Here's good news for all those stubborn Windows XP users who refuse to give in to all the upgrade hype. Microsoft plans to keep supplying anti-malware protection via its various security solutions for another year. The catch is that the programs can't be downloaded once the company pulls the lifeline on Windows XP, so install them right now if they're not installed already.
"For enterprise customers, this applies to System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune running on Windows XP," reads the company's malware protection center blog. "For consumers, this applies to Microsoft Security Essentials."
This does not affect the end-of-support date of Windows XP, or the supportability of Windows XP for other Microsoft products, which deliver and apply those signatures, Microsoft points out. Instead, the company seemingly acknowledges that consumers and businesses alike may not be totally ready for a complete switch over to a new platform when Microsoft kills support in April.
Still, the company is taking the opportunity to remind customers that the effectiveness of anti-malware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited. Running out-of-date software is just plain bad news and bad business.
Of course, for many companies, it's not as simple as moving from Windows XP to Windows 7. They may be using "extremely" old legacy software – running in DOS even – that may not perform well in a newer platform. That said, upgrading may continue to take longer than Microsoft had hoped while customers seek out new solutions (and budgets) to replace their legacy software.
"Our goal is to provide great anti-malware solutions for our consumer and business customers," the blog adds. "We will continue to work with our customers and partners in doing so, and help our customers complete their migrations as Windows XP end of life approaches."
Microsoft will continue to provide updates to its anti-malware signatures and engine for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015.