Even though it was initially believed that Microsoft Security Essentials would no longer receive virus definition updates on Windows XP after April 8, the date when the operating system is set to go dark, it appears that the application will continue to support this OS version for one more year.
In a post on the Malware Protection Center, Microsoft revealed that Security Essentials will continue to work on Windows XP until July 14, 2015, but it still recommends those still running the 12-year-old operating system to move to a newer platform.
“Microsoft has announced the Windows XP end of support date of April 8, 2014. After this date, Windows XP will no longer be a supported operating system. To help organizations complete their migrations, Microsoft will continue to provide updates to our antimalware signatures and engine for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015,” the company noted.
“This does not affect the end-of-support date of Windows XP, or the supportability of Windows XP for other Microsoft products, which deliver and apply those signatures.”
To make sure that users get the right message, Microsoft mentioned that its own research proved that running anti-virus protection on a discontinued operating system doesn’t help, especially because hackers would attempt to exploit any found vulnerability.
“Our research shows that the effectiveness of antimalware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited. Running a well-protected solution starts with using modern software and hardware designed to help protect against today’s threat landscape,” Microsoft added.
“Our goal is to provide great antimalware solutions for our consumer and business customers. We will continue to work with our customers and partners in doing so, and help our customers complete their migrations as Windows XP end of life approaches.”
Windows XP is still powering more than 28 percent of computers worldwide, but Microsoft seems really keen on killing the operating system so far, so it wants the majority of users to jump ship by April 8.