lacks of windows upgrade, where is the $40 Win8 upgrade deal for all WinXP, WinVista, Win7 user?? I personally bought 4 of those when MS offered that $15/$40 upgrade deal when Win8 was released...
  • 6 Hide
    Horhe , November 13, 2013 5:29 AM
    @Absentsa They don't give you an expiry date for cars either, but this doesn't mean that cars made 50 years ago are as safe as cars made today. Sure, you can still drive them and there are big chances nothing wrong would happen to you, but newer cars are safer to driver, and safer during crashes.
  • 5 Hide
    troger5troger5 , November 13, 2013 5:29 AM
    hackers attack the majority. hackers attack what gets attention. our company of 15000 just went to 7. we are usually 3 to for years behind because all of our company apps have to be tested and working flawless or we could loose millions if they stop working at random.
  • 3 Hide
    realAMDfreak , November 13, 2013 5:34 AM
    Worried ? :-) I bet MS is worried of selling the new Win 8.1 licenses. Now they are trying to do their best to force the users upgrade. Soon they will say there is no support to Win XP. :-)
  • 8 Hide
    fanchiuho , November 13, 2013 5:40 AM
    If M$ is really THAT worried, they should have taken some actions to improve Win8 ASAP already, not just continuing their marketing spree.
    Especially for the older computers, XP users would want compatibility, low resource consumption and ease of use, so that way they won't need to bother upgrading both OS and hardware at the same time.
    Windows 8? LOL. I mean, worse than 7, good for touchpad and bad for mouse and keyboard. No wonder M$ moans about, dev teams nowadays just can't get what users want.
  • 0 Hide
    vxd128 , November 13, 2013 5:53 AM
    Looking at the whole picture I can understand why MS wants to discontinue support for Windows XP. For them it's a business move that is being driven by the desire to get users to upgrade and for reducing overhead on their part. At this point they've released 3 newer versions of Windows since XP has been released. There are a lot of companies that will eventually quit supporting their older products. I wouldn't expect to get product updates on most software that is 5+ years old. Eventually a company has to look at how much does it cost them to keep programers dedicated to maintaining older versions of the software. There comes a point where it's not cost effective for them. I know as a consumer we don't always like hearing that but from a business perspective it makes perfect sense. I remember reading a while back where a company is charging customers a service fee if they make a purchase using IE6 since they need to design the site to work with it. Eventually as a consumer you have to accept that there may be no more updates and you use it as it is.
  • 5 Hide
    egilbe , November 13, 2013 6:01 AM
    People who are forced to "upgrade" to Windows 8 absolutely hate it. Especially the one's whose old XP machines finally bit the dust. They may as well go to Linux or Apple then to use that counter-intuitive interface that Microsoft forced on everyone.
  • -2 Hide
    ohim , November 13, 2013 6:03 AM
    Sheesh, each time i see an article about MS, every single hater out there comes here to post a negative opinion (ofc i`ll get a lot of negatives for this post).
    Well.. it`s simple, you don`t like MS products don`t use them, and you have nothing to complain. I personally don`t go on Linux news/boards and start bitching about it for the things i don`t like or use that product.
    "Low resource consumption". What the hell are you talking about there? The same bullshit was said by Windows 98 users when XP came to market. Unless you lived till now under a rock even a phone has 1 GB of Ram... your computer should have with ease above that point to be sufficient for a Win7 or 8.

    And Windows 8 is worse than 7? Letting aside few things like missing start button (many actually find this better, some hate is so much that they will slash their wrists for it) and few other bullshit things for tablets that MS tried to put in, Windows 8 actually performs better than 7. Yes, price is high but the rest is total bullshit.

    MSDOS had no bluescreens at all .. why the hell did people ever stopped using it... and why isn`t MS supporting it anymore ?
  • -5 Hide
    p05esto , November 13, 2013 6:04 AM
    90% of these responses are STUPID. Why in the world should MS support some relic old OS. It's time to upgrade people, at least to Windows7 (don't make your life suck by going to Win8). People can keep XP, just don't expect any more fixes and patches by MS.... you are on your own, I'm frankly they supported it this long.
  • 2 Hide
    velocityg4 , November 13, 2013 6:07 AM
    If XP is so insecure and outdated but people like it so much and want to stick with it. Why doesn't MS just make Windows 9 look and feel exactly like XP when it comes out? Just make it with modern security, technologies and automation behind the scenes.
  • 5 Hide
    egilbe , November 13, 2013 6:08 AM
    Quote:
    Sheesh, each time i see an article about MS, every single hater out there comes here to post a negative opinion (ofc i`ll get a lot of negatives for this post).
    Well.. it`s simple, you don`t like MS products don`t use them, and you have nothing to complain. I personally don`t go on Linux news/boards and start bitching about it for the things i don`t like or use that product.
    "Low resource consumption". What the hell are you talking about there? The same bullshit was said by Windows 98 users when XP came to market. Unless you lived till now under a rock even a phone has 1 GB of Ram... your computer should have with ease above that point to be sufficient for a Win7 or 8.

    And Windows 8 is worse than 7? Letting aside few things like missing start button (many actually find this better, some hate is so much that they will slash their wrists for it) and few other bullshit things for tablets that MS tried to put in Windows 8 actually performs better than 7. Yes, price is high but the rest is total bullshit.


    Its about the User experience. And the User experience with Windows 8 is profoundly negative. Those people upgrading from XP have upgraded from Win 3.11 to Win 95 to Win 98 to Win XP and there they stayed, because frankly, it was a good OS. Win 8 upgrade is jarring. Its not a better experience, its not a seemless migration with little or no training to use it. Its counter-intuitive.
  • 3 Hide
    kawininjazx , November 13, 2013 6:16 AM
    So companies are upgrading their Pentium 4 / 1GB RAM PCs to Windows 8? They need new PCs.
  • 0 Hide
    gopher1369 , November 13, 2013 6:33 AM
    Quote:
    I don't remember buying XP with an expiry date on the package.


    It wasn't on the box, but is was in the TOS that you agreed to: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/products/lifecycle

    In fact support should have ended 3 years ago, MS only support their operating systems for 10 years, meaning all the support you were entitled to ended in 2011. MS have extended this support for an additional 3 years completely free of charge.

    And yet you still complain....

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