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Why Did Microsoft Let XP Go On So Long?

Lloyd from Washington writes:

I have a question about win XP,If win XP is so prone to attacks why did Microsoft allow it,to continue. I’m guessing that Sp 1,2,3 were just band aids.To me this is like driving a car with a flat tire,you know it’s flat, but you continue any way saying I can still drive.

When XP was introduced, it was a different  online world . A system that was fairly secure for computing in 2001, isn’t very secure these days.  Computers have become more and more connected to the cloud and users spend more time online and are exposed to threats in ways that might not have been considered back when XP came out. 

I kind of like that tire analogy, so let’s roll with that. That tire really didn’t start to have trouble until a few years had gone by. Microsoft did keep patching that leaky tire for years with security patches. As far as “allowing” it to continue, they sold the operating system to people, they can’t go around removing it from their computers. The company promises extended support for operating systems for 10 years beyond the date of release. Since XP came out in 2001, they’ve already extended the free tire patching 3 extra years because it was such a popular product.

Security for PCs & other devices constantly changes. New vulnerabilities are discovered and exploited daily. What appeared safe on Tuesday, may not be safe on Wednesday when new vulnerabilities are discovered. And what differentiates an OS from a car is that the problems with the car were probably there from the beginning. Maybe a bad axle or some wiring that is prone to short out and just the regular expected wear and tear on a vehicle.

Groups of highly skilled individuals are working very hard to sabotage operating system security. It’s as if people were sneaking around and slashing tires and loosening lug nuts on purpose to cause issues with the vehicles. 

And that’s not just Windows, flaws are discovered in Android, iOS and even the so-far extremely secure Linux operating systems because people with bad intentions are working hard to find those flaws every single day.

That’s why no matter what your operating system, it’s important to remain vigilant.

~ Cynthia