Bruce from Sydney Australia writes:
XP Saga: I read somewhere recently XP users should change their browsers from Explorer to Google Chrome as it will stand by XP users for a further 12 months after April 8th 2014. Is this possible? My understanding is that Microsoft are the only ones ale to send updates and patches to protect XP users, as no one else has them. Is this just another ploy to get people onto Chrome. If it is, it’s just going to give people a false sense of security.
Your understanding is correct. Without the information from Microsoft the ability of anyone to protect XP is going to be limited. And news like Microsoft extending the period of time that WindowsSecurity Essentials will be given anti-malware signature updates does offer false security to those hoping against hope.
Here’s the bottom line straight from Microsoft: As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to protect your PC.)
I’ve received maybe two dozen questions this week about XP and whether something or other will protect it after Microsoft ends security support. Unless you are a business that has purchased an extended support contract with Microsoft or a third-party company (and this would cost thousands and thousands of dollars), there will be no security support for XP after April 8, 2014.
Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware programs will continue to protect against known threats – but these companies get their Windows security patches from Microsoft and they will not have access to the XP program at the base level needed to permanently patch new vulnerabilities.
So, to be clear: Switching your browser will not protect XP. Norton, Mcafee, AVG or any of the other fine security companies out there will not protect XP from new threats. You will essentially be leaving your door unlocked when people know you aren’t home.
We’ve outlined your options in a lot of articles, so click here to read more if you like.