Ditch XP ... fast!

Microsoft Windows XP support ends Tuesday: Why users need to upgrade -- now


Microsoft will end support for the persistently popular Windows XP on Tuesday, and the move could put everything from the operations of heavy industry to the identities of everyday people in danger.

An estimated 30 percent of computers being used by businesses and consumers around the world are still running the 12-year-old operating system. "What once was considered low-hanging fruit by hackers now has a big neon bull's eye on it," says Patrick Thomas, a security consultant at the San Jose, Calif.-based firm Neohapsis.

Microsoft has released a handful of Windows operating systems since 2001, but XP's popularity and the durability of the computers it was installed on kept it around longer than expected. Analysts say that if a PC is more than five years old, chances are it's running XP.

While users can still run XP after Tuesday, Microsoft says it will no longer provide security updates, issue fixes to non-security related problems or offer online technical content updates. The company is discontinuing XP to focus on maintaining its newer operating systems, the core programs that run personal computers. The Redmond, Wash.-based company says it will provide anti-malware-related updates through July 14, 2015, but warns that the tweaks could be of limited help on an outdated operating system.
Comment: Whenever Microsoft releases a patch for Windows 7 or 8, malicious hackers will look at the patch and consider whether it telegraphs an XP vulnerability. Options:

  • Windows 7: A solid operating system. 
  • Windows 8:1: Probably better (I'm not keen on touching a laptop screen all the time - messy - but one can use in keyboard & mouse mode too!)
  • The non-Microsoft options: Mac OS (matches Apple hardware); Linux (works great on older desktops ... sometimes doesn't install well on laptops because of specialized drivers for the screen); IOS (IPAD) (someone said that the IPAD is analogous to a microwave in a kitchen. Not the oven or range top but can cook with it). Or Android (for a tablet)
For the Peets: Windows 7 at work. MacBooks at home + an Ipad. 


  1. I was all about hanging on to Windows XP until Win7 was released. Now we're running both Win7 and 8 at work (8 on tablets only). At home, we've got it all: MacOS, Win7, Win8, Android, iOS. Each one has its strength...

  2. New Browser Hole Poses Extra Danger for XP Users:

    Microsoft on Sunday warned about hacking attacks against versions six through 11 of its flagship browser. If exploited, the coding flaw would allow hackers to have the same level of access on a network computer as the official user. That’s really bad.

    FireEye, a security company that claimed credit for finding the hole, said it is part of a hacking campaign against U.S. financial and defense companies but wouldn’t elaborate. The company said attacks mainly are targeted at Internet Explorer 9 through Internet Explorer 11.

    The bug affects the browser when used on multiple Microsoft operating systems. But the situation poses a special concern for people still using Windows XP.

  3. And New Vulnerability Found in Every Single Version of Internet Explorer

    According to a confirmation by Microsoft late last night, a new zero day vulnerability has been found to affect every version of Internet Explorer. In other words—over a quarter of the entire browser market.

    Attacks taking advantage of the vulnerability are largely targeting IE versions 9, 10, and 11 in something called a "use after free" attack. Essentially, the attack corrupts data as soon as memory has been released, most likely after users have been lured to phony websites


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