Microsoft to extend Windows XP anti-malware updates one year

Microsoft to extend Windows XP anti-malware updates one year

Summary: Security updates for Windows XP will end this April, but updated anti-malware signatures for the operating system will continue for another year.


Microsoft has announced that they will continue to supply anti-malware signatures for their products on Windows XP until April 15, 2015.

There has been much speculation in about whether they would continue this support. In October Microsoft told ZDNet that they "...will not guarantee updates of our antimalware signature and engine after the XP end of support date of April 8, 2014." Since then some have claimed that the company will end antivirus signatures this April, but Microsoft never actually said this.

[UPDATE: While Microsoft will provide updates for Security Essentials for another year, after this April you will no longer be able to download and install the program.]

Even if Microsoft Security Essentials will continue to be updated after April, moving to a supported operating system which receives security updates is advisable according to Microsoft and experts. Users who continue to run XP also have the option of many third party anti-malware products, virtually all of which will continue to receive updates on XP for at least one year.

As Microsoft's announcement today says, there is much more to keeping a system secure than an updated anti-malware product.

Topics: Security, Microsoft, Windows

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  • Great

    They are going to continue updating that anti-malware program that they recommended we don't use? How nice of them....
  • Ya Know...

    Reading the source here for the web site ..:

    © 2014 CBS Interactive. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Cookies | Ad Choice | Advertise | Terms of Use

    Visit other CBS Interactive sites

    Select Site
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    Nobody sees the menu at the bottom of the web page,with all the other "CBS Interactive" sites.

    .... just saying.
  • What other AV vendors doing?

    What have the AV vendors said about continuing to support XP?
    • Nearly all of them have said they will continue to support it

      for at least a year.


      for more detail
      Larry Seltzer
  • This is plain dumb

    .... as it presupposes an active internet connection. The only acceptable continued use of XP after the 8th of April, is without any connection to the internet whatsoever. Neither directly nor indirectly.
    • continue using XP safely

      Since the XP machines are still working it's a waste to retire them

      What you can do is take the XP machine off the internet. When the XP machines need internet access you canl remote it into Windows 7 PC running Win7 and browse the internet, read emails etc from it. Basically the Windows 7 is sandbox (separate) from the XP machine

      I use Aikotech ThinServer which provides this solution
      • They are safe...

        You don't have to avoid the internet, or sandbox XP machines. They haven't been hacked directly since service pack one. That was forever ago. Service pack two solved it. Service pack three is the "normal" xp install out there. The virus's come in through holes in java, flash and users installing malware via browsers, not a "direct os hack".
    • Not quite

      The only use for XP after April is a trash can.
  • Does Microsoft have a drug problem?

    Having these computers connected to the network without core support is bad for everyone. It will be like having a contagious child in a classroom. And telling people that they will continue to update anti-malware software will make some people they are safe. This is one of the stupider things I've ever heard.

    XP has overstayed it's welcome. Let it die.
    • Microsoft can't force people to stop using XP

      and despite the advanced several year warning, there are going to be people that don't know about the end of service date for XP until it happens... or after that.
      • I don't think you see my point.

        In my experience, the majority of machines that run XP in the United States are in banks and restaurants. You know, places where your financial data are available, and places where you have your credit card run. These machines are connected to the internet. They won't have core support after April 2014. Can you see how there might be a problem?

        They can't force people to stop using XP? Perhaps not. Do you think that there are more that 200 people that, even if by accident, don't know that XP will not be supported in four months? I doubt it. Unless you spend all your time staring at the duck call rednecks or Honey Boo Boo on TV, you MUST be aware that technology has advanced since 2001. Everyone gets that if your car was made in 2001, you drive an old car. Don't say people don't get it, that's dumb. Everyone that drives an Edsel knows it's old and slow. Everyone that uses XP knows it's already dead. All of them. They just resist change.

        Having these XP machines connected to the internet gives malware a place to hide. It creates (perhaps) the largest botnet ever. It will suck up bandwidth. It's bad for everyone. It should be stopped. It should be.

        That you don't get that is irrelevant. Microsoft does, though. They know better. And they should just walk away from XP.
        • No. They don't.

          People who are knowledgeable about computers know. People who CARE about computer security know.

          People who've had the same box sitting on their desk for ten years, who use it to play Solitaire and check e-mail once every two weeks (yes I know someone who literally does this,) and who don't know Windows XP from Linux from a hole in the ground, have no clue. Even if they're told that support is running out, it doesn't really sink in or have the impact it would have on a tech-savvy person.

          They just know that like that old car, the thing still works and does what they want it to do, so they're not going to spend the money to replace it until they're forced to do so by hardware failure or some other catastrophe. I'm pretty sure I was silently judged by my mother-in-law and her mother this Christmas for replacing my daughter's old XP rig with a Windows 7 box, because it was a big expensive purchase and we don't have much money. The facts that the old one was performing like crap and that their own elderly PC is going to be vulnerable come April just don't rank very high on their priority list.

          (Grandma, for the record, still drives a car with a vintage circa 1995, it's in excellent condition, and she's suspicious as hell of more recent models, which she doesn't think hold up as well.)
        • Where do you people get this?

          Hate to break it to you, but XP machines don't just get infected because they are XP machines. They get infected the same way Vista, Windows7 and Windows8 machines get infected, namely through the use of java, flash, or an installer initiated by the user.
          XP machines "sitting" on the internet haven't been subject to random code attacks since SERVICE PACK ONE. I can leave a machine with XP and service pack 2 connected to the internet for the rest of my life and it won't get an infection. You people babble and babble, when you have no clue.
  • Just get off the OS

    Windows XP RTMed in August 2001, that's:

    - pre 9/11
    - Destiny's Child was still together
    - Michael Jackson released his last studio album
    - Mac OS 10.0 and Redhat 6 were the alternative operating systems then
    - YouTube didn't exist
    - Facebook didn't exist
    - Twitter didn't exist
    - Google was just a search engine
    - CRTs

    The OS is old, retire the machine. Yes, XP still gets the job, it can access the Internet and do everything like a modern version of Windows, OS X or Linux, but at what cost really? Your security?

    Unless you plan to lock it down to the point its non-functional, I don't see the point of still hanging on to it.

    Then again whoever is complaining is probably in Asia or only use their computer for playing solitaire.
    • Complaining

      Or they have programs that were written for XP for a very specific purpose and can't easily be made to work with later versions of Windows, either because the organization doesn't have the money or because the company that originally made the software closed down or discontinued support.

      And let's not forget the cost of moving from XP to Windows 7--moving everyone over isn't going to be particularly cheap.
      Third of Five
      • Rubbish!

        Any program written for XP can easily be either re-written for newer, or replaced with similar products that probably work a TON better. ANY PROGRAM! Failing to do so is no excuse and pure lazy.
        • Right...

          So, wanna tell me where I can get a rewritten version of AD&D Core Rules (First Edition,) with its map maker that DOESN'T work as well in later editions, saves its files in a proprietary format, was abandoned by the vendor years ago, won't run on Windows 7, and which I'll have to pry from my husband's cold dead hands? Neither of us is a programmer, and we certainly can't afford to pay a professional to pick the thing apart and do it for us.

          Or how about the Oddballz game, which was released for Windows 3.1/95/98 and actually had to be patched just to make it work on Windows XP? My daughter's not about to let go of that one.

          Thank god for XP mode.
          • Agreed

            How many Windows 98 die-hard users are there still out there who refuse to upgrade? Microsoft created the problem by making the post XP versions of Windows annoying and difficult to use.
  • No more naggy updates

    Hey, at least XP users won't have any more nagging updates. Just keep using it until the PC locks up with malware and hopefully your storing all your stuff in the cloud so you just wipe the drive and re install XP.
  • why do you people keep missing the point? ...

    ... With over one in five pcs on the planet still using XP, all the bleating from the savvier/richer/geographically advantaged ... er... won't "make it die, get it off the networks or send it to the corner with a dunces cap"...

    It will stay there, infecting the internet with botnet membership and attacking YOU, so keep the damn things patched as much as possible because that is in YOUR best interests, in the REAL world, not the PRETEND world of tech comments...