Windows XP support came to an end on April 8 this year, so since then no other updates or security patches have been released despite the fact that 25 percent of the world’s computers are still said to be powered by this particular operating system.
Needless to say, without updates Windows XP is becoming a relic, but the Windows community is hard at work to develop what’s currently being called the “Unofficial Service Pack 4.”
Developed by Harkaz, who already has a good background on large packs of fixes for Windows, this new service pack includes all previously released updates for Windows XP 32-bit, as well as POSReady 2009 updates launched by Microsoft after the April 2014 retirement date.
POSReady 2009 fixes are said to be fully compatible with Windows XP installations, but it’s pretty clear that they cannot offer the same level of protection as the legitimate updates specifically aimed at this platform.
“Windows XP Unofficial SP4 is a cumulative update rollup for Windows XP (x86). It can be applied to a live Windows XP system which has SP1, at minimum, installed or it can be slipstreamed (integrated) in any Windows XP installation media,” the developer says in the description of its pack.
“It includes updates for most Windows XP components, including MCE and Tablet PC. Request-only hotfixes have been included. Currently, Microsoft .NET Frameworks 4.0, 3.5, 1.1 and 1.0 (Tablet PC only) are included in the Windows XP SP4 package. You can also scan for POSReady updates, because the POSReady trick has been included. In addition, all post-eol updates for .NET Framework 1.1, 3.5 and 4.0 until May 2014 have been included.”
This project isn’t new and actually started in late 2013, but the developer behind the whole idea rolled out updates in May, June, July, and August in order to keep all Windows XP computers fully up to date.
If you decide to install this service pack, keep in mind that it’s not related to Microsoft in any way and is just an unofficial release that might or might not help you protect a Windows XP computer against vulnerabilities found in the operating system.
Of course, Microsoft does not recommend anyone to install this, but such a service pack is clearly worth a shot if you’re still on Windows XP and you don’t plan to upgrade anytime soon.