Microsoft Security Essentials to nag Windows XP users

Microsoft Security Essentials to nag Windows XP users

Summary: The next version of Security Essentials will include prominent warnings that Windows XP is not a safe operating system.

TOPICS: Security, Windows

In addition to Windows XP nagging users once a month, the next version of Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft's free antimalware program, will give prominent warnings to users running Windows XP.


The current engine version in Security Essentials is 4.4. Version 4.5 is available in Microsoft's Security Essentials Prerelease Program. The system requirements for version 4.5 say it works only on Windows Vista and Windows 7 (Windows 8 users are served by the included Windows Defender).


But a reader tells us that Security Essentials 4.5 will install on Windows XP. When it does, the user sees warnings such as the yellow bar in the image above or the yellow tray icon nearby. These yellow warnings stay up even if the product is completely updated and the system scan is clean.

In spite of the currently-listed system requirements, Microsoft tells ZDNet that "Windows XP customers already running Microsoft Security Essentials will receive version 4.5 when it ships." The company has already announced that Windows XP users will no longer be able to do new installations of Security Essentials after April 8.

Topics: Security, Windows

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  • Dear XP Users

    Welcome to 2014. Stop making your customers use old crappy software that your too cheap to update and didn't have the foresight to include a maintenance budget. Have a nice day.
    • I don't think the XP users are making the software...

      For me, an XP user with an old machine (pre-SSE2) that won't run a more modern OS or software, and less income than outgo, maintenance isn't a matter of forsight, so much as it's "house and auto maintenance first" that keeps me on XP when I'd actually LIKE to upgrade my hardware and software.

      As such I would prefer not to be disparaged for not donating blood, when I am a Turnip... ^_^
      D. W. Bierbaum
      • download linux mint 16, dual boot your xp and mint

        and you'll find that your equipment performs a whole lot better in mint than xp. use xp when you absolutely have to, otherwise you're going to be fine with mint.
        • False.

          I've tested various different Linus distros, including Ubuntu, Mint, even PUPPY LINUX (the one that's supposed to be very small and efficient) and NONE of them beat good ole Windows XP in responsiveness.

          Test platform: 1.8GHz Pentium 4 HP Vectra VL420, which first began operation circa 2002 and still working today.

          What was your test configuration?
        • Linux != for everyone

          I'm happily running Xubuntu on my desktop and laptop, no problem. But Linux isn't an option for my wife, who needs to run some proprietary software like Photoshop for her digital scrapbooking. Her machine is running fine, and as D.W. Bierbaum suggests, money for upgrades IS sometimes an option--as it is for us. If we're going to contemplate $100 to upgrade Windows, it's worth considering $400 to just get a new computer--but times are tough right now.
  • Where's Ed?

    He argued years ago that XP was inconsequential, a "has been". He must have been lying. Seems it's still viable for all the press coverage and efforts by MS to try and get people to stop using it. If you are using Microsoft, you really don't care about security anyway.
    • Yawn

      So a warning is now a major effort? And what would you say if they just shut it off without warning people?
      Michael Alan Goff
  • Given that Windows

    Is the ONLY operating system to get a virus*, shouldn't this appear on all versions of Windows?
    * malware and Trojan horses are not viruses, although these two are primarily ways to insert a virus.
    Tony Burzio
    • Malware

      What is malware?

      Malware is a term that is used for malicious software that is designed to do damage or unwanted actions to a computer system. Examples of malware include the following:
      Viruses, Worms, Trojan horses, Spyware, Rogue security software
    • Not the only OS to get a VIRUS

      "malware and Trojan horses are not viruses, although these two are primarily ways to insert a virus."

      Little consolation to someone who had their bank account drained due to a trojan.
    • are you really that uninformed?

      Here ya go buddy boy, lets burst the little bubble you got there

      3 minutes on google dude.
  • Should these warnings

    not also include, in the spirit of full disclosure, that MSE is a crappy solution to the problem, and only a half-hearted effort at system defense?
    • Most used Free security, scary right.

      I think for those who know how to be safe the MSE is a reasonable solution. Especially with Windows 7 and Defender on Windows 8 which is even more robust. I would agree, that XP is not a OS that can do well even fully updated with a knowledgeable users. I can only imagine the field day that will happen after April 8 on attacks of Windows XP. Its like telling people not to swim but don't mention that the waters are full of sharks.
      • Windows XP systems have never been infected?

        "I can only imagine the field day that will happen after April 8 on attacks of Windows XP."

        Why do you feel Windows XP will become even more infected than it is today? IMO the EOL of Windows XP is being way overblown. Yes known vulnerabilities will no longer be patched. And yes exploit code will be written. But that already happens today. If someone who can move from Windows XP isn't then security is not high on their list.
        • You are kidding, right?

          I manage my companies WSUS servers and release our client updates. I go through a few times a month every update that is released by MS. There are literally thousands of XP updates and kernel updates are still released, many listed as "critical".

          More than likely hackers have been sitting on a large number of exploits just waiting for the patching EOF to start rolling out the malware.

          There is zero reason to have an XP machine on the internet. None.
          Rann Xeroxx
          • uhm.. what else is an xp box good for then?

            most xp boxes are so underpowered at this point that all they are good for is Netflix and web browsing.
          • though I will admit

            I put 8.1 on the netbook and it did seem to run ok.... so long as the desktop was used for EVERYTHING (not enough pixels waaaaah)
          • No, I am not kidding.

            I've come across fully patched Windows system which are infected. How can this be? Easy...unpatched third party software (Java, Adobe, others) and the fact the users INSTALLS it themselves.

            I predict once Windows XP supports end we won't see a substantial increase in infected Windows XP system.
          • Reply to "No, I am not kidding."

            Yup. There won't be much of a change. That is not to say it cannot happen that some computers run by XP pick up malware, but it will not be the zombie apocalypse.

            First off Windows XP is very lock-down-able. The Chinese gov't is going to work on protecting the Windows eco-system in that country which means the XP boxes will be safer than otherwise just because the infrastructure will be hardened.

            Secondly, the Brits are paying Microsoft big bucks to support their millions of gov't XP systems .. so these will continue to be patched.

            Businesses will be firewalling off their XP systems to some extent. Moreover, many backroom XP systems are not connected directly to the Internet anyway.

            Most private customers in North America and Europe have moved on to new operating systems, some left early as 2006. Sure your friend's Mom might still have a laptop run with XP, but she doesn't do much other than email and visit that knitting website she has a subscription to, and even she is talking about getting a new computer one of these months (for the time being get her to use FireFox, not IE8, and make sure her anti-virus is on).

            So I agree with your post there: no XP zombie apocalypse, won't be happening.
            Time Agora
    • So in the spirit of full disclosure...

      ...I'm sure you have a suggestion that people should be using instead of Windows.
      Rann Xeroxx