back to article Microsoft warns of post-April zero day hack bonanza on Windows XP

Microsoft has a Windows XP problem: people still like it and aren't willing to upgrade just yet. So it's warning users that if they don’t upgrade soon, hackers will lie in wait each new Patch Tuesday to reverse-engineer a full set of new vulnerabilities. "The very first month that Microsoft releases security updates for …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait, hear that?

    Common sense is breaking out at Microsoft.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wait, hear that?

      Common sense? For the shareholders perhaps.

      But the deliberate creation of a situation of 100s of millions of machines on the internet open to vulnerabilities published by M$ is cyber blackmail on a gargantuan scale. This policy, based entirely on M$'s need to generate revenue from new OS license sales, could result in a step increase in the proportion of compromised devices on the Internet from which to launch attacks on everyone else.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Wait, hear that?

        What might be considered blackmail by some, could be considering the required motivation to get off my arse and install Linux on the wifes' machine by others.

        1. bill 36

          Re: Wait, hear that?

          I've already started to do just that. I've had Ubuntu on trial for over 18 months. Its very good and stable with no driver issues (at least on my hardware) but i don't like Unity and its a little slow. Now i've installed Mint xfce on the same hardware. I had to fix one issue with graphics drivers on install and still have a minor issue with a realtek chip set on the wifi. But, i like the desktop (Mate) and its quick. Looks good and will do all that is required. I've also installed it on the wife's Asus netbook which also works really well without issue.

          I've also trialled Opensuse and Debian in the past and still have Opensuse on an old laptop with a Pentium 4 and 512mB of memory. I use it as a jukebox. Works like a dream.

          So, MS, the writing is on the wall. The LInux people are getting their act together. I'll be using XP until l it dies and unless there is a compelling reason to stay, i'll be installing Linux next.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wait, hear that?

            Unfortunately you are one of a tiny minority. The problem here is the many, many people with old Windows machines who haven't got a clue about updating them but are connected to broadband. If I wanted to create a botnet, and Microsoft obligingly accidentally revealed a way in to these machines, even if 80% of users had replaced Windows that is still a lot of machines for me to exploit. And in reality it will be more like 2% that change to Linux.

            You underestimate the stupidity of the public.

            Slightly off topic, Apple don't, and that explains the iPhone.

            1. Tiirath

              Re: Wait, hear that?

              Apple DONT support a 12 year old OS, why should Microsoft.

              Please take time to read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

              Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones. So when cross systems vulnerabilities get patched in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Widows 8.1 etc., there will have been no patch for Windows XP, that is what the original blog is saying.

              1. Tom 38 Silver badge

                Re: Wait, hear that?

                Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows XP share such a large code base that I'd imagine that if you have a bug that applies to a feature in Windows 7, and that same feature exists in XP, there is a strong chance the same bug exists as well in XP. In a way, you can see MS' position, but you can easily see the counter point as well - these are bugs which you have then fixed, but can no longer be arsed to merge the fix back.

                In an open source project, removing support from a release with this number of active users would be shouted about on the mailing lists, with two inevitable conclusions - firstly, support would be re-enabled, probably with some new members of the security team who are interested in that release and will do release management for it, and secondly, that the project would have some navel gazing as to why so many people are still using the version from 2 releases ago.

                Apple get around this issue by having a strong commercial relationship with their customers, and by regularly updating the OS for nominal fees. An OS X upgrade is less likely to leave your OS half working, as I have seen numerable times from XP->Vista and XP->7 migrations (so much so that now, if I'm asked if I can "quickly help out" and upgrade from XP to anything, I'll refuse and insist on a re-install),

                Apple can do this because they don't make money from the OS, they make it from the hardware and ecosystem - someone buying a Mac is in the market for an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, special mice, ridiculously expensive monitors and so on. MS only make their money from people upgrading or buying new machines.

          2. itzman

            Re: Now i've installed Mint xfce

            ..on the same hardware. I had to fix one issue with graphics drivers on install and still have a minor issue with a realtek chip set on the wifi.

            utterly similar to me. Cept I went with mate. XP still exists in a virtual box, for legacy apps, but they NEVER go near the internet, except one old deliberately never upgraded copy of IE6, that I use to test websites on.

            Crash rate on teh old XP apps is about once per hour using those old apps. crash rate on linux..well the ONLY thing that really messes it up is disconnecting NFS mounted drives, that DOES send the whole system into a total guru meditation as the file browser tries to make sense of things.

            In terms of desktop mail browser office suite and the ability to run the odd specialised windows app, Linux MInt IS XP done properly. Up to date, secure and suits older hardware perfectly.

            Ubuntu Unity and windows 8 have gone off chasing a chimera of mobile swipe screens.

            If all you want is a reliable machine you can use standard office software and internet apps on, Mint is the top contender.

            I actually had to smile when installing a new laser printer in Mint was easier than on XP..

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Now i've installed Mint xfce

              "Well the ONLY thing that really messes it up is disconnecting NFS mounted drives, that DOES send the whole system into a total guru meditation as the file browser tries to make sense of things."

              You need to learn about "umount -l"

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Daniel B.
          Alert

          Re: Wait, hear that?

          What are they supposed to do, retard? Not patch win7 boxes? Continue to piss away resource on patching XP boxes after twelve fucking years?

          Hey, your retard is showing. ;) Of course MS shouldn't be obliged to support what amounts to a really, really ancient OS, especially as Win7 mostly does what is needed. But I also suspect that Win7 is probably going to linger as much as XP thanks to the Fabulous Fred UI saddled on Win8.

          It doesn't matter what MS do.

          Oh, it does matter. A lot. If MS is in fact deliberately adding vulns to an OS, especially one still supported, they are probably liable under serious computer crime laws. I don't think any EULA can exempt them from say the CFAA; I don't think MS has asked their lawyers about the legality of seeding vulns on their OS. It could be interpreted as malicious intent...

          1. Ben Tasker Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Wait, hear that?

            Theyre not seeding vulns, they're patching them. The problem is they wont be creating patches for XP so any vuln that is common to XP and 7 (or 8) will, effectively, lead to them disclosing the details of the vuln despite XP remaining vulnerable.

            Did you just read the headline? Its not a particularly complex concept....

            1. Daniel B.
              Pint

              Re: Wait, hear that? @Ben Tasker

              Ah, I had mis-read the paragraph mentioning the "permanent 0day". What the dude from MS actually says is that the first everything-but-XP patch would fix vulns and that clever reverse engineering would uncover what the vuln is, and thus a new 0day is "born" for XP. I had read it as "next patch update will open vulns". Must be my brain saying "It's Friday, go out already!".

              It does make sense then. At least most companies do seem to be currently on the XP to 7 migration process, so hopefully it won't be much of an issue come April 2014.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: Wait, hear that? @Ben Tasker

                So roughly the equivalent of some gentlemen in dark glasses walking around your shop saying "nice place you've got here be a shame if it burned down ! Now can I interest you in one of our fire alarms ?"

                1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: Wait, hear that? @Ben Tasker

                  More like "Nice shop you have there, pity your fire alarm isn't working. Can I sell you a new one?"

          2. RetroTom

            Re: Wait, hear that?

            they have a popular product.

            they could keep selling it, keep offering new licenses for it, and keep patching it as long as it's relevant, something that is dictated by the market and not board meetings.

            XP is still their most popular OS, the only reason market share has slipped to 2nd is because people are being forced off it / because nothing ships with it. In any other industry it would be identified as the most desirable product and have the most money pumped into it.

            XP is still capable of generating revenue.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Wait, hear that? @RetroTom

              >XP is still capable of generating revenue.

              But MS are determined, they don't want that revenue and are prepared to shot themselves in the foot just to prove the point.

              I've always maintained that MS should release XP Second Edition as a paid for new product, which is basically XP SP4 plus the bits they decided for commercial reasons to not release for XP but did include in Vista and Win7 to encourage people to upgrade. Obviously, a companion release for AD and Group Policy would be useful.

            2. fajensen Silver badge
              Black Helicopters

              Re: Wait, hear that?

              If I was in MS's shoes, I would open-source Windows XP entirely - Mainly as a way to trip up Linux who is on a dangerous trajectory now, but also to suck in game developers who would otherwise be available for games compatible with open source.

              Luckily, Steve Ballmer is still there to destroy shareholder value and drive away business to the competition.

            3. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Wait, hear that?

              "XP is still capable of generating revenue."

              Yup. You _did_ see the line about "premium support" in there didn't you?

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Wait, hear that?

              corrected: "they HAD a popular product."

              corrected: "they should keep selling it..."

              Like I wrote before. Why not release an Windows XP mark 2. Upgraded kernel and subsystems with the classic XP UI.

              Microsoft is a company run by stupid apes. No wonder they team up with Nokia. Idiots meets idiots!

            5. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Wait, hear that?

              "XP is still their most popular OS"

              No, it's the OS most people are stuck with. Windows 7 is their most popular OS for now at least.

        2. hplasm Silver badge
          Gimp

          Be a M$ apologist!

          it's the universal indicator of an idiot who believes himself knowledgeable.

      3. Kellic
        Thumb Down

        Re: Wait, hear that?

        Tell me. Does Apple patch OS's that are 12 years old anymore? Because that is how old XP is. MS has time and time and time again extended out support for XP. At some point enough of this crap. They need to discontinue support for it and use those resources on current OS's.

        What you are suggesting would be the equivalent of supporting Windows 3.11 back in 2007 still.

        I have no problems with abandoning a 12 year old OS. No matter how popular it may be.

        1. revdjenk

          Re: Wait, hear that?

          @Kellic

          ,,,but MS is responsible for the extended XP's life when they kept it going to 'save' the netbook line from the 'evil cancer,' Linux. (Vista was too bloated to fit the limits of the netbook's hardware.)

          So put the blame on MS for this length of service time!

          BTW, if you know someone with an XP box, offer them a dual-boot with a modern Linux; Mint, Ubuntu, or any of the top distros. Using wine, much of their windows games and programs can still but used and run ... or they may discover that the Linux programs are valiant replacements, and many of those already installed with the Linux distro.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wait, hear that?

            "BTW, if you know someone with an XP box, offer them a dual-boot with a modern Linux; Mint, Ubuntu, or any of the top distros. Using wine, much of their windows games and programs can still but used and run"

            Or just upgrade them to Windows 7 for a bullshit free experience that just works...

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Wait, hear that?

          So why does WIn 7 not allow full screen DOS?

          XP does

          Therefore some of us still need XP

        3. Michael Jennings

          Re: Wait, hear that?

          Apple has produced at least six good versions of OS-X in 12 years. They stopped selling the 12 year old version about 11 years ago. Microsoft has produced only one good version of Windows to follow XP in that time. Microsoft was still selling XP licences for new machines (netbooks only, but still new machines) as recently as October 2010, and some of them were still in the channel being sold new as recently as 2011. It's hardly surprising that some of them are still in use.

        4. Manu T

          Re: Wait, hear that?

          "Does Apple patch OS's that are 12 years old anymore?"

          ... and were do they stand? STILL an insignificant blip on the radar. They lost me after they ditched that beautiful brushed metal look from 10.4.x to a ridiculously dated grey gradient 90's look of 10.5 without giving me the option to revert to the brushed metal look (especially when their computers and peripherals finally had a brushed metal enclosures).

          Apple is as bad as microsoft. I'd rather have Acorn computers LTD. back alive than those 2 crap-corporations. It's all crap these days. Crapp phones, crap computers and crap OS's.

        5. Tiirath
          Thumb Up

          Re: Wait, hear that?

          But, But, .. But .. few took time to reed the original Microsoft Blog, so they are fired up by the Reg article that is full of trash.

      4. itzman

        Re: Wait, hear that?

        Its FUD pure and simple.

      5. Goat Jam
        FAIL

        Good lord the retards are out in force today

        "But the deliberate creation of a situation of 100s of millions of machines on the internet open to vulnerabilities"

        Try reading the article for comprehension numbnut.

        Good fucking grief, I'm usually getting hammered here for being too anti MS but in this case they are doing absolutely nothing wrong

      6. Tiirath

        Re: Wait, hear that?

        Please take time to read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

        Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones. So when cross systems vulnerabilities get patched in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Widows 8.1 etc., there will have been no patch for Windows XP, that is what the original blog is saying.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Wait, hear that?

      Cheeky Fuckers.

      Upgrade or we'll tell people how to break your stuff and steal things.

      Blackmail.

      Common sense? Bollocks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wait, hear that?

        Errm, I don't think they're actually going to disclose what the vulnerabilities are in Windows XP directly. Read the article, it stated there that the information can be deduced by reverse engineering the Windows 7 patch and then applying the principles on Windows XP.

        Still, this is a problem … we still support software packages like CitectSCADA 6 which just doesn't run on Windows 7. Moreover, even if it did, the clients for whom we support it, are running it on earlier versions of Windows NT: Windows XP and Windows 2000.

        The saving grace is that these machines are firewalled-off from the Internet. They're also owned by organisations with deep pockets (mining companies, defence, etc) so they can afford the security fixes.

        That's small comfort for us though as a small business who still needs Windows XP because they still use it, and our network is a bit more open in that there's Internet access.

        Guess my only option is to ensure everyone regularly checks their VMs for malware, and works with copy-on-write disk images so that any malware infection can be reversed quickly, whilst ensuring all other systems are kept up-to-date and secure.

        1. croc

          Re: Wait, hear that?

          If I were in your shoes, I'd make an 'air gapped' network for your 'CitectSCADA 6' type of support hardware / personnel and let them 'sneaker net' their way to the internet if they need that. This network would be really cheap to set up... Just a switch or two, some cat 5... No routers involved, no firewalls. OK, the Manuel Labour admin work might be a slight pain, but you DID mention some support for someone called 'defence', yeah?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wait, hear that?

            "If I were in your shoes, I'd make an 'air gapped' network"

            Does Sneakernet mean anything to you?

            Or Stuxnet?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wait, hear that?

          I hope you're right. After all, it wouldnt be the first time that a SCADA system owned by a group with deep pockets was compromised across the internet. Stuxnet attacking the Iranian nuclear program via SCADA vulns springs to mind.

          It's all very well to be air gapped, but doesn't count for much when you have muppets wandering round with USB sticks.

          1. At0micAndy

            Re: Wait, hear that?

            I know of a number of large organisation networks running windows xp where the LANs are not connected to the internet and where USB is disabled. They run, they work, they do the job. Alongside them you can often find smaller LANs that have internet facing PCs, but totally isolated so that never the two will talk. It is not difficult for organisations to make IT decisions, but the cost of change to W7 is indeed huge. Especially if XP and Office still meet the corporate need.

        3. Mike Pellatt

          Scada on Windows ?? Deserve everything you get.

          N/T

        4. itzman

          Re: Wait, hear that?

          The solution is simple. Use a Linux desktop and XP in a virtual machine that is on a separate IP address and prevent any net access from Windows.

          Voila. No vulnerabilities and you can still use (closed|)openDogshit if that's a requirement

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wait, hear that?

            "No vulnerabilities"

            erm, you realise that most Linux distributions have far MORE vulnerabilities than Windows XP?

            1. Chemist

              Re: Wait, hear that?

              "erm, you realise that most Linux distributions have far MORE vulnerabilities than Windows XP?"

              So you KEEP telling us. Makes no difference to me I wouldn't use MS OSs if you offered me a free trip to Vogsphere. Guess I'll just have to be careful

              (You might actually learn something if you analysed the levels of severity of these 'vulnerabilities' )

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Linux distributions have far MORE vulnerabilities"

              "you realise that most Linux distributions have far MORE vulnerabilities than Windows XP?"

              I realise that's what the MS shills say. I hope you're not one.

              I have no idea what the claim actually means (kernel? kernel + OS? Kernel+OS+apps, for example). Or what is classed as a vunerability. It wouldn't make sense to compare a fully loaded Linux distribution against a core OS such as Windows XP. But some people might try it anyway.

              I fact I have no idea what information people have to substantiate that claim, as although I have seen the claim several times I have not yet seen it substantiated.

              There were a few attempts recently to claim that web site defacements were vulnerabilities. Not a good start.

              Are you going to have a go at substantiating your claim, or is it just utter rubbish?

              CVE?

        5. Tiirath

          Re: Wait, hear that?

          Please take time to read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

          Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones. So when cross systems vulnerabilities get patched in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Widows 8.1 etc., there will have been no patch for Windows XP, that is what the original blog is saying.

          CitectSCADA 7 supports Windows 7, other than that you could probably run CitectSCADA 6 in Hiper-V 3 or VMware 9.

          RE your virtual disk comment about people thinking they don't need antivirus and updating of virtual machines .. they do need it unless the host is not connected to the internet.

      2. Kellic
        Facepalm

        Re: Wait, hear that?

        Reverse engineering a patch is not "telling" anyone anything. Your blind hatred for MS is making you critically stupid. The only way to not announce to the world what the patch is, is to not release it. Because you can be assured that if MS released patches without some documentation, IT departments around the world would scream bloody murder. Or tell me does linux release patches without documentation?

        1. Tiirath
          Thumb Up

          Re: Wait, hear that?

          Ahhh sweat words of someone with an entire mind, and who read the original Microsoft Blog .. sadly most have not by the looks of it.

          But I blame the reg writer who was untruthful in this article.

      3. Manu T

        Re: Wait, hear that?

        "Upgrade or we'll tell people how to break your stuff and steal things."

        What? Do they really think we gonna roll over when they bark?

        Microsoft is so fucking stupid. Instead of blackmailing their largest customers-base they should release a Windows XP mark 2 (upgraded internals from Win7/8 and UI of Win XP).

        Why is that so hard? Why so much resistance with Windows XP?

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Wait, hear that?

          "Microsoft is so fucking stupid. Instead of blackmailing their largest customers-base they should release a Windows XP mark 2 (upgraded internals from Win7/8 and UI of Win XP)."

          Not such a great idea - one big reason why people hang on to XP is that older applications that run fine with XP don't work with the Win 7/8 internals, whatever UI you want to put on there.

      4. Tiirath

        Re: Wait, hear that?

        Sadly I think most did just read the headline, and then the 1st to paragraphs. I doubt very much if anyone took the time to read the real blog, because it could not be ore different to what is inferred by the reg in this one.

      5. grammarpolice

        Re: Wait, hear that?

        Of course, when you do upgrade, we'll do exactly the same thing to you again a few years down the line. And that's a promise.

    3. Bob Vistakin
      Linux

      So it's blackmail with Windows and extortion with Android...

      Can anyone guess who Google had in mind when they coined the "do no evil" tag?

  2. Busby

    Been mulling over the idea whether they should be forced to cotinue to support. Since it could be argued that they will be responsible for exposing the holes they should fix them. Surprised the EU or no one else has mentioned they have a responsibility that comes with the near monopoly status XP had for so long.

    Can also see problems with this as how long can they reasonably be expected to continue to support it. Should it be tied to the number of active users?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      how long can they reasonably be expected to continue to support it.

      Would late 2016/early 2017 do for starters?

      MS have already committed to supporting security patches for Windows XP Embedded (same OS as desktop XP, just different packaging and different licencing - that's what MS say anyway) till that date, so any ongoing support work involved is already committed and (presumably) funded.

    2. dogged
      Facepalm

      In what reality is 37.2% a monopoly?

      1. Busby

        I'm talking about the people who bought machines at the time XP was the only choice not current marketshare. There must be a crazy number of machines out there. MS is about to expose the means to render them useless.

        Still not 100% convinced thye should be forced to. Response to another post above says some versions are getting longer support. Why can't they do that for all types of XP not just Enterprise ones?

        1. Tiirath

          Please take time to read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

          Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones. So when cross systems vulnerabilities get patched in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Widows 8.1 etc., there will have been no patch for Windows XP, that is what the original blog is saying.

      2. Steve Knox Silver badge
        Headmaster

        In what reality is 37.2% a monopoly?

        In the same reality where "had" is present tense.

      3. hplasm Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: In what reality is 37.2% a monopoly?

        The one the Vogsphere is in.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        In what reality is 37.2% a monopoly?

        It's not those 37,17%

        37,17%+44,37%+5,1%+4,62% = 91,26% of the entire market!

        It's a Microsoft monopoly.

        The fact is they're blackmailing +40% of their own market which is ludicrous? This could indeed break Microsoft. If they loose that +37% then they'll end up with a tiny bit over 50% o.t. market instead of +90%

        I truly hope that this happens.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft's share of the desktop PC market (which is still growing in terms of unit volume) is still over 90%.....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      they have a responsibility that comes with the near monopoly status

      Does the Sale of Goods Act apply? I think that specified about 6 years from sale for inherent defects.

      Reasonably I think Microsoft should be supporting XP for 5 years after the last XP machine/licence was sold through legitimate channels. But that isn't the problem; it was the release in the first place of an OS which could be left as is with all its vulnerablities. This is a problem that the computer industry didn't see coming. We saw and fixed the Year 2000 crisis, but the problems of machines connected to the Internet and not getting security updates wasn't forecast. Yet this has turned out to be as big and expensive a problem as Y2K.

      1. El Andy

        Re: they have a responsibility that comes with the near monopoly status

        "Reasonably I think Microsoft should be supporting XP for 5 years after the last XP machine/licence was sold through legitimate channels."

        Which would be 2006, after which they'd be Vista licences (even if they'd been optionally downgraded to XP)

        So they're already way past 5 years....

      2. Tiirath

        Re: they have a responsibility that comes with the near monopoly status

        because its a waist of resource.. How far back dose apple support its OS! Most people with XP have it because they can not afford to purchase a new system, so they probably can not afford support.

        No - the Sale of Goods Act apply dose not apply, because you already agreed to terms when you got the machine or OS.

        Do you know how any lines of product MS have ? I know people running MS windows 3.1 because they say its the best (REALY ????) .. so you think MS should be supporting them? Apple is not supporting 12 year old operating systems.

        Please take time to read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

        Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones. So when cross systems vulnerabilities get patched in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Widows 8.1 etc., there will have been no patch for Windows XP, that is what the original blog is saying.

        1. Prowler
          Alien

          Re: they have a responsibility that comes with the near monopoly status

          @Tiirath

          LOL! You've somehow managed to thread-bomb these comments with at least 22 nearly identical replies ( so far ). That has to be a record of some kind!

          " How far back does apple support its OS! "

          Err, what does that have to do with anything? Apple sells hardware, Microsoft sells software! ( and for your own sanity I suggest you don't mention Surfaces, their only real hardware, because in calendar Q2 2013 Microsoft shipped 300,000 total versus 14.6 million iPads ). Microsoft and Apple are *opposite*, since you probably work there you should realize this. Apple does NOT sell an operating system. You are using them as a strawman here.

          " Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones ".

          Considering the fact that Microsoft sometimes does in fact "introduce new issues" across all their products ( this past patch Tuesday! ) one could say that by stopping Windows XP automatic updates they are protecting it. :-)

          The fact that next spring they will not be "supporting old ones" is the issue though. There is much shared code between XP, Vista, 7, 8, they even admitted it at the blog you keep mentioning ...

          "... from July 2012 through July 2013, Windows XP received 45 patches, 30 of which were relevant to Windows 7 and 8 as well ..."

          Understand what they are saying: despite all their marketing lies and FUD about "12 years old" there is substantial overlap and that overlap has been receiving patches but no longer will after next spring. On one hand they are using "12 years old" as a negative but on the other hand they are admitting that parts of Windows Vista, 7 and 8 are also 12 years old. Oh yes, they are. Talk about having it both ways.

          A decent analogy would be Ford discovering a flaw in a car part shared among all their cars made since 2001 but only recalling the cars since 2009 ( i.e., Microsoft patching some DLL in Vista, 7, 8, but ignoring XP which also has the identical file ). With Microsoft knowing full well that over a 1/3rd of all computers on Earth running Windows XP they will be exercising some truly industrial strength arrogance, chutzpah and planned obsolescence. This is what most people are aghast at. There is no excuse for not patching the identical code because it does not require any new expense. Code is re-used whenever possible for this exact reason!

    4. Hooksie

      except it's your choice to stay with XP and Microsoft have made it clear that it's ending support. The OS is over 12 years old ffs. I had to fix my uncle's XP machine recently adn I have to say that coming from Win8 it really was a terrible experience to go back. XP is such old technology and has such a slow feel about it that getting back to Windows 8 was a huge relief.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Left hand, meet right hand

    Left hand: We're supporting Windows XP with security patches until 2016/17

    Right hand: We're going to sabotage Windows XP from 2014

    Left hand: Microsoft's Windows XP Embedded camp (link below)

    Right hand: Microsoft's increasingly desperate volume market camp

    As MS nearly used to say: "What did you want to work today?"

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded/en-gb/product-lifecycles.aspx

    It says "Windows 7 support till 2025". If you think that's "trustworthy", there's this bridge I've got available, just arrived from Nigeria, I just need your help with the paperwork and then I'll split the profits with you.

    1. dogged

      Re: Left hand, meet right hand

      Left hand: We're supporting Windows XP Embedded with security patches until 2016/17

      FTFY.

      Reading comprehension, anon. You fail at it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Left hand, meet right hand

        "Reading comprehension, anon. You fail at it."

        You reckon?

        The page at [1] is from an MS XP Embedded person who basically says that Windows XP Embedded is the same binaries as Windows XP Pro, plus XPe has some tools to allow XPe builders to cut out some of the XP Pro stuff irrelevant to their particular needs. [Windows XP Embedded is nothing to do with Windows CE and its descendants]

        It's the same OS binaries

        So a vulnerability in XP Embedded is a vulnerability in XP Pro. And vice versa.

        So a patch applicable to XP Embedded is a patch applicable to XP Pro. And vice versa (except MS tell us that the patches will soon exist for XP Embedded but not for XP notEmbedded).

        MS have already said they are already committed to continue developing those patches till 2016/2017.

        [1] These words were written in the XP SP1 era but afaik the same applies to XP SP3, this document hasn't been kept up to date. There have been some changes in the details, but the core principles remain the same.

        http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms838630%28v=winembedded.5%29.aspx

        "Microsoft® Windows® XP Embedded with Service Pack 1 (SP1) is a fully componentized version of Windows XP Professional that includes embedded enabling features (EEF). Built on the same binary code as Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Embedded with SP1 includes key features such as standards-based security, manageability, reliability, Universal Plug and Play, and an easy-to-use user interface. It is targeted at embedded devices that are built on commodity PC hardware and require all Windows application program interfaces (APIs), services, and protocols." (continues)

        1. El Andy

          Re: Left hand, meet right hand

          Same binaries (for the bits of XP included in embedded, which isn't all of it) but a completely different license. If you bought XP, you paid for support to continue until 2014 as part of that license. If you bought embedded (which was more expensive), you paid for support till 2016/17.

    2. shawnfromnh

      Re: Left hand, meet right hand

      If they keep making crappy win8 UI's they might not be in the OS business by 2025 since by then at the current pace Linux might be as easy to use and install as XP or 7 by then.

      1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

        Linux today is faster to install to install than XP. That's with a full office suite, multimedia player and all the usual utilities that you would expect. Even non-technical people can use it, so your argument is invalid..

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Chemist

          Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

          Agree. I installed OpenSUSE 12.3 recently on a new dual-core Intel system and it took less than 20 mins.

        3. bazza Silver badge

          Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

          Linux is in no way an adequate desktop replacement, free office suite or not. If it were, everybody would be using it. But they're not.

          Also as a hard working chap who finds many features of MS Office (eg Outlook) totally unimplemented in the open source world I would find it very hard to consider the combination of Libre Office and Evolution and everything else to be an "Office Suite". It's very unfortunate (I like Linux) but it has too many problems and omissions to be able to even begin to supplant Windows + MS office. Not even Apple have managed to slay that dragon, and they've been trying really hard.

          And who cares how long it takes to install an OS? It's not as if you do that on your desktop every day. IT admits don't do it very often either, they just roll out some pre built image complete with required apps.

          1. eesiginfo
            Childcatcher

            Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

            Linux replacing windows... is definitely a personal question that concerns specific work requirements, and likely effects a smaller percentage of PC users.

            I would think that for the majority; migrating to linux would be the most cost/work efficient long term strategy.

            The problem arises in areas that have very few' major solution' apps eg. video editing.

            I was perfectly fine with Linux, enjoying the stress free 'good life', simply installing software that I needed (that was a revelation)... that was until I needed video editing.

            So I have a 2nd PC running XP SP3, and have found the world full of video packages that will run on XP.

            Surely, I should decide to upgrade to win7 when I need what it offers, rather than being forced to buy a new PC and OS, because an enormously rich corporation has decided to hold a gun to my head, and of 33% of the world's computing population.

            I just don't understand how some people can 'stick up' for this MS policy on the grounds of corporate finance.

            It is NOT XP patches that have hit MS's pockets, but rather a whole raft of stupid decisions that they've made.

            This is an 'oh shit' moment.

            What can we do to raise money, to cover up the results of our complacent thinking.

            1. John Sanders

              Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

              Try kdenlive, fantastic software with a terrible name.

              1. Chemist

                Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

                "Try kdenlive, fantastic software with a terrible name."

                Agree !

          2. HippyFreetard

            Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

            What are these features? Have you told the developers yet?

            Think Open Source:-

            1. Write a list of these features

            2. Get an estimate

            3. Start a Kickstarter project

            Say 100 photographers all use Photoshop because of a missing feature in GIMP. At £500 a licence, that's £50,000 that could be spent on adding that one feature to GIMP. Forever. Your licensing budget becomes your development budget, and a consortium divides the cost.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

            "If [Linux] were [an adequate replacement], everybody would be using it. But they're not."

            Not sure that's necessarily true. Met many humans, have you?

        4. HippyFreetard

          Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

          I timed my last install of Mint. 20 mins total from first boot with CD in to reboot to fresh machine. The actual installation (from clicking on "Install" to the "Please Reboot" message) was less than 10 mins.

        5. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh @Mystic Megabyte

          >"Linux today is faster to install to install than XP"

          Well practically anything would be faster - to install XP (depending on which version's install CD you have) now requires an initial install, SP3 and then several hours of repeated on-line patching...

        6. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

          Until they try to install TurboTax or a game. There is still ubiquitous Windows-only software out there with few viable alternatives in Linux (and they may be leery about using Web tax services). It's like the song goes, "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." It's only AFTER the jump that you pine for stuff you can't get anymore.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

            "It's only AFTER the jump that you pine for stuff you can't get anymore."

            Absolutely. I mean no modern Linux can trivially install itself non-destructively, preserving the existing Windows installation and existing data and setting up for dual boot, just in case there's a need to go back.

            FFS man, where have you been for the last 15 years or so? Was it Corel Linux that pioneered dual boot in the mass market in the late 1990s? I don't honestly know for sure, and frankly it doesn't matter a hoot, especially now that Linux is quite good at reading and even writing NTFS for easy data interchange.

            Dual boot is trivial and has been trivial for more than a decade. Maybe not with all Linuxes but with more than enough.

            And let's not even mention upgrading from Office pre-ribbon to Office post-ribbon, or to Windows 8 in no-Start menu form, and realising, just as you said, it's only AFTER the jump that you pine for stuff you can't get anymore

        7. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Left hand, meet right hand @shawnfromnh

          "Linux today is faster to install to install than XP"

          The main objection I meet is "But But BUT it won't run MS Office"

          "And a good thing too", is my response.

          Any amount of telling people that you can read and save MS office format MOSTLY(*) goes straight over their head (mainly because they're clutchng at straws for objections).

          (*)MOSTLY: because powerpoint handling on any of the MS office alternatives is still atrocious. Fix that and you'd kill virtually all remaining objections to linux on the office desktop.

    3. Tiirath

      Re: Left hand, meet right hand

      Try using you left or right hand to click and open the MS blog to read what was really said.

      Please take time to read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

      Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones. So when cross systems vulnerabilities get patched in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Widows 8.1 etc., there will have been no patch for Windows XP, that is what the original blog is saying.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Left hand, meet right hand

        "Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues"

        Depends.

        The issues have been there for a long time, so in a sense they're not new issues.

        On the other hand, MS is publicising these long standing issues in a way they haven't previously been publicised.

        That won't be a problem (you say).

        Others have different views.

  4. tin 2

    Hey people, that product that we said was amazing and the best ever, and the bestest and most securist ever ever? Well I'm here to finally admit it's a load of shit.

    Please buy our new one, it's loads better, promise.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      So MS marketing BAU game plan then..

      "Hey people, that product that we said was amazing and the best ever, and the bestest and most securist ever ever? Well I'm here to finally admit it's a load of shit.

      Please buy our new one, it's loads better, promise.

      "

  5. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Meh

    Rely on M$ for my security??

    Nuff said.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Rely on M$ for my security??

      But- it's holy! ^H^H^H^ holey.

  6. h3

    I wonder if they will improve XP mode in Windows 7 at all to make it better sandboxed. I doubt it.

    1. Vociferous

      Not a chance, they're not doing anything to improve W7. Check out VMWare Player if you absolutely need to run software which can't run on W7, it's free and really very good.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        VMware Player V5: free for non-commercial use only

        "Check out VMWare Player if you absolutely need to run software which can't run on W7, it's free and really very good."

        It is really very good, been using it for years to run stuff that needs Linux in world where IT don't believe in Linux.

        BUT

        The latest greatest VMware Player, V5, is only licenced for free for "non commercial use". Anything else needs $$$. So tread carefully.

        1. peter_dtm
          FAIL

          Re: VMware Player V5: free for non-commercial use only

          yup and a whole stonking great €55 or so per host machine (run as many VMPlayer images as you want on each host)

          so it's not $$$

          And XP mode after using VM stuff for years is seriously bad

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: XP mode in Windows 7

      This also goes off support when XP goes off support ...

  7. danny_0x98

    If you don't buy a new house from us, we'll publicize all the ways to break into the old one.

    Does that sound like extortion to any one else?

    1. M Gale

      This would be the Reg putting its rather contentious spin on things as usual. The blog post is simply saying, in a very tl;dr way, that once XP goes out of support, vulnerabilities won't be fixed (duh). Since 7, 8 and XP apparently share enough code for the vulnerabilities to be a problem on all systems, this means that vulnerabilities fixed on 7 or 8 won't be fixed on XP.

      Personally I'd be amused if the XP cling-ons all upgraded to Ubuntu or Fedora come the due date. You might not be able to get Photoshop or Illustrator on Linux (yet), but for someone who just needs to write letters and/or talk to work-related web apps, I don't see the problem here. Hell, there's a few people I know who basically just do that.

      1. sisk Silver badge

        You might not be able to get Photoshop or Illustrator on Linux (yet)...

        Photoshop on Ubuntu

        Some versions of Illustrator on Wine as well, but I've not found an easy guide for it. Probably because it's not quite as widely used.

        Or, if you're willing to admit that the final product is less important than the software used to achieve it, Gimp works as a direct functional replacement for Photoshop and Inkscape does the same for Illustrator.

        1. Not That Andrew

          Erm, GIMP is not a direct functional replacement for Photoshop. For one thing it STILL doesn't support CMYK, even though GEGL makes it possible and there is a plugin that kinda does it by exporting to CMYK. It's more than good enough for you and me, but not for a graphics professional.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Facepalm

            Quote from Not That Andrew: Erm, GIMP is not a direct functional replacement for Photoshop.

            Quote from the web site: Just so we’re clear this is a tutorial to install the stand-alone version of Photoshop (rather than the full CS5 Master Collection).

            Scrolling down, I see The Gimp only mentioned twice. I see countless references to WINE and winetricks, which would be unnecessary with The Gimp as it natively runs on Linux, and right down the bottom:

            Once this is done, you simply need to run the Photoshop executable installer, sit back and install much in exactly the same way you would on Windows. You may need to specify the directory in which to install the program (something like C:\Program Files\Photoshop will do).

            If you check the “Run Photoshop CS5″ box at the end of the installer, you will hopefully see Adobe’s premier image editing suite spring into action.

            Yep, that's a guide on The Gimp alright.

            1. Not That Andrew
              FAIL

              What a pity you couldn't didn't read the comments.

              Sisk: "Gimp works as a direct functional replacement for Photoshop"

              Me: "GIMP is not a direct functional replacement for Photoshop."

          2. sisk Silver badge

            Erm, GIMP is not a direct functional replacement for Photoshop.

            I suppose that depends on what you're asking it to do. For professional photography and the like you're probably right. However, speaking as a web designer, I used Gimp in a professional capacity for several years until I was forced to buy Photoshop. (In case you're wondering one of my classes when I decided to go back to college required Photoshop. Otherwise I'd probably still be using Gimp.). I think Photoshop is a better program, but I don't think there's enough of o difference, at least for what I do with it, to justify its rather obscene price tag.

            1. Chemist

              "Erm, GIMP is not a direct functional replacement for Photoshop. "

              I know several professional photographers who use Linux, but they don't just use Gimp. There are a number of RAW photo conversion/editing/tweeking programs that are available.

              Personally I do as little to a RAW photo as possible maybe resize/tweek exposure/tweek the curves/ unsharp/save in appropriate format usually.

  8. Vociferous

    "...learned to get around DEP"... Haha.

    Anyway, dear XP users: get Windows 7. It's heaps better than XP (yes, it is), and it's supported until 2020, by which time Windows 8 might be usable or Android available for real computers.

    Alternatively, if you don't want W7 and can't wait until W8/Android gets their PC acts together: Linux Mint (with Cinnamon or MATE, or XFCE if you have an old computer) is really nice and you'll feel right at home.

    1. Wizardofaus

      "Anyway, dear XP users: get Windows 7."

      Good. You buy the hardware to replace the hardware I have that is still working, I'll load Win7 on it.

      1. Vociferous

        That would be a good fit for Linux Mint with XFCE then.

      2. Not That Andrew

        Actually, Win 7 runs surprisingly well on most hardware running XP in my limited experience. I've tried it on an Athlon XP system and it ran fine (although it did have 3 Gb of memory).

        1. stuff and nonesense

          Look at peripheral support.....

          SCSI

          Soundblaster

          etc.

          Not all hardware has manufacturer supported drivers

  9. keithpeter
    Windows

    15%

    "According to recent data, 15 per cent of IT managers running XP don't even realize support is ending..."

    Is this level of ignorance normal, or are they just trying not to think about it?

    The tramp: I've not made it into management yet

  10. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Not their fault

    "But the deliberate creation of a situation of 100s of millions of machines on the internet open to vulnerabilities published by M$ is cyber blackmail on a gargantuan scale. This policy, based entirely on M$'s need to generate revenue from new OS license sales, could result in a step increase in the proportion of compromised devices on the Internet from which to launch attacks on everyone else."

    Windows had and has poor security. People knew that quite well through the entire service life of XP and afterwards but choose to keep buying Windows anyway (although, that is the one issue isn't it, people now are getting nothing -- and keeping using XP -- rather than buying Window 7, or 8, or going to a better OS entirely). Although Microsoft did behave as an illegal monopolist... nevertheless, nobody forced people to buy XP. They didn't force people to keep using XP and have in fact encouraged people to switch off XP for years. And, by 2014 when patches are discontinued they will have provided free patches for *13* years. This is no deliberate creation of anything, and not blackmail by any means.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Linux

      Windows has had poor security ?

      Since when, I can remember when Microsoft was advertising Windows XP as devoid of potential buffer overflows .. ref

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Not their fault

      nobody forced people to buy XP

      Half truth that. For a long time if you wanted a computer and were unable or unwilling to pay Apple's outlandish prices and weren't a geek able to build your own, you got XP. No, they weren't exactly forced to buy XP, but they weren't exactly given a choice either.

      They didn't force people to keep using XP and have in fact encouraged people to switch off XP for years

      That is true.

      This is no deliberate creation of anything, and not blackmail by any means.

      That is also true. What they are saying is that they're not going to continue offering patches for a product that they haven't sold in a long time, but the patches they offer for their current products can and likely will be reverse engineered by malware peddlers. It's rather like telling a child 'If you don't eat lunch you'll be hungry before it's time for supper" (a frequent conversation at my house). This isn't blackmail. This is stern warning.

  11. Martin 47

    Well XP will be running on my old laptop for as long as I can keep it going, no other operating system plays nicely with Civ 3 (the Civ3 complete edition is by far the best civ)

    1. Fihart

      Size matters. @Martin 47

      " Well XP will be running on my old laptop for as long as I can keep it going, no other operating system plays nicely"........

      Too right.

      I don't plan on scrapping my modestly powered netbook. It's the size of an iPad, but with a sensible keyboard.

      I quite like Win7 but enormous and unusable on my older kit.

      So XP or, finally, reluctantly, Linux.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Size matters. @Martin 47

        "I quite like Win7 but enormous and unusable on my older kit."

        No worse than XP Sp3 in my experience - it got slimmed down mightily from Vista in order to fit onto Netbooks (and simultaneously torpedoed the good ship "upgrade your PC every 18 months to cope with bloatware")

  12. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    ""According to recent data, 15 per cent of IT managers running XP don't even realize support is ending..."

    Is this level of ignorance normal, or are they just trying not to think about it?"

    Probably normal. You have that set of people who are an "IT manager" because they know how to stick a Windows disk in + install the updates. They do nothing to streamline the process, they do not read any IT news whatsoever, they do not research ever replacing or upgrading the software. They just have a few computers they are tasked with keeping running, and that is about it.

  13. DougS Silver badge

    This sensationalist headline is a good test to see if people actually read the article

    Given some of the responses here, suggesting this is "deliberate creation of..." or "sabotage" seems to indicate they do not.

    Hate to be seen as defending MS, but they've been supporting it for over a decade now. How long is long enough?

    I'm personally more concerned about the fact they never released a second service pack for Windows 7, because they didn't want to extend its support date (they guarantee support 5 years after the release of the last SP) So support for Windows 7 ends in about 2 1/2 years. After such a long support life for XP, there are going to be a lot of people caught out if MS goes through with obsoleting Windows 7 so quickly. Especially since most businesses only recently completed migrating from XP to Windows 7, and few have any desire to migrate corporate desktops/laptops to Windows 8.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS is getting desperate on Windows 8x

    I suspect this is much more to do with poor sales of their new flagship product than anything else!

    1. Vociferous

      Re: MS is getting desperate on Windows 8x

      > this is much more to do with poor sales of their new flagship product

      Yes, that is a factor. WinXP users are supposed to switch to Win8, and the date to end support was chosen to coincide with assumed drop-off in initial demand for Win8 (didn't quite play out like that, but the best laid plans...).

      And boy oh boy, are those XP users ever in for a treat.

      But perhaps it's easier to go to Win8 for those who have not experienced Win7, as Win8 has a lot of improvements in reliability and security compared to XP but not compared to 7.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS is getting desperate on Windows 8x

        There are still OEM-licenced copies of Windows 7 Home Premium (32bit, 64bit, you choose) available from a well known etailer (checked earlier today). And not even via their Marketplace; direct from the big river themselves. Possibly a better option than Windows 8.anything. Buy now while stocks last.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: MS is getting desperate on Windows 8x

          Yabut - you'll be non-compliant with the terms of an OEM license if you install that software on anything other than a brand new machine.

          Might just as well install a pirated copy.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: MS is getting desperate on Windows 8x

            "Yabut - you'll be non-compliant with the terms of an OEM license if you install that software on anything other than a brand new machine."

            Yabut - Can they tell the difference between an upgraded prebuilt and a homebuilt? How much of a computer must be upgraded with new parts before it can be declared a new computer? And so on...

            1. Tom 38 Silver badge

              Re: MS is getting desperate on Windows 8x

              How much of a computer must be upgraded with new parts before it can be declared a new computer? And so on...

              Pretty much anything - new mobo, new CPU, new GFX. You can stick more RAM or hard drives in without re-triggering activation.

            2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

              OEM has always been about the motherboard

              what XP will activate on or the Microsoft phone registration staff will give you a code for is irrelevant. OEM Windows is tied to the motherboard. If the motherboard dies it must be replaced by a comparable motherboard (same one or generation, not an upgrade).

              the only differences between OEM and retail are the motherboard lock, lack of telephone support and the inability to resell the license (although selling the motherboard/PC with the license is ok). It's all in the license terms, it's just that most people choose to ignore them..

        2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: MS is getting desperate on Windows 8x

          There are still OEM-licenced copies of Windows 7 Home Premium (32bit, 64bit, you choose) available from a well known etailer (checked earlier today). And not even via their Marketplace; direct from the big river themselves. Possibly a better option than Windows 8.anything. Buy now while stocks last.

          Or OEM editions that have been separated from their original machines (Dell etc.) without being activated, for about 40% of the retail price. They're all over ebay Germany.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: MS is getting desperate on Windows 8x

        "And boy oh boy, are those XP users ever in for a treat."

        No, unless they like wearing the mask....

      3. Vociferous

        Re: MS is getting desperate on Windows 8x

        In retrospect I should probably have indicated that I was using sarcasm when I said "boy oh boy, are those XP users ever in for a treat", but I thought it was obvious.

    2. El Andy

      Re: MS is getting desperate on Windows 8x

      @AC 20:46

      The end of life date for Windows XP was published long before the release of even Windows 7, let alone Windows 8. The idea that this is some sort of reaction to sales levels is ridiculous, unless you're suggesting Microsoft has psychics on staff.

    3. Hooksie

      Yes, because no company would ever do that ever. Buy new biological biz, it keeps your clothes clesner and fesher for longer. Just like our last product claimed to, and the product before that. When people bought XP all those years ago there was no suggestion that they would still be using it 13 hears later. Microsoft was sipposed to end aupport for it much earlier but decided to extend it to give companies (banks) the chance to move. Bottom line is that whether you salivating bunch of MS hating retards agree or not, Windows 8 is the fastest and most secure Windows OS to date. Just like XP was when it came out.

  15. Mr Young

    Works for me

    XP = classic

    Cue multiple votes either way...

  16. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    Nice OS you have there... shame if something happened to it...

    I'm not sure if this is Bad Ballmer Steve's "The Operation", in which he promises to beat people up if they pay him the protection money, or whether it already is "The Other Operation", in which he promises not to beat people up if they don't pay him the protection money.

    (This is of course a Flying Circus reference)

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory
      Trollface

      Re: Nice OS you have there... shame if something happened to it...

      If they ever upgrade to "The Other Other Operation", we're all stuffed...

  17. FordPrefect

    To be fair to Microsoft this is 12 year old product and they have said for years they will not continue to support it. Apart from mainframes how many other OS or software releases are still actively supported 10 years after release? It costs money to continue to develop updates for windows XP and no organisation is going to continue developing something for free indefinitely. Microsoft are just pointing out that every flaw and vulnerability they fix in VISTA, 7 and 8 will be checked by those with malicious intent to see if XP has the same flaw.

    I guess if there is a call for it maybe the AV vendors can potentially scan for and block any malware extending the life somewhat for those that arent ready to make the jump to something newer. Not as good as fixing the problem though.

    1. Roger Greenwood

      It really annoys me . . .

      . . .that you describe XP as a 12 year old product. I have computers that were bought new only 4 to 5 years ago running XP so I expect them to do a few more years yet. Not a large enterprise, I grant you, but I am sure there are lots of other SMBs in the same boat.

      1. BongoJoe
        Mushroom

        Re: It really annoys me . . .

        Quite, What has age got to do with it?

        For a lot of applications they work better running on XP than they do on W7. We don't have these silly File Explorer bugs pn XP when we have two or more such windows open. We don't lose things from the network all the time with XP.

        Until the Windows XP Compatability environment has gone, along with the need for it (i.e. make good legitimate code by your own rules MS continue to work) then, yes, I will happily upgrade.

        You made the rules, Microsoft. We followed them now you do so the same.

        And as for age? What's that got to do with it? I'd rather play a nice pre-CBS strat than a modern one fewer than twelve years old. I'd rather drive an old Jaguar rather than a modern version, I would rather have a 2 Series Landie to go off the metalled highway rather than a modern townie version. The list goes on and on.

        There is nothing wrong with XP. It may have started off badly but it's ended up as a fine product and certainly a lot better for a lot of people than Win 7. But this is nothing to do with age; it's all about selling more licences.

        Okay, sell me a set of licences then, Microsoft, but only for a better operating system. When you come out with one then do let me know.

      2. El Andy

        Re: It really annoys me . . .

        @Roger Greenwood: " I have computers that were bought new only 4 to 5 years ago running XP"

        And the Windows lifecycle roadmap then was telling you then exactly what it's telling you today, support was ending in 2014. If that wasn't sufficient for your needs, perhaps you should ask yourself why you chose to buy machines with XP.

        1. Getriebe

          Re: It really annoys me . . .

          "And the Windows lifecycle roadmap then was telling you then exactly what it's telling you today, support was ending in 2014. If that wasn't sufficient for your needs, perhaps you should ask yourself why you chose to buy machines with XP."

          @ElAndy - exactly what I thought when I read Greenwood's post.

          Where is the forward planning, where is informing the business of a strategy to get them through the next 5 years say? Don't the suppliers you work with or if you are the IT person work up a budget and a plan that carries you through?

          In the business I work for we are constantly informing our customers of what the future looks like from out view point, helping them plan and keep viable. We have no one on such old software OS or applications.

          We have just bought a British compnay with about 40 customers with software investmenst of over £80k and we find some have XP, so we have lept on them all and are putting change paths in place.

          Why the fuck did the company that we took over no do this? Because they had no business sense and were amateurs, which is why we got them for a song. So now their customesr are going through some turmoil of fix the problem.

          Isn't part of the role of IT in any size of company or any services supplier to stop the company getting into a cul de sac?

      3. Prowler
        Alien

        Re: It really annoys me . . . ( me too! )

        Riddle me this. The Chevy Corvette was RTM'd in 1953. How old is a 2008 Corvette?

        WinXP(sp3) dates to April 2008. If you install that WinXP(sp3) CDROM or ISO today quite a large amount of files are stamped to that very date. If you have allowed Microsoft to support it with automatic updates ever since you will have a large amount of core files dated much more recently. So this 12 year old OS thing is really getting annoying. Look here ...

        ( 2006-Nov ) Vista RTM

        ( 2008-Feb ) Vista SP1

        ( 2008-Apr ) Windows XP SP3

        ( 2009-Jul ) Windows 7 RTM

        The bulk of the files in WinXP(sp3) actually are newer than Vista RTM and Vista SP1 and just a year younger than Windows 7 RTM.

        But even more importantly is the fact touched on in this article and the source blog post at Microsoft - there are gobs and gobs of shared code. Look here ...

        "... from July 2012 through July 2013, Windows XP received 45 patches, 30 of which were relevant to Windows 7 and 8 as well ..."

        Understand what they are saying: despite all their marketing lies and FUD about "12 years old" there is substantial overlap and that overlap has been receiving patches but no longer will after next spring. On one hand they are using "12 years old" as a negative but on the other hand they are admitting that parts of Windows Vista, 7 and 8 are also 12 years old. Oh yes, they are. Talk about having it both ways.

        Methinks that the real goal here is to get everyone on the same page, and that means using a government spook approved post-9/11 post-PRISM operating system ( Windows 6.x ) that has been designed from the ground up to be easily penetrated when the feds come calling. Tin-foil conspiracy? Only if you are Rip Van Winkle.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: 12 year old product

      To be fair to Microsoft, Windows 8 is basically a 12 year old product dressed up to look new and shiny!

      Note what MS are really saying in this release, is that Windows 8 contains many of the same vulnerabilities as Win7 and XP, because significant amounts of the code base is the same across all products...

  18. Turtle

    $12bn Opportunity

    "At last year's Worldwide Partners Conference, Microsoft described the upgrade market for Windows XP as a $12bn opportunity for the channel. "

    All they need to cash in on that $12bn is a decent XP replacement. Pity that it seems to be beyond their skill level.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: $12bn Opportunity

      MS should develop a TRUE replacement for XP. Considering that most XP machines out there are 4+ years old, an operating system that will run on that old hardware is needed.

      Let's not forget that with the Great Recession there are a lot of consumers and organizations that would find it difficult or impossible to replace all that old hardware.

      1. Not That Andrew

        Re: 4+ year old hardware

        Are seriously saying that Win 7 won't run adequately on hardware like Intel Core 2 Duos and Quads? or older AMD Opetron and Phenoms? granted, you might have to scrounge up some RAM to make sure the the machine 2 GB available. But Win 7 will run perfectly in that sort of hardware.

    2. Getriebe

      Re: $12bn Opportunity

      Isn't it a 12 billion opp. for some LINUX shops to spring up offering a one stop shop to move a business over.

      Typical small engineering company that might have mail, word proc, accounting, warehousing/stores, planing and shop floor loading, import documentation and HMRC tax filing. Put together a package deal and you could have a profitable offering.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: $12bn Opportunity

        "Isn't it a 12 billion opp. for some LINUX shops to spring up offering a one stop shop to move a business over."

        "Put together a package deal and you could have a profitable offering."

        Exactly. This is the nightmare scenario for MS, and if they haven't seen it coming, they must be complete idiots.

        For years they've been able to rely on their ecosystem of certified Microsoft Dependent Business Partners.

        Now the smart ones are realising that all is not well in their world; MS want to move the business to The Cloud (external or internal) and much of the "value add" from the Microsoft Certified ecosystem will no longer be saleable. The alleged $12bn opportunity is a mirage.

        So the former Microsoft Certified are soon likely to be forming plans to get their customers to stay with them (but not necessarily with MS). If they haven't already done so. Won't that be interesting.

        It may take a little while longer before it really hurts MS themselves, but outside MS, it's not a good time to be MS dependent.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: $12bn Opportunity

      >Pity that it seems to be beyond their skill level.

      It also seems that like many companies Microsoft has lost it's hard nosed commercialism. Hollywood, given the success of XP, would of come out with a whole string of sequels and expanded the franchise, MS an IT company is doing it's utmost to kill the thing off...

  19. Herby Silver badge
    Joke

    Of course, there is ONE solution...

    They could make Windows XP Open source.

    Of course pigs might fly on their own, not when rocketed by humans, but I digress.

    1. Getriebe

      Re: Of course, there is ONE solution...

      I know this has been discussed in Redmond! And still a (very very) small possibility

    2. ITS Retired
      Facepalm

      Re: Of course, there is ONE solution...

      And let the world know how spaghetti coded or otherwise how badly their old Flagship XP OS really are coded? Someone would go through it and come up with a version of open source XP, half the size, twice as fast, with much better security, all within a few months. That would never do.

      1. Fihart

        Re: Of course, there is ONE solution... @ITS Retired

        "XP, half the size, twice as fast, with much better security"

        Never mind Open Source. If only MS had just done that itself instead of wasting effort on snazzy (read tasteless) new looks to Windows.

        In fact, the preoccupation with interface over underlying efficiency is probably a product of the unholy alliance with an Intel wishing to shift faster processors.

    3. DropBear Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Of course, there is ONE solution...

      ...or one could just try ReactOS [1], which is basically an open-source XP. Granted, it isn't quite production quality yet, but it just might be by the time the switch is pulled...

      [1] - http://www.reactos.org/

  20. schotness

    An OS full of security holes is broken. They should be forced to support it till its fixed, provide a refund or an alternative for free.

    1. Don Jefe

      Don't Have To

      They don't have to provide updates at all period, unless the product does not function based on the published minimum system requirements.

      In the US you can't even advertise it as 'going to be updated' in the future: US law prohibits companies from listing 'partial or incomplete' products as sales in their financials. You get what you get when you buy it and the goodwill of the company keeps the updates coming.

      It sucks, but that's the way it is.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Dr. Ellen
    Devil

    The Piranha brothers strike again

    Nice operating system you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it.

  22. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Oh well

    guess my copy of XP will be relegated to running on a VM on the linux box

    On the plus side, that will free up about 250 gig of disk space for a new linux install.

    Anyone know if they are turning off the validation servers too (for us that legally own a copy)

    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Oh well

      Assuming that you never let "Windows Genuine Advantage" into XP just disable the network connection to your VM after the last updates and it will work OK.

      If you have foolishly let WGA in, then you will have to do a tedious re-install and make sure that it is de-selected in the updates list and "Never ask again" selected..

      For OEM versions with a restore disc you can just fake the BIOS strings needed to activate it.

      See:

      http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2070347&p=12293480#post12293480

  23. John Tserkezis

    Holy Crap (TM), I have to give my 2c worth here.

    Firstly, I hear the shock and horror that Vista, Win7 and Win8 combined nearly don't hold a candle to the number of malware cleans on XP. What everyone appears to forget, is that XP has had a 12 year headstart.

    Twelve Fucking Years

    Remember that, considering XP users have been stringing it along while paying nothing. Especially when you look at the upgrade path: More money for an upgrade, training, IT support changes, possibly software upgrades/changes, for essentially, a new fangled OS that is merely a life support system for their software. - don't care about the addons, the increased capability, increased security perhaps-especially when they get their regular free Tuesday fixes on time. Paying a bucketload more money to "keep getting what we had before" is particularly unattractive.

    However, Microsoft DOES care about mounting costs supplying "free" updates. Someone has to pay for those remember? And as long as it's not the ever-valued end user, who gives a crap right?

    Well, after Twelve Fucking Years, and and a blunder inbetween (even if it was a sales/marketing blunder that counts and I'll never see Vista as a valid contender), being left with Win7 as their main revenue stream, they're theatening to stop updates, and release current known vulns to "encourage" the stragglers to update.

    The morality or fairness of that aside, just in case you forgot: Twelve Fucking Years. In the past decades, you couldn't count how many other corporations have gone bust within the 7 year mandated support life cycle (?? at least here in OZ), let alone actually, properly supported their old products without forcing an upgrade within that time (well, making the lives of their clients difficult) - yet Microsoft is still supporting XP.

    The jig is up boys and girs, seriously, suck it up and upgrade, you've had an exceptionally good run, scratch a notch on your keyboard and be done with it. Time to move on. Sheeze.

    1. Ron Christian

      Re: Holy Crap (TM), I have to give my 2c worth here.

      Yeah, the problem is, the OS is just there to load my applications. I don't need a new OS, and I don't need a new computer just to be able to run a new OS in order to run my existing application. So, no. Sorry. Don't care how long it's been. Mere age is not in and of itself a reason to replace a computer that is still doing the job.

    2. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Holy Crap (TM), I have to give my 2c worth here.

      If you still have trust in the company that released the pile of stinking dog poo that was Vista* then I think you have problems.

      The whole Hollywood/DRM collusion made it into the most massive release of spyware ever seen and the users got to pick up the cost.**

      Ref:

      * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Windows_Vista

      ** http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Holy Crap (TM), I have to give my 2c worth here.

        Why shouldn't they continue to provide XP fixes ?

        We are talking fixes for faults, not enhancements - and primarily security fixes at that.

        If the software was 'fit for purpose' when sold, none of this would be necessary, so don't give me this crap about the wonderful MS doing all this for free - in fact, if anything, MS should pay people for their time each time they have to patch a vulnerability!

    3. Not That Andrew
      Thumb Up

      @John Tserkezis Re: Holy Crap (TM), I have to give my 2c worth here.

      Well said. And I myself can't believe the level of idiocy displayed by some of the commentators here.

  24. Ed Hume

    Why fight it? Make money, not war!

    MS cannot be expected to provide security updates to an obsolete OS -- for free. So, MS should begin a program of paid support for Windows XP. Pay $X per year and they will provide updates. Say $10US per seat? People running XP do a cost/benefit analysis, decide on their own when to buy a new OS. In the mean time, MS earns enough money to pay for making the updates.

  25. JustWondering
    Pirate

    Oh well

    I guess I would be more offended if I had ever paid for a copy of XP.

  26. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    They did it before.

    Either Windows 95 or Windows 98 - I think it was on the very day that free critical support had expired that they published a flaw in.... something about a malformed JPG data file containing an executable, I think. One that they'd known about for ages, but that was when they graciously decided to issue a fix. I think. I expect. If I was doing it, it's what I'd do, if I also felt contractually and morally obliged to be, well, evil.

    1. Ron Christian

      Re: They did it before.

      Interestingly enough, Windows 98 is still in use in point of sale machines (yes, computers that actually HANDLE MONEY).

  27. Tim Brown 1

    Not missing much?

    Given Microsoft's recent record of f**king up patches - perhaps it doesn't really matter if support is ending?

    http://www.infoworld.com/t/microsoft-windows/microsoft-botches-six-windows-patches-in-latest-automatic-update-224988

  28. Derek Kingscote

    It was fun while it lasted

    Ironic isn't it? When Netbooks were flying out the door with Linux, suddenly Microsoft realised that it could be the end of the line for them so did a quick and dirty deal for flogging XP for Netbooks.

    Now they say they are stopping support, how many Netbooks are capable of running Win7? Don't talk about Windows 8 it's unusable.

    www.microsoft.com/Windows8 states : Windows 8 has everything you need, right from the Start.‎ [except it doesn't have a start button]

    Don't talk about the money either. On the Microsoft store the OS is £100 - OK may be less on the high street, but with CDs, the cost of the initial effort is spread across hundreds of thousands of disks, but each extra disks cost only a penny.

    Same goes for Office.

    Fact is, Microsoft is scared. This is a company that said the internet was irrelevant. They got left behind. Linux on Netbooks – they only just got that back by playing hardball with suppliers. Suddenly tablets are very powerful, the genie is out of the bottle and they are not in control. The others have got that sewn up for now. I haven't seen one review that says Win8 is really really good. Their tablet ? Hmmm…

    Tablets – a bit of Text; a bit of Spreadsheet; a bit of Mail; a bit of browsing; a lot of Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube; then why do you need a full blown PC with a full blown OS? Put your tablet in a docking station with keyboard, mouse and big screen and you're away. Oh and thousands and thousands of Apps – like Where's my car? Star Maps, Mapping, you name it.

    I'm not working full time these days, so I don't know what businesses are doing, but it's a fair bet that a lot of stuff is browser based and it's only the managers that need the full monty to write reports to send upstairs.

    For the business user a lot of mission critical stuff was running on NT and XP. Microsoft said Vista is coming, business said OK we'll see. Vista was a turkey so Microsoft said Windows 7 is coming. Business said OK we'll see – we heard all about Vista so we're not going to do anything soon and our mission critical stuff is plodding on nicely. Business didn't move. Then Microsoft said Windows 8 is coming. Business said OK we'll see. Windows 8 is a) unusable and b) how the hell are we gonna migrate our mission critical stuff onto that?!. Then Microsoft said if you don't migrate, we'll break the thing that runs your mission critical stuff.

    Business doesn't trust you.

    Unless Windows 9 delivers, like really delivers, you could see the biggest, fastest business collapse in history.

    It was fun while it lasted.

    1. Marco van Beek
      Flame

      Re: It was fun while it lasted

      Right with you on this. Microsoft's blunder with Vista meant that we no longer blindly believed that newer was better. And with Windows 8 they have done it again. I have clients still running DOS applications because the amount of time and effort they invested in data entry cannot be replicated due to cost.

      Personally I believe that it is well past time to have a CE mark for software like we do for hardware. All software would have to comply fully with all declared standards or the vendor\manufacturer would be required to fix the problem at their own cost, just like if the brakes don't work on your car. Software is so central to the survival of businesses that it is about time they got better protection than just "Caveat Emptor".

    2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: It was fun while it lasted

      "the genie is out of the bottle and they are not in control"

      Precisely. It was mostly about the control, a power-play. Billions were just a byproduct.

  29. Ron Christian

    Is there a basic flaw in this reasoning?

    Is it just me, or does this entire argument predicate that the bad guys were *not* aware of these vulnerabilities for YEARS before Microsoft decided to patch them?

    Seems to me that the issue also being present in XP means by definition that the issue has existed since 2001. Are we to believe that Microsoft is so much better at finding security defects than the average criminal programmer that exploits found 12 years after release had not yet been found by said criminal? In substantial numbers?

    If you believe that, I have a version of Windows 8 that doesn't suck to sell you.

    Seriously, the ONLY motivation for this announcement is to scare you into buying another copy of Windows.

    1. GreyWolf
      Holmes

      Re: Is there a basic flaw in this reasoning?

      You have not understand how these bugs arise.

      The process of removing bugs is called debugging. So what is it called, the process of putting bugs into software?

      It's called programming.

      Every time MS add or change anything in XP, they add bugs. The best news about April 2014? MS will stop screwing around in XP.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Is there a basic flaw in this reasoning?

        You've not understood how bugs arise on a closed codebase. These aren't new bugs MS are scaring us about, they are bugs in 12 year old piece of software (as they keep shouting) that they haven't yet discovered.

        In effect, MS is saying "Watch out, this software is so full of holes, we haven't even come close to finding all the major bugs in 12 years and billions of installations. Bugs in our new versions will probably apply to the old software too, since our "new versions" are really just the old software tarted up a bit."

  30. the old rang
    Linux

    It is an interesting threat...

    If you don't upgrade, we will specifically and with malice, sabotage your system with bugs on patch Tuesdays...

    I quit Microsoft in 2004, for exactly that reason. They were not patching errors known for over 10 years, and when patcher were made, blowing my system out of the water...

    So...

    They promise to deliberately do to your system, that which they normally do to your system via incompetence...

    You may scream about me, and how great micro-soft is...

    How many patch Tuesdays have been bug free recently???

    1. Not That Andrew
      FAIL

      Don't be a retard. Not fixing a bug is not the same as sabotaging your system. You are the one sabotaging your system by running obsolete out of support software.

  31. bigfoot780

    its not the os its the software.

    Apart from money, its software that was badly written, poorly packaged. Or do stupid things like write to program files or worse the windows folder. 7 will run fine on a core 2 duo with 2gb of ram. If your lowest spec is lower than this the performance would be poor even on xp.

  32. Al fazed

    So far, not so good, but when was it any better ?

    Is Windows 3.11 still in operation anywhere critical ?

    But if I specifically wanted to run Win 3.11 or even DOS apps, I'd set up a machine for that purpose.

    A lot of businesses, large and small are still using Windows XP because of the applications they are using. Just like UK Govermin is resistant to change from Windows 2000, it's the cost of upgrading the applications as well as the OS, as well as the hardware - for ALL your Users, which makes the process something you don't do lightly or over night. The sensible approach is to roll out as and when the upgrade is required. Usually, this is some time after the early adopters have had their burned fingers bandaged and the major bugs have been discovered and ironed out. I imagine that this is one of the main reasons why so many people and businesses are still using XP, not 'cos they like the badge or Bill Gates. When upgrading you are going to be throwing away money that you earlier invested in stuff like, version of Adobe PhotoShop which still serves it's purpose on an XP machine, but won't run on the latest OS.

    But most of these apps will still be able to be used on an XP box which doesn't have an Internet connection. And remove any USB/floppy disk ports, NICs, etc to reduce the opportunity for Users to import malware onto the machine from their BYOD devices.

    Running a Linux distro with XP and it's retro applications in a Virual Machine seems an obvious means to enjoy modern hardware along your favourite interface.

    It is time to upgrade the "tool" when upgrading the "tool" presents an advantage to the business, not when you are being held to ransome by the company who sold you the tool in the first place. If the new tool is superior in some way, then there may be a tangible reason to upgrade, but for f*cks sake, 7, 8, 8.1, RT !!!!

    There are better tool makers these days, Linux anyone.

    1. billse10
      Megaphone

      Re: So far, not so good, but when was it any better ?

      "A lot of businesses, large and small are still using Windows XP because of the applications they are using."

      A lot of people are running XP because that's what was on their PC when it shipped, and they were given no choice by the machine vendor.

  33. The Alpha Klutz

    Windows XP will essentially have a 'zero day' vulnerability forever.

    and whose fault is that you joker.

    can you spell planned obsolescence?

    1. the old rang
      Linux

      Re: Windows XP will essentially have a 'zero day' vulnerability forever.

      I wonder if any of you recall, or have even heard of, 'buffer overflow' errors?

      Way back in the early days of Windows (3.1 and 3.11) I recollect they mentioned it, and how Redmond FIXED the problem...

      them thar expurtz at Redmond...

      Why, dag nab it... When was the last time ya ever heerd of thet thar 'buffer overflow' thigmabob?

      Oh, yes... they still have them... regularly...

      It is not planned obsolescence.

      I am quite aware of how complex and intricate a full blown and well back doored operating system can be.

      Even with proper intent of writing good, secure and efficient software, and having full monitoring of code generated by one, and certified by at least one other... Errors Happen....

      I am not sure Redmond comes close to that standard... which is why I don't trust them...

      That is why, hopefully sooner than later, the less than efficient programmers at Redmond, may be finding that, in spite of all their efforts to ignore what is known as a problem...

      OS and really Functional software will be created by computers and system analysts...

      A set up that doesn't have all the foibles of poor construct, security, and onerous back doors, (even programmer sabotage, perhaps) that many, especially Windows, has today.

      The OSs of that nature, will NOT be designed in this country...(USA)...

      Any software organization that would try such, would find they are losing personnel to quaint accidents... those that didn't 'willingly' sell out.

      But, it will come... The software to do so, might even become open source, to really upset the apple cart (no pun intended)

      Unless, of course, All countries outlaw such software, for lack of security reasons.

  34. Bridge_for_Sail

    Pay Me Now .. or Pay Me Later

    Everyone who acquires technology makes a decision on whether to insist on robust quality up front at a price (money or another resource like your own time -- this is called due diligence), or settle for qood enough and hope that the probability gods will bankroll your gamble on probability.

    As a society we are very very tough on some things (like airplanes) were we insist on very high design, manufacturing, usage, and maintenance standards. Alas, commercial general purpose OS are not one of those things we are tough on (would you fly a plane whose automation OS was Windows XP,7,8, etc.).

    Commerical OS (and other types of software) vendors by definition have the incentive to get you to buy the OS at a reduced price and make that money up with $ervices, update$, etc. With Microsoft, perhaps you get an OS good enough to get you to buy cheap -- with you paying and paying and paying (blood, sweat, and tears) forever.

  35. Bridge_for_Sail

    Pay Me Know .. o Pay Me Later

    Everyone who acquires technology makes a decision on whether to insist on robust quality up front at a price (money or another resource like your own time -- this is called due diligence), or settle for qood enough and hope that the probability gods will bankroll your gamble on probability.

    As a society we are very very tough on some things (like airplanes) were we insist on very high design, manufacturing, usage, and maintenance standards. Alas, commercial general purpose OS are not one of those things we are tough on (would you fly a plane whose automation OS was Windows XP,7,8, etc.).

    Commerical OS (and other types of software) vendors by definition have the incentive to get you to buy the OS at a reduced price and make that money up with $ervices, update$, etc. With Microsoft, perhaps you get an OS good enough to get you to buy cheap -- with you paying and paying and paying (blood, sweat, and tears) forever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pay Me Know .. o Pay Me Later

      " we are very very tough on some things (like airplanes) were we insist on very high design, manufacturing, usage, and maintenance standards"

      s/are/used to be/

      s/we insist/used to insist/

      Yes that reads more realistically now.

      Have you been following the Dreamliner nightmare much? There is more then a suggestion that having suppliers do their own certification for regulatory purposes is not a bright idea for safety purposes.

      "Alas, commercial general purpose OS are not one of those things we are tough on (would you fly a plane whose automation OS was Windows XP,7,8, etc.)."

      You don't need Windows to foul up a safety critical system. You just need a broken software development and certification process (see above).

      I'd love to see a suggestion that the regulatory authorities actually understand some of the more dubious things they've apparently been approving on the Dreamliner (and elsewhere - the Dreamliner is just highly visible).

      But this thread is about MS. Not about aviation.

      Windows for Warships might be on topic as it was based on XP (not sure whether it was XP Embedded or XP EverythingElse. XP Embedded is supported for another couple of years yet). It'd be interesting to hear where Windows for Warships is at these days.

  36. nexsphil

    How is this not criminal?

    There's no way on earth a company in Europe would get away with something like this. I've been trying out Linux Mint recently, and it's bloody good! Can even get games like DOTA 2 on Steam - and you get much higher framerates for your hardware.

    So Microsoft are determined to run themselves into the ground. GOOD.

    1. Tiirath

      Re: How is this not criminal?

      its not because its not true. Read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has altered the context.

  37. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    FAIL

    Zero day?

    How can they be called zerodays when they are known vulnerabilities?

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Zero day?

      Good point. I always thought the definition of zero day meant that you'd got in there before the fixers got to it. If there are no fixers, then surely there can't - by definition - be such a thing as a zero day?

      1. Tiirath

        Re: Zero day?

        The author is just muddying the water, did you read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has altered the context.

  38. and-job

    Maybe Microsoft Should ask why...

    people are not upgrading. Rather than use a veiled threat to those that have not upgraded.

    Of course it is interesting that since Windows XP people have not purchased upgrades at the same rate as they did when everyone raced to upgrade from Windows Me. Probably because Windows Me (was the Me for Mess) was terrible and buggy.

    Now maybe if Microsoft had introduced issues that made XP less desirable to use for example crashing at random and nice blue screens then maybe people would have jumped to upgrade when when something works you don't want to change. People that switched from Windows 98se to Windows Me learned that sometimes an upgrade is not an upgrade it's a nightmare and it worried people that they would pay for an upgrade that turned into a nightmare.

    Yes, price is a big issue, Microsoft seem to think that their OS is a premium product while they hype the improvements in real terms that hype doesn't match the actual product.

    Windows 8 is the reason that I paid extra and purchased a Mac this time round! I would rather pay a low price for an upgrade and by the time Apple stop supporting the model of Mac I will already be planning to purchase a replacement and $20 for an upgrade is better than $120 for what is really a gamble. You don't know if it will run perfectly on your PC or the PC will grind to halt.

    We did pay for the Windows 8 upgrade and tried multiple times to get it to work. We went from Windows 7 to Windows 8 and we even tried wiping the hard drive and doing a clean install and Windows Explorer would crash every 20 minutes with a message and have to restart. Hardly compatible with productivity and, to add insult to injury, it ran slower than Windows 7, against the promise of it being more efficient, sleeker and quicker. We vowed that it was end the our relationship with Microsoft. That PC is now running Linux.

    Bye Bye Microsoft. This very may push people that have been tentative about trying Linux to switch to that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe Microsoft Should ask why...

      "XP less desirable to use for example crashing at random and nice blue screens"

      Please don't give them ideas. Though I have to say it has occurred to me that another way they could 'force' people to upgrade would be to release a security patch that did just that..

      After losing what tenuous faith I had left in Microsoft thanks to their insane antics over the last ten months, my credulity meter has gone so far into the negative that I have ceased to be surprised at anything they do and say.

      All Microsoft are doing now is making the rubble bounce.

    2. Tiirath

      Re: Maybe Microsoft Should ask why...

      Please take time to read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

      Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones. So when cross systems vulnerabilities get patched in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Widows 8.1 etc., there will have been no patch for Windows XP, that is what the original blog is saying.

      As for your mac, how far back dose it support the MAC OS!!!!

  39. squigbobble
    Stop

    They don't want to give away extended support

    So why not sell it? Let people who care buy an extended support licence so the cost of churning out patches is covered. A sizable chunk of a certain former electrical retailer's income used to come from extended warranties. It allows M$ to magic up a new revenue stream out of thin air.

    The software implementation is probably the hardest bit.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: They don't want to give away extended support

      "So why not sell it? Let people who care buy an extended support licence so the cost of churning out patches is covered."

      It's obtainable from MS if the price is right (there are applications which WILL NOT run on later OSes) along with extended support licenses (for the right price, if you're willing to pay it)

      The surprising thing these days for commercial operations is that they're used to NOT paying support fees for MS stuff. That's been normal (even on Linuxen) for decades.

      As for home users: if you want to pay, you can get premium support, but upgrading to Win7/8/Linux is much cheaper.

    2. Tiirath

      Re: They don't want to give away extended support

      because its a waist of resource.. How far back dose apple support its OS! Most people with XP have it because they can not afford to purchase a new system, so they probably can not afford support.

      Do you know how any lines of product MS have ? I know people running MS windows 3.1 because they say its the best (REALY ????) .. so you think MS should be supporting them?

      Please take time to read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

      Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones. So when cross systems vulnerabilities get patched in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Widows 8.1 etc., there will have been no patch for Windows XP, that is what the original blog is saying.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: They don't want to give away extended support

        Do you know how many times you've posted on this single thread? We get it, you <3 Microsoft, you want us to read your blog (I'm sorry, Microsoft's blog).

        El Reg has this wonderful feature where by I can click on your name and see a history of your posts. You only talk on MS topics and you are only (overwhelmingly) pro MS. You're determined and professional in your comment carpet bombing campaign. I think it is about time those nice guys at Redmond sent you a Surface Pro to "review".

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A load of old Ball(mer)s

    XP is 12 years old, so why is Redmond still fixing vulns? Updates added that open new loopholes? What about supporting new crapware that has been added to the OS? What happens if the last patch Tuesday for XP contains another vuln?

    I moved away from Windows 4 years ago and can only see Linux going from strength to strength.

    Me, I'm just a low level man, you can tell me by the way I walk...

  41. HippyFreetard

    If the patches can be reverse-engineered in order to discover the holes, is it possible they could be reverse-engineered to create patches?

    Could a 3rd-party like Comodo or Nortons sell legacy support for XP by clean-room reverse-engineering patches that MS release for 7 or 8? This isn't a cure for zero-day, because you'd be waiting for the patch while the hole was open, but it might be an interim solution between a hardware upgrade and a 7 rollout with Browsium.

    1. and-job

      Actually Hippyfreetard, you really bring up a valid point. Microsoft have only ever been REACTIVE towards fixing vulnerabilities! i.e. They only fix security holes when someone brings it to light and it is public knowledge. There is no need for someone to 'reverse' engineer the fixes. If they were willing to reverse engineer the fixes they would find the new security hole that the fix opened up while trying to close another one. Something that Microsoft manages to do on a regular basis. They patch a security hole, then patch another hole that the first patch made and then do another patch to fix the two patches! If they made a visual map of the fixes it would look like a crazily made patchwork quilt.

      I am sure that any holes that Microsoft patch on the later supported versions of Windows the people that are likely to take advantage of those security issues are already aware of them.

      As for a 3rd party. I would bet that Microsoft would be quick to take legal action against such a company. How dare anyone mess with code that is 'owned' by Microsoft. Though the true reason is very much more likely that it would put a spanner in the works with their push to get people to either buy new PC's or pay their inflated upgrade pricing.

      Maybe it really is time that people started turning their backs on Microsoft. They have lost their way and are so blinkered that they can't get anything right anymore.

      Let's face it, these days Linux in it's various incarnations are far easier to use. After all, people are using it in one form or another and Android is really just Linux on a tablet or smart phone and I am sure that many that wouldn't consider it before would be more likely to switch to it if it was made as easy to install apps on a PC using Linux.

      1. Tiirath

        Really?? ... you think running android on what aver phone trains you up for using Linux on a computer?

        Microsoft are active in locking for bugs, and in the last year are also paying bounties for bugs and fixes.

        As for this FUD of article Read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

        1. The Real Tony Smith
          Linux

          "...Really?? ... you think running android on what aver phone trains you up for using Linux on a computer?..."

          In some ways yes, it introduces you to the concept of downloading and installing software as a data package from a single signed and trusted source rather than the Windows way of downloading and running executables from random locations on the Internet.

          One of the reasons why Windows is full of malware.

    2. Tiirath

      Because there is no money in it for them!

      Read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

  42. darren.b

    So after 13 years of continuous patches, it's still a horrible, bug riddled mess?

    I'd never have known.

  43. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    Microsoft FAIL

    Maybe if Microsoft released a Windows that was completely bare bones, just a start menu and a desktop to run software, and other than that just gets out of the way, people would switch away from Windows XP.

    In software, good engineering is whatever gets the job done without calling attention to itself. Every new version of Windows fails this test in a bigger and bigger way.

    1. Fihart

      Re: Microsoft FAIL

      Exactly.

      An OS which does its job and doesn't hog resources.

      If Microsoft can't (or perhaps can) see this it's because it would lead to widespread layoffs at Redmond, probably couldn't command a hefty retail price and wouldn't create a (mythical) $12bn sales opportunity for hardware sellers.

      But I guess we can dream. Or switch to Linux.

    2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Microsoft FAIL

      Something like WinPE. Or old NT 4.0. Or XP Embedded. Full XP is not easy to put on a diet.

      Yeah, there would be a market for a crap-free OS, but probably not very huge. Mainly geeks and relatives.

    3. Tiirath

      Re: Microsoft FAIL

      The consumer dose not want, and would not purchase true bare bones. Now if you want to talk about the crap ware that gets loaded on the a lot of the consumer line PCs I am 100% with you, and they do cause a problem of instability and slowness, even vulnerabilities sometimes .. BUT that is not Microsoft, they is the PC producer who takes money from someone to preload their crap on PCs.

      There are some places that do unloaded installs, Dell do for at least corporation not sure about consumer, and if you buy direct from Microsoft Store online or physical outlet then those PC are with out crap and bloat ware.

      Read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

  44. Antoinette Lacroix

    I like XP

    I have a small XP partition for stuff that doesn't behave well under Wine. Most programs out there are made for XP anyway, so there's no real reason to "upgrade". On top of that, XP works perfectly with as little as 10-12 services running in the background, depending on ones preferences. I've disabled stuff like firewalls, security center, automatic updates and suchlike a long time ago, Needless to say, I don't run any AV / Anti-malware stuff either Never had any problems, though. The weak link is always the user and nothing can change that. To me, XP is the Windows version for computer savvy people, who know what they are doing.

  45. N2 Silver badge

    Blackmail

    Surely this has to be the lowest form of revenue generation this shoddy organisation can stoop to, what next when this fails? I suspected they may engineer & distribute viruses for older versions of Windows...

    Im also sure they will do the same to future versions of windows, just to lever more cash & makes me all the more determined to never use any of their software, products or services.

    If I was a shareholder, I'd be selling right away, perhaps the on-line community could fight back by persuading shareholders to do just that?

    1. Tiirath

      Re: Blackmail

      Please take time to read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

      Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones. So when cross systems vulnerabilities get patched in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Widows 8.1 etc., there will have been no patch for Windows XP, that is what the original blog is saying.

  46. Nuno trancoso

    Sigh...

    Here we go again... Who gives a tweet? How many of the W7/W8 patches will translate to a all-Winblows landscape vulnerability? It's quite likely a small number. Of that small number, how many will allow rooting the box? Quite likely an even smaller number. And of those, how many will have impossible to close attack vectors that make patches a must and not a "if available"? Think you get the idea...

    This whole "XP gonna die an horrible death" hammering is just driving the point home. The point that MS f'ed up badly with every OS since then and now they're getting desperate with a userbase that just WON'T "upgrade". It's not XP's fault for being too good as it isn't, it's just better than the crap they churned out to replace it...

    p.s. to the *nix crowd, give up. That you might have a (technological) edge on the OS wars is debatable. That you aren't even a runner up on the application wars is a fact. Until you loose that delusional mindset that GIMP can replace PS and app XYZ can replace it's win/osx established industry standard replacement, you're going nowhere and doing the community a disservice...

    1. Tiirath

      Re: Sigh...

      XP has an edge in the application wars ???

      Please take time to read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

      Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones. So when cross systems vulnerabilities get patched in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Widows 8.1 etc., there will have been no patch for Windows XP, that is what the original blog is saying.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simplest solution to XP diehards

    Free upgrade to 7 for anyone holding a valid XP OEM or SLK key.

    Distributed by DVD-R in the form of a disk image and partitioner that avoids the need to do a fresh install. complete with all current patches on the disk.

    It would probably cost Microsoft less than trying to firefight on a broken system..

    AC/DC

    1. David Jackson 1

      Re: Simplest solution to XP diehards

      But why would anyone want to upgrade (if that's the word) to Windows 7 or later? I have the misfortune to have to use Windows 7 at work. Fortunately, there are still some proper machines with XP around. It's much nicer to work with than Windows 7. If we must have a newer version of Windows, why can't we have one that looks like XP but with the bugs fixed?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Robert Sneddon

        Re: Simplest solution to XP diehards

        XP Home/Pro is a 32-bit OS with a hard RAM limit of about 3.5GB and it doesn't support drive volumes bigger than 2TB. For gamers the limit for XP is DirectX 9. Win 7 and Win 8 don't suffer from those limitations.

        I've got a couple of boxes at home here still running XP but they're not connected to the internet when I do run them up which isn't very often (basically backwards compatibility testing and playing some older games).

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Simplest solution to XP diehards @Robert Sneddon

          I can see two major flaws in your argument.

          First I doubt many gamers will want to stay on XP and yesterday's hardware (and yesterdays games). Although as you alluded to, you may need to just to be able to continue accessing all that content that is DRM locked to that system.

          Secondly, for you typical domestic user, they have little need for volumes larger than 300GB, because they aren't using the PC for much more than home office functions (email, word processing) and limited browsing and content viewing. Yes when they decide to subscribe to NetFlix etc and download a few movies then they will need a larger volume, but for many this will be akin to buying new kit to receive and record Freeview HD broadcasts. Your typical business user similarly has little need for massive workstation hardware. So the whole thing a bout 64-bit isn't so much about what people need it for but what we can sell them once they have it.

          Your point about XP and connecting it to the Internet, says more about your levels of paranoia and surfing habits than real levels of risk. For me my security software, like the locks on my doors are more about prevention and being prepared than actual levels of risk - how many times have you seen any one walking down your street and trying the door handles?

          So in summary, I suspect that many XP diehards aren't actually those reading this forum, but are normal people who don't take any real attention to changing fads of the IT industry; and hence will continue to use XP until the PC breaks or stops them from doing something. The question is: will they actually notice the end of the regular "reboot to installing updates" messages?

        2. Prowler
          Alien

          Re: Simplest solution to XP diehards

          @Robert Sneddon

          Yes, there are pluses and minuses to using Windows XP or any deprecated OS, in fact this is what planned obsolescence is all about.

          The WinXP RAM issue is icky because it is both a physical and legal limit, the physical can be hacked away but they wrote 4 GB into the licensing terms so many sites will not describe the procedures anyway. With a little less cowardice in the community the hacks would easily be explored and implemented, the same way that Win9x has already been fixed to use way more than its 512/1024 RAM limits and 128 GB HDD limit.

          The WinXP 2TB limit is only physical with repect to the fact that the GPT system code is not present in XP or 2K3 even though Microsoft could easily backport it the same way they did with 48-bit LBA ( 128 GB limit ) into SP1. Consequently the fixes have already been implemented onboard by HDD manufacturers who unlike Microsoft, do not want to throw away 1/3 of their potential customers on a whim.

          So it is clear planned obsolescence, as usual, to get everyone to open their wallets and buy new stuff. People would do well to teach them a lesson and challenge this evil practice at every opportunity.

          However, there are advantages to using a relatively lean, clean and mean OS like Windows XP. Not the least of which has to do with what we have been treated to in the news for the past two months. The government spook spy scandal. Windows XP was literally released ( RTM ) as 9/11 occurred and precedes the DRM movement and especially the PRISM fiasco. Longhorn/Vista and everything since quite appropriately is supected as being throroughly compromised by both Hollywood and government. Microsoft famously was the first "partner" and I have little doubt that every line of code since has been written with that first and foremost in mind.

          It can be logically reckoned that because of the exposure of Microsoft's collusion with the feds, Windows XP and older systems will remain around many households for a very long time indeed. You would be crazy to just toss the old stuff away because of trendy updates, security FUD ( that's ironic! ) and dancing children with that horrific disaster called Windows 8.

      3. and-job

        Re: Simplest solution to XP diehards

        David You are right. There is no reason for people to want to upgrade. In fact Windows 8 is so hard on the processor even though they claimed that it was more efficient than Windows 7 (though the only change was to take away the start button and put a processor heavy start screen system with active tiles and made it more friendly to tablets by making the connection to a network the first thing it did and the very last thing it does after start up).

        These days Windows is far less central to people's online lives. Android and iOS have replaced much of that activity because the bulk of people's lives revolve around Facebook, Youtube and web browsing with a sprinkle of email slopping around in there. They don't need Windows to do it and Windows on a tablet is really too little too late for most of us.

        Maybe two years ago I would have bought a Windows based phone and a tablet and stuck with windows but nobody wants a situation like this Windows XP debacle happening with Windows 8 on their tablet in maybe a years time when Microsoft decides that they will demand money for an upgrade to the OS with Windows 9 or be left behind!

        Windows is not the Premium operating system that Microsoft lives under a dillusion that it is!

      4. Tiirath

        Re: Simplest solution to XP diehards

        REALY ??

        Please take time to read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

        Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones. So when cross systems vulnerabilities get patched in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Widows 8.1 etc., there will have been no patch for Windows XP, that is what the original blog is saying.

    2. Tiirath

      Re: Simplest solution to XP diehards

      Please take time to read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

      Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones. So when cross systems vulnerabilities get patched in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Widows 8.1 etc., there will have been no patch for Windows XP, that is what the original blog is saying.

  48. Tridac

    Older windows version are fine, so long as you limit network exposure. I'm still using W2K to support some older tools and know of others that are still on NT4. Sounds like FUD to me - there'sonly one XP box here and hasn't been patched for months. It's stable, works and will most likely stay that way...

    Chris

    1. Tim Bates

      "so long as you limit network exposure"

      Sure - limit the network exposure to nothing at all, and you'll be fine. Allow pretty much anything and you're running the risk of attack.

  49. John Savard Silver badge

    Windows XP should not have had any vulnerabilities in it when it was initially released. Since Microsoft failed in its duty to make a product that worked properly, it should be required to support the product in perpetuity as far as security updates are concerned until such time as it has no vulnerabilities left.

    The same goes for Windows 98 and Windows 3.1, for that matter. The U.S. government needs to get tough on slipshod software companies.

    1. Tiirath

      So no other OS has vulnerabilities in it??? have you any connect of how many lines of code are in Linux, Windows XP, Windows 7, windows 8 Server 2012, OS X ???? Until we get a Artificial Intelligence that can test code .. there will always be bugs and vulnerabilities, UNLESS you will put up with a 10,000 year production cycle before your is sold..

      Governments should how ever enforce that NO preinstalled applications other than those you purchase are installed, on that I would support you. There are some places that do unloaded installs, Dell do for at least corporation not sure about consumer, and if you buy direct from Microsoft Store online or physical outlet then those PC are with out crap and bloat ware.

      Please take time to read the original blog from MS http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx You will find the register has alter the contacts.

      Microsoft is NOT introducing new issues, its just not supporting old ones. So when cross systems vulnerabilities get patched in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Widows 8.1 etc., there will have been no patch for Windows XP, that is what the original blog is saying.

  50. This post has been deleted by its author

  51. Tiirath

    THIS IS NOT TRUE !! please take time to read the original blog as provided by the blog.

    THIS IS NOT TRUE !! please take time to read the original blog as provided by the blog.

    The title and substance of this article is a lie, the author Iain Thomson has ether made a bad mistake, or is responsible for an outright untruth. This article should be apologised for, and corrected.

    The title "Microsoft warns it'll hand out zero days for Windows XP" implies that Microsoft are actively giving out vulnerabilities - this is FALSE!!!

    The 1st, 2nd and proceeding paragraphs only enforce the falsehood that Microsoft are actively attacking Windows XP.

    Read the original blog in its entirety ..

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/security/archive/2013/08/15/the-risk-of-running-windows-xp-after-support-ends.aspx

    QUICK HIGH LIGHT from block ..

    When Microsoft releases a security update, security researchers and criminals will often times reverse engineer the security update in short order in an effort to identify the specific section of code that contains the vulnerability addressed by the update. Once they identify this vulnerability, they attempt to develop code that will allow them to exploit it on systems that do not have the security update installed on them. They also try to identify whether the vulnerability exists in other products with the same or similar functionality. For example, if a vulnerability is addressed in one version of Windows, researchers investigate whether other versions of Windows have the same vulnerability. To ensure that our customers are not at a disadvantage to attackers who employ such practices, one long standing principle that the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) uses when managing security update releases is to release security updates for all affected products simultaneously. This practice ensures customers have the advantage over such attackers, as they get security updates for all affected products before attackers have a chance to reverse engineer them.

    But after April 8, 2014, organizations that continue to run Windows XP won’t have this advantage over attackers any longer. The very first month that Microsoft releases security updates for supported versions of Windows, attackers will reverse engineer those updates, find the vulnerabilities and test Windows XP to see if it shares those vulnerabilities. If it does, attackers will attempt to develop exploit code that can take advantage of those vulnerabilities on Windows XP. Since a security update will never become available for Windows XP to address these vulnerabilities, Windows XP will essentially have a “zero day” vulnerability forever. How often could this scenario occur? Between July 2012 and July 2013 Windows XP was an affected product in 45 Microsoft security bulletins, of which 30 also affected Windows 7 and Windows 8.

    1. and-job

      Re: THIS IS NOT TRUE !! please take time to read the original blog as provided by the blog.

      Ahem, I read the story on the Register and I don't know what you are screaming about What you are quoting from Microsoft perfectly matches what Microsoft's own blog states. The information is the same information.

      Regardless of how it is put, Microsoft will be effectively, by their OWN WORDS, be introducing a path to exploits on Windows XP based machines.

      For myself and many others it is not what they are doing that is as bad as the VEILED THREAT to those using Windows XP. This veiled threat has been designed to drive a push for people to purchase PC's running windows 8 and in some cases, especially for those that get told by a third party, the few that race out and purchase the $120 upgrade and then when they try and install it they find that it just will not work and then they are both out the $120 and the cost of replacing the PC after the fact.

      This whole thing is about Microsoft now worried about their own bottom line caused by with lower PC sales and poor uptake of Windows 8 based tablets and devices having to use threats to try and get the PC market going. Microsoft have always driven the PC market. Their operating systems use more and more resources with each new release and it does force people to purchase more and more powerful PC's just to run Windows. Does it improve the customers experience. Not a jot!

      Microsoft offers claims of better performance and quicker start up times but many times their claims in the real world are not truthful, they are not lies but in real world use there is little gain and most times it requires a bigger processor to be able to use the latest and greatest (sarcasm) version of Windows before you even see any gains in performance and without improved hardware it actually has a slow down in speed.

      So when someone jumps to their defense they should be asking why Microsoft really made the veiled threat because they never made any such threats to Windows Me users, Windows 98 users, Windows 95 users or Windows 3.1 users!!! They just said that they would no longer be supported and left it at that. This time they are doing it to try and drive sales to improve their own bottom line which is at risk!

      1. Ian 55

        Re: THIS IS NOT TRUE !! please take time to read the original blog as provided by the blog.

        Quite.

        To adapt an analogy from someone else, it's "Nice place. Pity that we're going to stop fixing the burglar alarm we sold you as recently as three years ago. Now buy one of a type that you've had even more years to buy but clearly don't want, and accept all the costs of that, or the way we fix those ones will show the nasties how to break in to your place. It'd be your fault if that happened, wouldn't it guv?"

        Licenses for Quarterdeck - you might not remember them, but they were one of those offering a superior product to Microsoft and were killed off by them - software had a strict time limit: you couldn't legally use QEMM or DESQview for more than about eight years. I don't remember any clause like that in the Windows XP licence.

        If HP stop making toner for your printer, they give you a new printer. Microsoft should do likewise.

  52. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  53. codejunky Silver badge

    Tough situation

    XP has been around for a while and so is bound to be vulnerable. Technology moves on and so does the threat. I know people still on XP and I would have preferred to stay with it myself but for the lousy 64bit version (poor reviews so went with win7). When XP first came out it was aweful and unstable with a telly tubby look (thank god you can switch it back), but MS to their credit did a fantastic job at improving the OS as can be seen by its still popularity.

    The problem MS have is the damaged reputation and poor alternatives. After XP came the perfect example of how not to build an OS (vista). I know people with this too, victims. After that came win7 which is the most reasonable after XP but it isnt the most recent. It also has compatibility issues with some software for XP. What user wants to move to win7 when it will become unsupported and the latest MS isnt very good?

    This brings me to win8, the Marmite version of windows. A lot of people will likely move to this nightmare but how it will run on the old hardware for XP systems I doubt it would be any good. So people will probably buy new computers or give up. There will be a share that move to linux. I will be doing my bit and upgrading the people I know from win XP to whichever linux they fancy. They are home users who wont want to buy new machines.

    MS made this difficult. Not because they are dropping XP after all this time, but because they have no good alternative. Even if you like win8 would you buy it based on the general opinion and reporting of not being very good? Especially after being burned with vista.

  54. Flywheel Silver badge

    "it's warning users that if they don’t upgrade soon, hackers will lie in wait each new Patch Tuesday to reverse-engineer a full set of new vulnerabilities"

    Ir depends on who those hackers work for, eh? #JustSaying

  55. ShelLuser

    Does MS actually know how to make money?

    It's usually done by providing that which your customers want.

    So if there are still so many XP users out there, why not come up with a subscription plan to keep XP maintained with security updates for a year or so? When you got a lot of people paying for that then you might actually make some money out of it..

    Yet it seems MS is very good at completely ignoring the obvious.

  56. Tim Bates

    Would love to upgrade our customers...

    Would love to upgrade our customers, but Microsoft has really put everyone in a bad spot here. They're culling XP, which means we need to upgrade customers to Windows 7 or 8... Rather cleverly, they have also removed "7 Upgrade" from supply channels, so you can only buy 8. 8Pro has downgrade rights, but only if you buy OEM (not upgrade).... And OEM licenses can only be used on freshly built PCs.

    What a mess they've left here. We either have to sell new PCs to clients just to get XP out of the way, or convince the world that Windows 8 isn't so bad. Ugh!

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: Would love to upgrade our customers...

      Windows 8 with Classic Shell installed and Metro effectively disabled is perfectly useable, if occasionally annoying.

  57. Green Nigel 42

    Linux market share

    Post April next year & judging by the intent of many here to run XP virtually within Linux, it will be interesting to see if Linux substantially breaks the ( mythical?) 1% share!

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft arithmetic?

    "XP is also by far the most malware-infected operating systems, he points out".

    How many of them is it?

    1. and-job

      Re: Microsoft arithmetic?

      They really want that boast to be given to Windows 8. I am sure that in a couple of years time they will be able to make that boast again.

      Most people that have Windows XP infected with Malware will end up in the same situation regardless of what OS they are using!! You can't stop people from going to sites that allow them to download the said malware and they are the same people that will click download on Windows 8.

      I'll never buy a windows based PC ever again. If I do then it will have the windows OS removed and replaced with Linux. At least they don't put a use by date on Linux!

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft arithmetic?

        Then what happens when you find an essential piece of software is Windows-ONLY? And they exist A LOT in both the gaming and business world. Sometimes (like a companion to some hardware), not even VMing a Windows session helps much.

  59. Jo 5

    MS: "yeah all versions of windows are buggy flawed pieces of crap. But hey folks we are not gonna scrape the oldest crap off the sole of your shoe from now on OK!"

  60. KayKay

    My XP crashed last week

    I've run this laptop for a month short of 3 years, 24/7, rebooted about once every 6 weeks......... and it crashed last week for the first time ever.

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