Computerworld - Microsoft will "draw a line in the sand" come April 2014 when Windows XP exits support, security researchers said today, even if millions of customers are still running the aged OS and a zero-day bug threatens the Windows ecosystem.
Or maybe not. Other experts believe Microsoft will have no choice but to continue supporting XP.
Windows XP, now in its twelfth year, is slated for retirement on April 8, 2014. After that date, the ancient OS will receive no further security updates or bug fixes, except to enterprises that pay for high-priced support contracts.
PCs running XP will not suddenly stop working, of course, but they will be at risk to attacks exploiting vulnerabilities uncovered -- and patched for other editions of Windows -- from that point on.
Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash. research firm that focuses solely on Microsoft, posed a scenario.
"Suppose we get to a date post the end of Extended support, and a security problem with XP suddenly causes massive problems on the Internet, such as a massive [denial-of-service] problem?" asked Cherry. "It is not just harming Windows XP users, it is bringing the entire Internet to its knees. At this time there are still significant numbers of Windows XP in use, and the problem is definitely due to a problem in Windows XP. In this scenario, I believe Microsoft would have to do the right thing and issue a fix ... without regard to where it is in the support lifecycle."...
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