Windows XP is no longer getting updates and security patches from Microsoft, but 25 percent of the desktop computers worldwide are still running this particular OS version, with the majority of users saying that they prefer to stick to this OS because of superior performance and stability.
Since so many people are still running XP right now, the experts over at AV-TEST conducted a new series of tests to determine the apps offering the best virus protection for Windows XP Service Pack 3 machines.
The research, which was conducted in May and June, has revealed that Bitdefender remains the top anti-virus solution on Windows XP, followed by Kaspersky and Panda Cloud Free. All three received the maximum score of 18 months.
McAfee comes next with 17.5 points, followed by Bullguard and Qihoo 360. At the bottom of the chart, we can find Ahnlab with 8.5 points, Microsoft’s Security Essentials with 9.5 points, Comodo with 12 points, and Norman with 12.5.
Even though so many anti-virus solutions are still working flawlessly on Windows XP, Microsoft warns that third-party protection is not enough to keep you secure.
In fact, the company itself pulled the plug on Security Essentials for Windows XP, deciding to remove support for this particular OS version in the app. All existing installations, however, will continue to be updated until 2015 in order to keep users secure until they upgrade to a newer OS.
“Support ended for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. Microsoft will no longer provide security updates for Windows XP to help protect your PC against malware. Microsoft has also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP,” Microsoft said in a statement.
“If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive Microsoft Security Essentials updates for a limited time to help identify malware on your PC while you complete your transition to a fully supported operating system. The Malicious Software Removal Tool will continue to be provided for Windows XP for a limited time through Windows Update and the Download Center.”
Windows XP is at this point installed on nearly 25 percent of the desktop computers worldwide, which emphasizes the need for a third-party security product until the migration to a newer operating system capable of providing enhanced protection is completed. Of course, Microsoft hopes that eventually everyone would move to Windows 8.1, explaining that it provides the most advanced protection available at this point.