As we all know, Microsoft officially retired Windows XP in April, and it was a really big deal to a lot of people. After the huge zero-day bug that affected every version of Internet Explorer from Windows XP to Windows 8, Microsoft actually decided to put out a patch for XP users when they put out a patch for everything else. Although this is ultimately a good thing, it may not have been the smartest move that Microsoft ever made. The whole reason they decided to abandon Windows XP was to get more people to upgrade to the newer versions of Windows. It is now very apparent that Microsoft will still continue to fix major issues with XP as long as it still has a lot of users.
The bug was found by a security firm called FireEye on April 26th, and Microsoft confirmed it the next day. It was one of the most dangerous bugs ever, and even the U.S. government was telling everyone not to use Internet Explorer. Although it was dangerous, it may have been one of the best things that could have happened to Microsoft. Companies couldn’t keep using Windows XP if there was an insane, crippling security issue with it. Thousands of people would have been forced to upgrade if Microsoft would have stuck to what they said and not put out a patch for XP.
Microsoft says that the reason they put out the patch is because this incident happened so close to the end of the support for Windows XP. That makes sense, but are they going to do the same thing if something else happens next week? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to complain about a company being nice and doing good things for its customers, I’m just talking here. But it still doesn’t seem like the smartest thing ever. Now everyone is just going to assume that Microsoft will always cave in, and there is no reason to give up on Windows XP.
The worst part about all of this is that it may give some people false hope. Yes, you are safe for now as an XP user, your company might be safe, and whatever else. But the thing that everyone should realize is that this is not going to be the last time something like this happens. This isn’t the last security breach of all time. Not only that, but Windows XP is going to be the biggest target of all now because Microsoft absolutely can not keep supporting such an outdated operating system. Either way, the time has come to go ahead and upgrade if you haven’t already done so yet.
Tonight, you can use Windows XP and sleep well knowing that you are safe. Tomorrow, however, is another day where anything in the world could happen. It’s best to look at this as a warning or just a close call. But it is actually time to upgrade now. Seriously this time.
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