Microsoft is sending its last software update patch for the widely used Windows XP on April 8. Microsoft executives claim that they are moving into the future with latest technologies like cloud computing among others and the latest operating system such as Windows 8.1 that are more secure than XP. They even called XP an old and less secure software. This move comes after the new Microsoft chief Satya Nadella hinted that the focus of the company moving forward is mobile business and cloud computing.
Talking of Security Development Life cycle, Microsoft to date has had a high reputation for providing customers with security patches. Nearly one-third of the computers in the world have Windows XP in them, and security experts believe that by this Microsoft software support withdrawal, hackers can take advantage and create a computing mess. But, Microsoft Trustworthy group direction say “Attackers will try and reverse engineer the software updates of supported versions and so vulnerabilities exist in Windows XP.”
Experts also believe this sudden retirement of Windows XP patches could mean a hit to the reputation of Microsoft as a reliable customer support company. Microsoft based systems have dominated the developing and the less developed countries. In those countries even public banks and offices use Windows XP and now with this pull out many businesses across the world say that their costs for computer maintenance are estimated to double up every two years. Surprisingly in these countries, many businesses claim that are very likely to use Windows 7 rather than the new Windows 8. The reason for this cautious migration is the OS stabilization period and many are rather inclined to used a more stable Windows 7 than the latest under progress Windows 8. Their caution makes sense as some of the systems are designed for a particular Internet Explorer and XP would not run on the higher IE browsers. This is known in the trade as browser front end model.
The impact that Windows XP had was lasting, as it was the primary Microsoft software version that eliminated the DOS consumer version. It was a huge boost for gaming enthusiasts with its Direct X compatibility that gave the user a 3D gaming experience. With former head Bill Gates scheduled to rejoin Microsoft in a different role, this move indicates that even his goals moving forward is in cloud computing like many other rivals. In 2007, Microsoft set April 2014 as a life cycle end date for Windows XP, but many customers were reluctant to upgrade their systems just yet. Now to many Microsoft loyalists, this move is honest as it was charted a long time ago. For a lot of original equipment manufacturers (OEM) like Dell, HP and other, this transition is a costly one as well. If they continue to pump Windows XP-based systems into the market, there is a lower chance that the customers will buy them.
Security companies like McAfee and Norton will have an opportunity to benefit if they decide to provide their security software for Windows XP. Though Windows XP has no security problems when used without an internet connection, in this internet based world those kind of users are rare. Though this support withdrawal is considered by many business as an important issue, they also seem to say it is not as critical as the Y2K issue. “We can’t continue to support forever,“ says Greg Sullivan, director of Microsoft Windows. Maybe that is true.
Review By Vikas Vemuri