Tomorrow it's Patch Tuesday and Microsoft is rolling out a new set of improvements for Windows computers, including 2 critical updates that are supposed to fix flaws in its flagship operating system and Office.
But leaving these updates aside, two other important milestones are also happening tomorrow, as Microsoft is officially making Windows 8.1 Update installation mandatory and leaving Windows XP computers vulnerable to attacks for the first time.
But first things first.
Windows 8.1 Update was officially launched in April and since them, Microsoft tried to convince everyone running Windows 8.1 to install it because it brings quite a lot of improvements, including options to pin Metro apps to the taskbar and context menus on the Start screen to access its features easier with a mouse and keyboard.
Soon after that, Redmond announced that Windows 8.1 Update is mandatory install for 8.1 users, as all future improvements will be based on this particular OS version.
The company has set a deadline of June 10 for everyone to install Windows 8.1 Update, so those running 8.1 right now should really hurry up and deploy the new update as soon as possible.
“Customers who do not update their Windows 8.1 devices to the Windows 8.1 Update by this new deadline will no longer receive updates. We’re confident that within the next month, the majority of the remaining customers who haven’t updated their devices to the Windows 8.1 Update will be able to do so,” Microsoft said.
At the same time, Microsoft is also expected to patch an Internet Explorer 8 flaw tomorrow, leaving Windows XP completely vulnerable to attacks.
Windows XP reached end of support on April 8, so since then, Redmond no longer rolls out security updates and patches that could keep computers running it protected. Instead, the company is pushing users to newer versions of Windows, such as Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, a move that would also involve hardware upgrades in most cases.
Internet Explorer 8 also runs on Windows XP, so computers that are still powered by this platform won't get the patch tomorrow. Cybercriminals could obviously reverse the patches to finds a way to break into Windows XP computers and thus open a door that would never be closed unless custom support is purchased.
As usual, everyone is recommended to turn on Windows Update tomorrow in order to get the patches as soon as possible. Those still running Windows XP should better upgrade or replace IE with another browser.