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back to article Microsoft to push out penultimate XP patch on March Patch Tuesday

Microsoft plans to push out five bulletins - two of which cover critical flaws - as part of the March edition of Patch Tuesday. One of the critical updates offers relief from a 0-day (unpatched but being exploited) vulnerability in Internet Explorer discovered about three weeks ago. Microsoft previously addressed the issue with …

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I have an old Lenovo laptop running XP. I never connect it to the internet, I use it for things like running diagnostic tools on my cars.

Microsoft can get bent if they think I'm going to pay to upgrade to Windows 8.Sh1te.

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I see that your computer is infected with the leet virus. Good luck.

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Dearly departed.

It is with unfortunate regret that we inform you that Yugguy has passed away in an auto accident. Shortly after performing maintenance on his Honda Civic his car was seen speeding out of control before crashing in to a concrete pylon and bursting in to flame. Upon further investigation a Stuxnet variant was found on a thumb drive in his laptop computer. No other details are available at this time.

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Re: Dearly departed.

"No other details are available at this time." Lies…. his last reported words were "I REGRET NOTHING!" ;)

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Re: Dearly departed.

"Shortly after performing maintenance on his Honda Civic his car was seen speeding out of control"

It would have been much more believable if you said it were a 2009-2011 Prius.

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Anonymous Coward

Your laptop won't suddenly stop working just because the OS is no longer supported.

Since you never connect it to the Internet the update with the nag screen will not be installed.

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You can take Windows XP from my cold, dead, smeared over the dashboard hands.

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Anonymous Coward

Critical Internet Explorer vulnerability ..

"One of the critical updates offers relief from a 0-day (unpatched but being exploited) vulnerability in Internet Explorer discovered about three weeks ago"

This wouldn't be such a problem except Microsoft embedded Internet Explorer so deeply into the Operating System ..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Critical Internet Explorer vulnerability ..

...although, now, they say it only affects 9 and 10. I thought it was _just_ 10 previously. Anyway the point is that it doesn't affect XP then. Or perhaps it _only_ affects 8, 9 and 10. Or XP doesn't require all 5 patches.

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Re: Critical Internet Explorer vulnerability ..

"This wouldn't be such a problem except Microsoft embedded Internet Explorer so deeply into the Operating System .."

It is indeed one of the bundled apps (like NOTEPAD) and that app uses a bundled MSHTML control (just as NOTEPAD uses the bundled EDIT control), but all the code runs in user-space and no-one seriously argues that NOTEPAD is "part of the OS".

The myth that IE is "part of the OS" will outlive Windows XP.

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Microsoft said it was

They explicitly stated that Internet Explorer was "an integral part of the OS as their get-out-of-jail argument during the monopolist abuse lawsuits.

United States v. Microsoft Corporation, for committing monopolization

So don't blame people for believing them.

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Re: Critical Internet Explorer vulnerability ..

Notepad could be uninstalled easily from XP. Internet Explorer, on the other hand...

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Re: Critical Internet Explorer vulnerability ..

Notepad could be uninstalled easily from XP. Internet Explorer, on the other hand...

Mostly because the Add/Remove Programs dialog box (amongst other things) is actually written in HTML on XP and rendered using IE.

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Re: The myth that IE is "part of the OS"

This is not a myth. It is a legally established Fact.

If it were otherwise, MS would likely have lost that big Windows 95 antitrust suit to Netscape. And because of that I expect that no matter how much any current or future computer programmer wants to argue that it should be separated for the good of the system, the lawyers won't let them.

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Re: The myth that IE is "part of the OS"

"This is not a myth. It is a legally established Fact."

Those aren't mutually exclusive options, you know. I indicated my reasons for believing IE is "just another application". You can check it all out with the SysInternals tools and a copy of the dependency walker from an old SDK. Or you can believe the lawyers. You choose.

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Anonymous Coward

Is it done?

Does this fix it? Is XP now of merchantable quality, after more than a decade of fixes?

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Re: Is it done?

"Does this fix it? Is XP now of merchantable quality, after more than a decade of fixes?"

Security is a journey, not a destination, regardless of which OS you use.

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"Microsoft will start serving up nagging pop-ups, and migration advice, to irritated XP laggards from tomorrow – Saturday 8 March." Not if you blocked the windows update download it won't. Those running internal update servers will, no doubt, block its delivery.

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Anonymous Coward

All things being equal, we should have completed the move of XP machines to Windows 7 by April.

Can't complain about the cost, some of those desktops were 8 years old.

Save an old laptop, which might remain in use with Insider solely to check Wireless access point strength around the site. And infrequently at that.

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I already received the "nagging pop-ups your-xp-is-soon-dead" udpated yesterday evening on my old xp laptop,

which I still unsure what to do with, maybe I will put some light linux version on it as I'm only using it for hdd monitoring mostly nowaday.

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Is one able to stop these nagging pop-ups when they appear?

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Re: Is one able to stop these nagging pop-ups when they appear?

According to MS you can

See: http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/windowsexperience/archive/2014/03/03/new-windows-xp-data-transfer-tool-and-end-of-support-notifications.aspx

But you may just want to avoid downloading the update: Windows XP End of Support Notification (KB2934207)

However, if you are also running Microsoft Security Essentials, you will also get a permanent reminder in the system tray. From what I can find out now (ie. before the March patch update) is the time to disable auto updating.

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Daddy, what is XP?

We migrated in 2009 without any problems - although my previous employer still uses XP today; they are insolvent and can't afford any new paperclips, let alone new PCs or software.

I had one piece of hardware at home that required XP, that was an ISDN PABX, but that has been kicked out, now that I have swapped providers and the new line is100% VOIP and kicked out the ISDN, all the home machines are now on Windows 8.

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Re: Daddy, what is XP?

I think the real point under your post is that much of today's problem probably dates to decisions made concerning desktop refresh in 2007~2010.

Certainly, for one client of mine who were forced to implement an MS-based ERP system asap in 2008 we took the decision to use Server 2003, Sql-Server 2000 and XP, because that meant we were able to fully leverage both the client's and the vendor's expertise with their existing product set to expedite installation and minimise IT risks. However, two years later (without the same time pressures) we went live with the ERP vendor's brand new (and more suitable) product set that supported (and benefited from) a more up-to-date MS server and desktop infrastructure.

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Re: Daddy, what is XP?

You are lucky. I am using a lot of development tools on my machines and they don't run properly on Windows 7 or 8.

The supplier of these tools? Why, it's Microsoft themselves.

So in effect they are the sole reason which is stopping my up/down/bloatgrade to Win 7/8 and they still want to nag me to move from a working platform to an environment which their tools won't work. What manner of madness is this?

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Re: Daddy, what is XP?

>The supplier of these tools? Why, it's Microsoft themselves.

Know the problem, I remember the fun and games of implementing a web site with MS interference, it was decided to use ASP.NET; only problem key products in the MS product suite the MS guys had identified the client would need, didn't supported ASP.NET and wouldn't for 2+ years....

The laugh was that if MS hadn't interfered the website could of been built in weeks using (non-MS) COTS products from an establish enterprise solution vendor.

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Re: Daddy, what is XP?

I know the problem, I have an entire accounting system written in COBOL ... oh wait - it's still working.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Daddy, what is XP?

That accounting system running on Cobol? Is it still running on the same OS? No? You mean mainframes OSes go out of support as well? Did you know that z/OS 1.01.0 went on sale 11/01/2001 and support ceased 31/03/2004?

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Re: Daddy, what is XP?

We still have a DEC Alpha server (about the size of 2 19" racks) in our server room, because one customer still hasn't migrated!

Funnily, on the desktop they just started replacing XP with Vista as it came out and then 7 and 8, as old machines were retired...

When a drive failed on the DEC last year and they couldn't easily get a replacement, they suddenly decided, that it might be a good idea to migrate to a more modern platform!

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"... one more thing"

I can imagine the following scenario developing:-

1. MS releases its last XP update next month and soon thereafter the pile of exploits that malware miscreants have been hoarding starts to roll into new hacks.

2. After two months, MS releases a "one more thing" patch that squashes lots of them.

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Re: "... one more thing"

Well the solution is to install MS SteadyState and a cloud-based AV (browser/internet security scanner) - no need to worry about OS security holes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "... one more thing"

If there was something that created a worm all over the internet via a no user intervention remote exploit like the Morris worm and within the next few months, then just maybe Microsoft would patch it. Otherwise nope - not going to happen. Dead is dead.

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Update ?

Oh well looks like I will have to get a windows 7 disk then.

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Anonymous Coward

So, in order to "stimulate" its own OS revenues, MS is not only withdrawing support of XP, but will continue to identify vulns that affect "all versions" of WIndows. Cyber-baddies of the world will be thanking their lucky stars! What's good for MS, its shareholders and the US economy may not be so good for the rest of the world. Why isn't MS the target for an anti-trust case?

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you shouldn't have been running windows in the first place

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Thank you but I already have a mother.

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Linux

I wonder how many will be switching to Linux? My dad has an older laptop and he only uses it for email and web. He is sending it to me to back up his data and convert the machine to linux. Probably Kubuntu or some other Ubuntu variant since it is what I am familiar with. Should work fine for his needs, and he won't need to spend a penny.

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Re: Linux

As there wasn't a deluge of people running to Linux after Windows 95 support ended, or Windows 98 or Windows anything else I assume that this time there will also be a lack of a deluge. I realise that Linux users really want people to shift over but if for two decades you can't persuade many people to pay nothing to switch to something totally free with no strings attached other than learning how to use a new OS then it's not really looking good for a mass defection. I'm not against Linux here, I'm just saying the majority of people are perfectly happy to continue with the familiarity of Windows which they see as being free anyway because they bought this PC and it already has Windows. They don't care about the licensing deals and behind the scenes BS that adds a little extra to the cost of their PC.

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Linux

Re: Linux

the majority of people are perfectly happy to continue with the familiarity of Windows which they see as being free anyway because they bought this PC and it already has Windows.

That is the catch! That is why it is called "the MS Windows Tax". It appears to be free, though it is not. And btw, when I offer help with cleaning up, fix a slow, full of viruses PC, I offer a usb drive live Linux Mint persistent system with a few additional packages added to the base one. This would be either near impossible, expensive or plain hard with any version Windows. Cleaning and troubleshooting a Windows setup is more expensive than the original license. My setup is advertised as a viruses-immune, never aging, self-cleaning system. If this "ad" is true, and the system works and suits the needs, I install on the hard drive. No need to relearn and get used to the new operating system. At the very end, I do explain that it is not MS Windows, but a GNU/Linux distribution.

For the time being, I charge for the usb flash drive. Things are pretty automated now. When I get more people asking for the same, I might start charging them a pack of beers or a bottle of wine :)

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Re: Linux

Good, try also Linux Mint 16 Mate (based on Ubuntu). I use that one for this purpose.

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Re: Linux

I wonder how many will be switching to Linux? My dad has an older laptop and he only uses it for email and web. He is sending it to me to back up his data and convert the machine to linux. Probably Kubuntu or some other Ubuntu variant since it is what I am familiar with. Should work fine for his needs, and he won't need to spend a penny.

If I might interject here since you seem to be a Debian Fan (Much like me FTM...). You couldn't do any worse then trying to give the latest Cinnamon Mint 16, a chance. Unlike the *'buntu's (Well to be fair I'm not famillure with KDE Environment of Kbuntu. Though, as I have either stayed with the default Gnome 2.0 of older versions, of Ubuntu. I'm less sure what to make out of the new-ish Unity Interface though. The consensus seems to suggest its approaching that Windows 8 levels of suckiness though.

In any case if your trying to convert a longtime XP user over to the Light Side then install Cinnamon Mint Linux. Chances are they'll hardly notice the difference. Its that XP like. Which even I'll concede is a VERY GOOD THING!

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Re: Linux

As there wasn't a deluge of people running to Linux after Windows 95 support ended, or Windows 98 or Windows anything else I assume that this time there will also be a lack of a deluge. I realise that Linux users really want people to shift over but if for two decades you can't persuade many people to pay nothing to switch to something totally free with no strings attached other than learning how to use a new OS then it's not really looking good for a mass defection. I'm not against Linux here, I'm just saying the majority of people are perfectly happy to continue with the familiarity of Windows which they see as being free anyway because they bought this PC and it already has Windows. They don't care about the licensing deals and behind the scenes BS that adds a little extra to the cost of their PC.

There was a huge difference between a Linux of the late 90's, and the Ones of today. The Ones back then were very academic for those who either wanted to, or were forced to actually wanting to learn how to write Code, and then be able to compile it. Distros were a complete fecking Nightmare sometimes spanning well over 20 CD-Rs for the OS + all its Libraries & Apps. Even I'll admit I totally lost it even then. Thankfully most of that now sits on a Server that's only an "apt-get" away now.

Another thing to consider is the fact that these Linux Distros have also had over 20+ Years as you say to mature. And Linux's like say Mint really are ready for Prime Time. If anything may kill it its the age old argument that my Application of Choice. (Beit Photoshop, M$ Office, your favorite Shooter, or the copy of AutoCAD you've been depending on since forever!). In which case you should as a responsible customer of the latter contact AutoDesk, and convince them of the need to port their Product over to Linux. Which unlike your conventional wisdom would say IS NOT against closed Source, Commercial Software! As long as you don't otherwise write your Code using any GPL stuff. And, even it they did. They can still lock up their beef & Potatoes just fine as Binary Blurbs. nVidia + ATi have been doing so for years now! M$O can be ran just fine inside Wine. As to Games. Well lets see where the SteamBox goes, in the next few Months.

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MJI
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My PC is quite new but had to have XP at the time

I built it before 7 and used a XP Pro licence as there was nothing else I could easily install at the time.

No easy update to any other OS.

I suppose I will have to watch the XP embedded PC at a customers and copy things off that

The other PC is 10 years old and already boots into Mint as well.

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Haven't I heard this song before?

"Our current version of Windows is the bestest, safest, most secure OS in the World!

Do-Dah! Do-Dah!

Unlike the crappy, buggy mess we sold before.

Oh! De-do-dah-DAY!"

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But...

so, why didn't they do this when MS-Basic no longer was supported?

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Stock up on popcorn NOW! I plan to have quite a large storage bin of the stuff, come April 8th when all the stores run out I'll quietly make a smallish fortune. a quad Xeon, 16 Black Titan behemoth workstation's worth of a smallish fortune, I hope.

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Most laptops and desktops currently running XP were built to run XP only. The hardware requirements to upgrade to 7 or Vista will make the upgrade too costly for most users. There are still 200 million licensed users of XP. I don't see that changing much in the near future.

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"Most laptops and desktops currently running XP were built to run XP only."

Of my laptops and desktop that were running XP, they were also capable of running Vista.

That said, they all run Linux right now. Even with my WSUS server doing its job, patching everything else on the system was a time sapper.

Meanwhile, my wife's machine runs 64 bit Vista, which was always... cumbersome in operation. She's tired enough of it that she's actually seriously considering having Linux on it.

Once she finally decides, I can retire one ancient DC and WSUS server and dedicate them to something useful, such as serving media to the house (what I did for the other DC).

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Re: desktops currently running XP were built to run XP only.

Patently not true. When I built the dual boot system I still use at home Vista had just arrived with its beefy requirements. I think that was back in 08 or 09, but the quad 660 was the sweet spot for processors at the time.* Vista was such crap most organizations ordering new equipment ordered XP even if there was an added cost. That persisted until Windows 7, which actually had less requirement for hardware overhead than Vista did.

*I remember it because I'd finally decided "to hell with it, I'm blowing a wad of cash on memory and video card instead of planning to upgrade and never getting around to it." And then a colleague pointed out that my 8G of RAM was pointless without the 64-bit Vista system. So I bought the 64-bit Vista and with the 8G it was barely tolerable because it was still a crap OS with little driver support and badly tested processes in the heart of the OS.

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Keeping to XP until...

Both my PCs have XP Pro running, switched off MS updates ages ago when an untested (must have been) update deleted MSDOS.SYS so no boot.

Looking to update PCs but not want Win (H)8. Gave up on Lego years ago.

May be a good thing that MS are to 'reintroduce' Win 7 soon, hopefully on disk or download for those who want to 'update' from XP to Win 7.

Else XP stays until a descent and stable OS is on the market (yeah ok , I know about Linux etc).

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