Microsoft Extends Anti-Malware Updates for XP

Windows XP has received a modest extension on its approaching end of life support. On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that it will continue to offer anti-malware updates for XP through July 14, 2015.

The company has said it will end general XP support by April 8 of this year as it attempts to move the large number of XP users to a more recent Windows version, preferably version 8. Microsoft said its extension for updates to the anti-malware signatures and engine will not affect the decision to end OS support. As recently as last fall, Microsoft had not committed to extending updates of anti-malware signatures and engine past the general support cutoff date.

The updates will be available for enterprise customers through System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune on XP, and, for consumers, through Security Essentials. However, any consumers expecting to use Security Essentials should make sure they have the app, since Microsoft will no longer allow new installations of that software on XP after the April 8 deadline.

Third-Party Product

Any XP owners without Security Essentials after that date will need to download a third-party antivirus product to run the updates. Microsoft points out that an outdated operating system like XP can provide only some protection against malware, since the threats have evolved while the OS has not.

At least one software security firm, Kaspersky Lab, has announced that its Anti-Virus 2013 and Internet Security 2013 will continue XP support.

As of December, according to Web analytics firm Net Applications, XPEUs market share was still 29.98 percent, making it the second most popular version of Windows after Windows 7 at 47.52 percent. This would be impressive under any conditions, but is even more so when one considers that, in the fast-evolving world of operating systems, XP was released...

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