Windows XP will be retired on Tuesday and during the same day, it’ll also receive the final update that’s supposed to correct all issues found in the operating system and thus try to keep users on the safe side as much as possible.
The 13-year-old platform is one of the operating systems that are going to receive a critical update on Patch Tuesday, as Microsoft has discovered that Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8 are all vulnerable to attacks. An important update is also being prepared for Windows XP, but no other specifics have been provided, as Microsoft tries to keep users safe and disclose full details after the release of the updates.
Windows XP will be officially discontinued on April 8, so after this date, no other updates and security patches will be released, which means that those who will still be running this particular OS version could become vulnerable to attacks overnight if hackers find unpatched flaws.
Microsoft warns that without security updates and fixes, Windows XP computers will be easy to hack, especially because cybercriminals are expected to focus all their efforts on this particular operating system.
“Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But now the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences,” the company said.
According to third-party statistics, Windows XP is still installed on nearly 28 percent of computers worldwide, so it’s pretty obvious that the transition to another operating system won’t be entirely made before April 8, so lots of devices could become vulnerable if unpatched flaws are found.
“If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP,” the software giant pointed out.
On April 8, Microsoft will also remove download links for Security Essentials with Windows XP support, but existing installations will continue to work just fine and receive updates for at least one more year. Windows XP will also be supported by plenty of third-party security vendors out there, so it shouldn’t be that hard to find an anti-virus app that works on your system.