back to article Microsoft nixes A-V updates for XP, exposes 180 MEEELLION luddites

Windows XP holdouts are even more danger than ever after Microsoft abandoned anti-malware support for the ancient platform. Redmond overnight stopped providing XP support for new and existing installs of its Security Essentials package. The run-as-needed Malicious Software Removal Tool has also been axed, while support for …

People still use Vista?

Different strokes ....

5
1
Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: People still use Vista?

People still depend on Microsoft?

Submissive doggy-style ....

14
3
Gimp

Re: People still use Vista?

It's deeply disturbing what people get up to in the perceived privacy of their own homes. Still, as long as they aren't hurting anyone else...

12
0
Silver badge

Re: People still use Vista?

Win8?

Vinegar strokes..

4
1
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: People still use Vista?

"as long as they aren't hurting anyone else..."

That's the trouble with all these unpatched machines connected to Internet. They do not intentionally hurt anyone else, but these hordes of zombie PCs have very real use to criminals. I am toying with the idea that harm by negligence should be applied to owners of such computers, but of course since law is only applied locally it wouldn't help much anyway...

11
3
Bronze badge

Re: People still use Vista?

Nope. The only unpatched machines I have connected directly to the internet are ADSL modem/routers and modem/firewall appliences. And they all run varients of Linux, so I'm completely safe.

0
1
Anonymous Coward

I'd prefer an OS with a bundled Tape Backup

over one that doesn't

e.g. WIndiws XP & Windows Server 2003.

What's the point of using anything else if you can't backup 1TB of data on your system in less than a day?

8
2
Anonymous Coward

How does this change ANYTHING?

Shirley everyone still running XP does so either:

a) With AVG free

2) Offline

c) Protected by a firewall/VM

iv) Wassa?

or

5) Some combination of the above

Really can't see MS pissing about with its "Security Essentials" having any effect on any of those.

PS Why are we allowed to play with < UL > but not < OL >?

18
0
Gold badge

Re: How does this change ANYTHING?

Anyone still running XP online is *now* protected by whatever defences are provided by the root kit that took over their PC last year.

Microsoft have (through 2k3 support) been publishing zero-days for XP for over a year now. The act of connecting to the interwebs to update your Security Essentials package is probably riskier than leaving the machine offline. (In the latter case, you are limited to things that you import by hand and you have some control over those.)

2
8
Anonymous Coward

Re: How does this change ANYTHING?

Exactly.

...but what about Reg's list discrimination? It's a scandal.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: How does this change ANYTHING?

The stats presented are from browsing. So the numbers are not for "offline"

8
0
Silver badge

Re: How does this change ANYTHING?

>Really can't see MS pissing about with its "Security Essentials" having any effect on any of those.

Well the only problem I can see is that if you have Security Essentials installed and a third-party suite then if the two AV engines are playing nicely, you may have a security hole due to your third-party tool allowing space for Security Essentials to scan...

So the best action is to uninstall Security Essentials and reinstall your favourite third-party suite (this time it won't find Security Essentials and so will fully enable it's AV functionality). This also has the benefit of getting rid of the red security flag in the system tray and the various warnings telling you that XP is no longer supported.

Additionally, you do need to leave WUP set to "Automatic: Notify me but don't..." to get rid of the other red security flag telling you that your system is insecure because you don't have WUP enabled. This also means that you still get notice of other MS updates such as those for Office 2007, which todate have worked just fine on XP.

Obviously, the real security problems begin when the third-party AV suites start dropping support for XP.

7
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: How does this change ANYTHING?

Shirley everyone still running XP does so either:

I used a locked down VM. As I don't use Windows often, I have a copy of XP I occasionally start up for the 10 minutes I need it for. Once the result has been exported, the VM is stopped, and the previous machine state restored. Vulnerable or not, it means there is little chance something can be installed that lasts. About the only annoying thing is all the warnings of the Microsoft stuff being out of date, so I'm happy they stop that, it will cut down the noise :).

3
1
Silver badge

Re: How does this change ANYTHING?

>Obviously, the real security problems begin when the third-party AV suites start dropping support for XP.

And the real connectivity problems begin when the third-party browsers (ie. Chrome/Firefox/Maxthon etc.) stop being updated for XP and websites no longer support access from older browsers, just as they are increasingly doing for IE8.

But then with no supported browser, XP will effectively become a standalone machine and hence very secure...

4
0
Silver badge
Happy

Re: How does this change ANYTHING?

Malwarebytes still supports XP. 'nuff said.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: How does this change ANYTHING?

> PS Why are we allowed to play with < UL > but not < OL >?

One does not simply play with < OL >.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

"We strongly recommend that you complete your migration to a supported operating system"

Ok, let me see : what's the latest supported OS close to XP? Ah, WIndows 7. Good, I'll have one of them. Oh no, I can't seem to get hold of a copy.

Windows 8, then ... WTF is this ???

It'll have to be Apple or Linux then :(

[Despite the interesting coincidence of timing, I don't think WIndows 10 is quite ready yet to be the alternative that Microsoft would like people to go to.]

28
7
Anonymous Coward

Re: "We strongly recommend that you complete your migration to a supported operating system"

Not sure why "Apple or Linux" provoke the frown - I regularly use both and find both to be very good.

13
1

Re: "We strongly recommend that you complete your migration to a supported operating system"

Equally, and at the risk of hundreds of downvotes, I don't fully understand why so many people reject Windows 8 either (and I'm typically an Apple or Linux kinda guy). I use it at work everyday, set to boot to desktop with my favourite programs pinned to the taskbar or on the Desktop, and I don't remember the last time I even saw the new "Start screen".

It's largely no different to Windows 7, except for the fact that it boots up faster than Windows 7 did. People will make mountains out of molehills.

13
12
Anonymous Coward

Re: "We strongly recommend that you complete your migration to a supported operating system"

I was a bit misleading there, I think. The frown was reflecting the realisation that a windows-only user has nowhere to go other than outside it, and not a reflection on the merits of either alternative.

7
0
Silver badge
Devil

Re: "We strongly recommend that you complete your migration to a supported operating system"

"Not sure why "Apple or Linux" provoke the frown - I regularly use both and find both to be very good."

They're not blackmailware. People who have paid the protection money already are bitter.

7
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: Can't get hold of Windows 7????????

Try harder, e.g.

Ebuyer.com

Quickfind 259863

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1

£68 while stocks last

http://www.ebuyer.com/259863-windows-7-home-premium-w-sp1-64bit-low-cost-packaging-gfc-02733

Also available: Win7 Pro 64bit, Win 7 Home Premium 32bit, ....

This is not a recommendation for any particular vendor (especially as this one uses the UK;s least favourite delviery companyl for deliveries), just an example.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "We strongly recommend that you complete your migration to a supported operating system"

FFS. Windows 7 is still very much available. If you can't find a copy that's your problem.

3
0
Happy

Re: "We strongly recommend that you complete your migration to a supported operating system"

Why not switch to Windows 8.1.1 and install Start8 (or similar); 'works fine, really well actually.

1
0
Silver badge

It's a sad indictment of our industry....

... that a company can readily admit:

"Please note that since the above real-time protection products have limited effectiveness on PCs that do not have the latest security updates, your PC will still be at risk for infection," Redmond says.

and no-one raises an eyebrow

8
4
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: It's a sad indictment of our industry....

Sad indictment or not, it hasn't shocked anyone for more than 15 years that a Windows PC is incredibly vulnerable from all manner of security threats. I think my first exposure was to the Stoned boot-sector virus, many years ago. And for every instance that has popped since then, my hatred of supporting Windows for other people has magnified a thousand times over. That's why there's no reaction to a statement that "your PC will still be at risk for infection" as such.

1
6
Silver badge

Re: It's a sad indictment of our industry....

Any real-time protection relies on knowing what bad things are out there or how malware generally behaves (holistics). It can only work based on knowing what has happened before. If new malware comes along, working in a new manner, then the protection system won't recognize it, so won't protect.

Therefore the first defence is to ensure that any know security holes are patched.

1
1

Re: It's a sad indictment of our industry....

Well, Windows Vista/7 with MSE, and Windows 8.1.1 with Windows Defender are more secure than Windows XP right now. Windows Vista has been available since 2006, Windows 7 since 2009; I don't think one can say Microsoft has been negligent as they've providing alternatives to XP for 9 years (almost a decade) now.

4
3
Anonymous Coward

Hilarious:

>> "From now on it will be easier than ever for cyber criminals to find vulnerabilities and penetrate the XP platform without being noticed."

That's been happening since day one of XP's release and MSE is no more useful than an ashtray on a motorbike.

9
0
Happy

Two points to make - Linux & W7

1) I have a Samsung NC10 Netbook which was supplied with XP. Despite being a great little piece of kit, it has lain unused for the last year or so, as I did not want to risk linking it to my home network, and have newer hardware. Last week I needed an extra PC to connect to the internet, so I installed Ubuntu on it (downloaded onto a thumb drive), and its fantastic. It allows the NC10 to be useful once more, and the learning curve is not as steep as I feared, after using Android phones and tablets for half a decade. I truly believe that the end of XP will (well, should) encourage people to try Linux.

2) I bought a windows 7 PC last night. It's still readily available on new PCs from Chillblast. In fact they highlight it as their recommended OS.

13
1
Silver badge

Re: Two points to make - Linux & W7

> I have a Samsung NC10 Netbook

Yes, netbooks, much maligned (and rightly so given the specifications of what most vendors shipped) a few years back, are pretty good when coupled with an appropriate OS and function. Given their power consumption and built in battery, they make good network appliances (particularly if you replace the HDD with an SSD), only other constraint is you tend to be limited to 32-bit OS's and 2GB of RAM.

4
0
PT

Re: Two points to make - Linux & W7

... given the specifications of what most vendors shipped ...

You do realize, I suppose, that those specifications were imposed by Microsoft as an anti-Linux action? They were a condition of manufacturers getting the loathsome crippleware "Windows 7 Starter Edition" practically free, and threatened with unfavorable terms for grown-up Windows if they didn't comply, they all caved.

1
0
MJI
Silver badge

My PC works, and I have better things to spend money on

I did run a routine to see what could be installed, but too many games will not run on 8.x/10 according to it. (eg Half Life) Also something missing from the CPU.

I _PAID_ for XP Pro on my PC, it still works well after a full rebuild a few years ago with a quad core CPU.

My PC still works fine, apart from Linux I have to buy an OS AGAIN, but I have paid for an OS and the one I have works.

So people think I have to abandon paid for games, working PC hardware, for OSes which are strange (8.x and 10) or near end of life (7), or require all software replaced (Linux).

Well I am going to see who long my PC lasts with firewall, AV, and being carefull, off site backups of any important data and see where it goes.

I have been burnt by paying for OSes, deliberate EOL, removal of too many features, so stuff it Mint here I come. Oh and carry on the WINE experiments.

10
3

Re: My PC works, and I have better things to spend money on

To be fair, if being able to run a game released in 1998 is a core requirement for your system you are at this point pretty far from the mean and median for any reasonable set of "core requirement" values.

I also wouldn't characterise 7 as near-EOL - if you've gone for the Pro version you've still got another 4 years left.

If I were in your case, I'd be keeping one partition for general use and another for gaming, with the latter unable to go online. Yes, it's a minor PITA, but then the kind of games you're talking about won't be looking for patches or other signs of connectivity anyway, so wouldn't be too big an issue for me...

4
1
MJI
Silver badge

Re: My PC works, and I have better things to spend money on

Gaming will need connection as I bought them quite recently from Steam!

Done HL2 so I wanted to do HL and see how it started

2
1

Re: My PC works, and I have better things to spend money on

If you want to do HL you'd be better off (IMO, of course) playing Black Mesa than the original. I got some way into the mod version and was very impressed by it, then lost interest at some of the platformy bits, but the whole thing is being redone as a standalone game to be released soonish. Also, a sidenote to the conversation - if you haven't already done so, install and play Minerva, it is a sufficiently good HL2 mod that its developer was hired by Valve as a result.

You could always install what games you need then enable Offline Mode for your gaming partition Steam install, if you wanted to. Depends how often you buy additional old games, I guess.

0
0

Re: My PC works, and I have better things to spend money on

"I did run a routine to see what could be installed, but too many games will not run on 8.x/10 according to it. (eg Half Life) Also something missing from the CPU.""

For what it may be worth Half Life certainly does run on Windows 8 (unless my gaming box is some kind of freaky exception to the rule).

3
0

Re "Most remaining XP users are based in Pakistan and Egypt"

So NetMarketShare have never heard of the tiny country called China where almost EVERYONE uses XP. These stats are so meaningless anyway - what would be better to know is what percentage of users are susceptible to NetMarketShare's spying. Probably not that many.

7
0
Silver badge
Holmes

What *is* the situation with the NHS?

I was in a very large UK hospital recently and walking around could not fail to see every single PC was running XP. It was glaringly obvious this was policy - not one deviation from the dozens I saw, even right down to them all running the default background wallpaper.

There seems to be some special arrangement with ms, but lemme guess who's nose its being paid through.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: What *is* the situation with the NHS?

Those responsible for those machines, unlike domestic or domestic Chinese XP machines, are (supposedly) taking steps to protect and look after them until they can manage a transition to something that isn't XP.

Equally the cost of such maintenance is presumably less than the cost and anarchy of a wholesale plunge into changing desktops and those systems that require an XP client.

1
0
Bronze badge

Microsoft Marketing , useless beyond belief.

Someone you know has asked you to take on looking after a new puppy, they've called it Windows 10. Its free, and says he promises to make sure it gets its injections, to prevent any illness.

It'll probably pi.ss over a few things to start with, but over time should settle. It should do what its told, but needs to be fed its expensive regular food 'Office 2016/365', for some reason it won't eat the perfectly free alternative diet of LibreOffice (Well that's what you're told).

The puppy expects you to constantly play with its new toys MS Edge and Cortana which you're warned will become tiresome and tedius, even after a few minutes.

Trouble is, you've just seen how he treats his existing dog 'XP'. He's told everyone publicly, bar you he's cutting his costs and no longer going to support it, stopping even its injections - even though its a perfectly reliable old dog, and lots of other people love it.

Most think its now likely to die a slow death from something it caught. HIs only interest now is this new pup, Windows 10 - that pis.ses everywhere at the moment.

Do you take the new dog? or look for an alternative, a spritely looking Penguin say.

15
13
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Microsoft Marketing , useless beyond belief.

Someone you know has asked you to take on looking after a new puppy...

I say no, because I've already got a cat that I like, who's friendly (for certain values of friendly), independent (for many values of this), looks after herself as much as a pet can, and who generally does everything I expect a pet to. I'm not quite sure where to take this analogy next.

But I won't be running Windows 10 on anything ever.

2
3

Re: Microsoft Marketing , useless beyond belief.

@Adam:

Nice try on the FUD. Sadly, you're talking bollocks on the technical aspects of 10 (Cortana only works if you're logged in with a Microsoft account, you can disable it if you don't want to use it with your MS account, and you don't have to have an MS account to use Windows 10 in any case. Ditto Office365 vs LibreOffice, OpenOffice and probably plenty of others....),

As for your claim that it's "perfectly reasonable" to use an OS that is at this point 4 versions back from the imminently-current release (not to mention almost 14 bloody years old and designed around a completely different hardware and usage paradigm to that which is standard today) - it's either in relation to a use case so niche it cannot possibly be considered relevant to most users, or just founded on utter ignorance about everything that's changed in the Windows ecosystem since then.

It's one thing to not run eg Fedora because you don't want to upgrade every 6-12 months, but complaining that an OS upgrade once every 10 years is too frequent is the sort of thing that deserves little except derision.

In the phrasing of your own analogy it's more like - concerned relatives stage an intervention to try and get you to accept that you need to let go of the mouldering corpse of your dog (which has been dead over a year), with an offer of a new, similar but non-identical, puppy to help you with the transition. Meanwhile, you sit there cradling the mouldering corpse and insisting that everything's fine and he's going to live for several more years. Eventually, a couple of burly chaps are called in to fit you with a new overcoat and some fancy sleeves...

12
6
Bronze badge

Re: Microsoft Marketing , useless beyond belief.

You're completely missing the point that the new pup turns into an old dog over time, you know how it will get treated, eventually.

3
3
Stop

Re: Microsoft Marketing , useless beyond belief.

Yes.

But eventually it will die. And as much as you can remember how you used to run across the green fields together and have fun in a simpler time you also have to move on because you cannot really live in the past forever.

the only claim that you have on "fairness" is the question of lifespan. Was 14 years a good life span for your dog "WIN-XP"?

I had a cat called WIN-98SE who died aged 3 in 2002...

3
1

@Adam

You're completely missing the point that the new pup turns into an old dog over time, you know how it will get treated, eventually.

Well, yes. Eventually it'll go out of support and reach the stage called "end of life".

This is hardly a surprise though, given that they tell you the supported lifespan for the OS. I mean, they even divide it into "Mainstream" and "Extended" support. And in the case of XP they even provided more support than initially anticipated on the Extended support front by several years because of the size of the userbase.

What you're saying is about as stupid as if I were to try and claim that Red Hat should provide me with ongoing free fix backporting for an ancient Fedora Core 6 install because "I've got it set up just how I want it" and "it's still perfectly usable", despite the fact that they never agreed to support it beyond the end of 2007 and the existence of over a dozen subsequent releases.

In short, just because you want it doesn't mean anyone has to give it to you. It is neither new nor particularly unreasonable for vendors to have EOL dates for operating systems, nor for them to suggest that users currently on an EOL platform to migrate to a new, supported platform.

8
1

Re: Microsoft Marketing , useless beyond belief.

@Adam : first prize for ridiculous analogy of the day. Let me take it one step further :

I actually own a dog. It'll be 12 years old next August, and I have treated it like a member of the family for all that time. When it got sick, I took it to the vet. When it was hit by a car, I fed it by hand to get it through.

But I know that in a few years it will be close to end of life. I will have to take it to the vet for the last time, to end the pain. I know this because I have had to do this before. I will mourn the loss, and I will get a new dog.

2
0

Re: Microsoft Marketing , useless beyond belief.

My preferred means of running XP is via a virtual machine with no net access using a Linux system where my Linux host is PCLinuxOs. The latter being a "Rolling" distribution is always up to date.

1
0
Silver badge
Windows

If

the following m$ products to Xp were'nt so crap, there'd be a bigger user share for each of them

Vista and win8 were/are total and utter piles of poo, Win7 works.. but then win7 needs a higher spec machine than Xp, and you cant buy new licences for it anyway.

Which explains why people have winxp machines still

4
8
Anonymous Coward

Re: If

" win7 ... you cant buy new licences for it anyway."

Where does this story come from? Somebody's shiny-centric IT department, presumably.

Ebuyer have been mentioned already. See also e.g. CPC/Farnell who may be a better fit than ebuyer for some organisations' Approved Suppliers List.

If you don't mind going a bit greyer and a half/third the price, genuine Refurbisher licences with CoA for all the usual flavours of Win7 are available on Amazon.

Doubtless the Bay has a variety of offers of varying trustworthiness too.

Or for a slightly different tactic: Windows 7 Pro 64bit, including free refurb Dell Optiplex 745 SFF, £90, from a Microsoft Authorised Refurnisher. Seek and ye shall find.

2
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017