Microsoft caves in and allows updates to security applications

With the end of Windows XP support in about 9 weeks, Microsoft has decided to follow others and will now extend the support for anti-virus definitions for Microsoft Security Essentials [MSE] as well as the monthly Malicious Software Removal Tool [MSRT] until July 2015.

It is interesting to note that the same 32-bit version of MSRT is also used for 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. So what is to stop someone to run MSRT after July 2015 that was intended not for Windows XP? Will Microsoft place something inside the executable to block MSRT from running?

How about the anti-virus definitions for MSE? You can download the definitions manually here.

As well, it is said that MSE won’t be available for downloading from Microsoft’s sites. So what about third-party sites? Will Microsoft “force” them to remove the application? If you have already downloaded MSE, will Microsoft somehow stop the installation?

Too many questions and so far too few answers.



Windows XP – 3 month countdown begins

Guess what? [OK, you know from the subject line.]

Yes. There are just three months left of support from Microsoft for Windows XP. As noted before, the lack of support will probably also mean the lack of support from third party companies who develop software for windows XP. That means if a new printer comes out in May, good luck on getting Windows XP drivers.

Not just to be nice to Windows XP users, but Google is bucking the trend. They announced that they will [probably] support Google Chrome web browser for at least an extra year. I’m sure part of the reason is to stick it to their [most likely] arch rival, Microsoft.

On the other hand, if you are still using Internet Explorer on April 9th, why would you switch?

In fact, no more updates means also that you won’t have to reboot as often. 🙂

Microsoft still has done just about nothing in publicizing the ending of support. You ask ten non-technical people and you may find just a couple of them who know about the end of support – and they most likely got the news from someone who is technical and not mainstream media.

I would of figured Microsoft would of announced something just prior to the recent holidays – but didn’t.

So when April 9th comes around, your computer will still function – it isn’t time bombed. Third party software will also still work. You probably will get anti-virus definitions until your subscription ends for paid customers, but less likely for free editions.

Your computer will also be more susceptible to malware as software updates that would of normally corrected vulnerabilities won’t be there.

Some are accepting a mini computer armageddon with the possibilities of multiple malware coming out after the end date to take advantage of the lack of security updates.

Oh. If some talk goes around that they will release their own fixes to the operating system’s vulnerabilities, don’t believe them. You need the source code to fix the problems.

[Update 2014/01/10:] Microsoft has confirmed that Microsoft Security Essentials will be pulled from the web site [which is fairly useless because it is probably on other sites anyways] but that definition updates will also stop – which is surprising. I figured they would keep that available for a while longer. But, unless they somehow block it, you could manually update the definitions.

Application & operating system support from Microsoft explained

[Or at least the basics when support dies.]

A reminder that Microsoft will still support a component, application or add-on of an operating system as long as the operating system and the application are still supported.

For example, when Windows XP support dies in April 2014, Office 2010 will still be supported but not for Windows XP. So if you called up Microsoft and said that you have a problem with Office 2010 and you say you are using Windows XP, they probably won’t support you.

Similarly, if you have Windows Security Essentials’ latest version installed on Windows XP, in April 2014, Microsoft may not support MSE on Windows XP but the definitions may continue to be downloadable. But once they require a newwer version of MSE, probably no more definitions.

As well, when Office 2003 isn’t supported anymore in April 2014, it won’t be even if you are using Windows 7.

In a final example, any version of Internet Explorer with Windows XP won’t be supported in April 2014 – even if you are using Internet Explorer 7 or 8 [which are still supported either in Vista or Windows 7].

So to recap, an application won’t be supported if the operating system isn’t [and in rare cases – vice versa].

A reminder that the application or operating system continues to function after support dies but you are risking security issues in doing so.