Microsoft confirmed today for ZDNet that they will continue to create and distribute the Malicious Software Removal Tool for Windows XP users until July 14, 2015.
A Microsoft spokesperson said "Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool is aligned with the company's antimalware engines and signatures and as such, the removal tool will continue to be provided for Windows XP through July 14, 2015."
The clarification of policy was first reported by Computerworld on Sunday, citing sources close to the company.
The MSRT is a tool produced monthly by Microsoft for Windows users on Patch Tuesday. It searches for and removes certain widespread malware infections on Windows systems. When Windows users run Windows Update it may be run automatically and silently. It is also available for download and execution from the Microsoft.
Microsoft reiterated that continued availability of the MSRT is not a good reason to stick with Windows XP, nor are malware detection and removal tools adequate protection for users.
Hat tip to our own Mary Jo Foley.