I am using Windows XP. The other evening, when I was shutting it down before going to bed, I got a message: Do not shut down, downloading 1 of 4 updates. They also updated them & I have no idea what they were. This surprised me because it was the 1st & only update since they quit support. I wonder if maybe they are getting a bit sorry for leaving XP users.
First of Maynard, I want to caution you against using XP online. There’s no security support for it and the system is a sitting duck for attackers. It’s a little like leaving your door unlocked at night with the added bonus of having a sign on the corner that “Hey, there are unlocked doors on this street!”
I don’t think Microsoft is sorry it discontinued security support for XP. The 14-year-old operating system accounted for the majority of security issues with all Windows systems and with XP’s Internet Explorer 8 removed from the mix, Internet Explorer went from being considered an browser to fairing pretty well in comparison with Chrome and Firefox.
Microsoft did offer one last update to XP’s security a few weeks after the end of security support, so it’s possible the update you installed was that one – though it’s unlikely it would have taken you so long to install if you have automatic updates.
The more likely scenario is that you were seeing an update in Malware definitions in Microsoft Security Essentials. Microsoft did continue its anti-malware support to July of 2015. This is not the same as virus protection.
Your computer can still identify and remove some malware, but as there are security updates coming from Microsoft, permanent fixes for viruses cannot be applied. The extended malware definitions support through Microsoft Security Essentials ends in July 2015.