Will Microsoft stick to its April 8 deadline?

By | January 30, 2014

Somewhere between 25% and 40% of all Windows computers are still running Windows XP, and a big percentage of these are large corporations and smaller businesses for whom Windows 8 is anathema because of its obvious leanings toward touch screen computers. Some think Windows 8 was designed to appeal to younger people whose primary reasons for using computers do not include productivity.

All this has left Microsoft between a rock and a hard place. If between 25% and 40% of all computers are still using Windows XP, and half of those are going to budge by the April 8, 2014 deadline, that means 12.5% to 20% of all Windows computers will still be running Windows XP on April 9, 2014.

Microsoft is obviously aware of the risks an outdated, unsupported, and un-updated Windows computer presents — not only to its owner, but to the Internet at large. Even if only 12% of all Windows computers are still running xP after the deadline — that’s still over 12 million computers, and that is a substantial number.

So Microsoft has been backpedaling some as of late. So how much more will they backpedal? Will they give Windows XP users a stay of execution until, say, July 2015.

This article appeared in “Infoworld”on January 27, 2014…and it shows how Microsoft has been backpedaling already with just over two months left until the official end of support for Windows XP.

Microsoft keeps chipping away at Windows XP’s end-of-life deadline

Amid the backpedaling on security updates, will Microsoft stick to its April 8 deadline, or is July 2015 the new XP cut-off date?

As Windows XP’s end-of-life date draws closer, Microsoft has begun backpedaling, opening the door to speculation about a possible stay of execution. Mind, the official Microsoft party line hasn’t changed one whit: Windows XP and Office 2003 will “transition” to end of life on April 8. As Microsoft says on its death knell website:

After April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date.

The corporate version of the same epitaph stings even a bit more:

‘After April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates. Running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in your environment after their end of support date may expose your company to potential risks, such as:

Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.’

Lack of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) & Hardware Manufacturers support: A recent industry report from Gartner Research suggests “many independent software vendors (ISVs) are unlikely to support new versions of applications on Windows XP in 2011; in 2012, it will become common.” And it may stifle access to hardware innovation: Gartner Research further notes that in 2012, most PC hardware manufacturers will stop supporting Windows XP on the majority of their new PC models.

But while the three-headed dog roars, Microsoft has also been backpedaling.

In early January, Microsoft changed its end-of-support page to say, “Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP.” It’s hard to know exactly what that phrase means: Will Microsoft keep you from downloading MSE on an XP machine? (A toothless tiger, because you could download it on a Win7 machine and install on XP.) Will Microsoft keep you from installing MSE on an XP machine? (What if you have to re-install XP — will Microsoft prevent you from having something you’ve had for years?) Will Microsoft prevent you from running MSE on an XP machine? Not likely.

Then in mid-January, Microsoft blinked. The powers-that-be announced that Microsoft would continue to provide MSE (and other Microsoft anti-malware package) updates for XP machines until July 2015. That’s silly, because providing MSE definition changes without patches to Windows itself is a bit like handing out fire extinguishers while cutting off fire engines.

More perplexing, Microsoft is saying it will update the MSE engine itself, without allowing you to “download” MSE on Windows XP. Huh?

Now comes word that Microsoft will continue to push the Malicious Software Removal Tool to XP machines until July 2015.

All of those are good decisions, but they don’t jibe with Microsoft’s announced abandonment of XP — unless July 2015 is the new April 8, 2014.

You can read the full article at Infoworld here.

6 thoughts on “Will Microsoft stick to its April 8 deadline?

  1. Muriel S.

    Just MAYBE, Microsoft turned on their “hearing aids” loud enough to reach the “listening” part of their brain?
    Now if we could only get them to “think’ about releasing even a retail verson of Outlook Express or Windows Live
    without first mucking them up.

    Reply
  2. Lee

    Will MS hold their ground in reference to the April 8, 2014, termination of support date for Windows XP? I don’t see it any other way. They have a current operating system, Windows 8, that is an acknowledged disaster. It joins the ranks of Vista and, earlier, Windows ME. However, Windows 8 is, to date, the worst of all. They have a huge investment in this cyber-failure and by all indications have a rather large investment in research and development of another OS entitled Windows 9. From a financial standpoint they can’t afford to endorse or support Windows XP any further. From a platform of development of positive corporate image and future growth in all sectors they would be dealing themselves the first hand in the game of ultimate corporate life or death. If one analyzes their predicament from all perspectives, you quickly realize that Microsoft is genuinely caught between the proverbial rock and a very hard spot. Their next presentation to the retail and corporate client base needs to made the efforts of Houdini look like an amateur. Contrary to statements spoken by individuals with whom we are all familiar, they are not too big to fail. However, it would surely have a devastating impact on thousands of lives, directly and indirectly. So in a word, no, Windows XP is very close to becoming history.

    Reply
  3. Nora

    I sure hope we find out one way or the other before the end of say February 2014 maybe or the beginning of March before we go out and buy a new computer or possibly we won’t know until April 7, 2014 and then there’ll be an uproar! Geez Microsoft make up your mind! This is getting ridiculous!

    Reply
  4. Diane

    I was hoping that you would be posting this on Facebook so that I could share it, but alas, your latest FB post was December 22. Are you no longer posting there?

    Reply
  5. Jeanne

    We have had a loved XP computer in our home for years. Just hated to see it go by the wayside knowing nothing seems to have really made inroads to a large degree to warrant us to consider Win 8. It seems few people like Win 8 and I am not convinced Win 8.1 is ‘the’ answer. Having said that we were tested this week by our loved XP system dying the final death. We went to look at and shop for a new computer. Interesting in our local Best Buy Stores had NO Win 8.1 in their store! I know I had read that computers with that update were released in newer computers since last mid- August. Having done our homework before we went looking, I asked the salesperson at BB why no computers with Win 8.1. His face gave us the answer before he stammered and had ‘no comment’. They aren’t going to carry any computer with the Win 8.1 until they sell the 8′s which we will NOT own. Long story short, we bought new iMac all in one desktop! It has a learning curve, but already I see advantages over the Dell with Win 7 which I use. I think my next computer just may be an iMac! Me, for one, is so tired of Microsoft and their flubs and appearing to ignore customer complaints and requests.

    Reply
  6. Jean

    Help I need XP. For one thing Windows 8 has to much on it. It is also confusing. Maybe I need a few lessons

    Reply

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