A reader wonders whether XP can be kept safe to use after April 2014, when Microsoft ends support.
Plus: Finding and analyzing Win8′s crash reports, rethinking cache-sizing guidelines for browsers, and more on enhancing routers’ Wi-Fi security.
XP’s EOL looms large, raising security questions
On April 8, 2014, Microsoft officially drops support for its venerable operating system. John Foster is undoubtedly one of many Windows Secrets readers thinking through the ramifications of XP’s rapidly approaching end of life (EOL).
- “After reading all of the articles on XP’s EOL, I wonder how vulnerable XP will really be after next April.
“If we keep our browsers up to date, are careful about the websites we visit, and have current anti-malware software running, will we be safe using XP?”
Sorry, no — even with all those precautions, XP still won’t be safe. Here’s why:
In Microsoft’s parlance, “end of life” means that the company will no longer write and issue security patches for XP. Many of those patches fix newly revealed vulnerabilities within the operating system itself. But after XP’s EOL, any unpatched security holes will go unfixed. (See Microsoft’s explanation; the April EOL also applies to Office 2003.)
You might think that all the major holes in XP have surely been found and patched by now! After all, XP’s been out for 12 years.