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Microsoft Pulls Plug on Windows XP, Workarounds Abound
Microsoft Pulls Plug on Windows XP, Workarounds Abound

By Jennifer LeClaire
April 8, 2014 10:31AM

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Now that Microsoft has bid farewell to its popular Windows XP operating system, third-party vendors are coming out of the Windows XP woodwork with workarounds to help businesses protect their networks in the event they are unable -- or unwilling -- to migrate to newer versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system.
 



The end is here -- Microsoft has officially ended support for Windows XP -- and software companies large and small are tapping into the opportunity. Indeed, it seems that tech firms are seeing a lucrative opportunity in Redmond’s moves to stop updating one of the most popular versions of its operating system.

First, let’s look at stats on the remaining usage. In 2013, more than 70 percent of Microsoft’s security patches affected Windows XP. After April 8, this trend will continue even though Microsoft will not explicitly state this, according to cloud security firm Qualys. XP use is dropping quickly, the firm reports, but according to BrowserCheck XP data from March, 14 percent of enterprises are still using the software.

“There’s clearly a large install base relying upon XP right now, and for these organizations I have two pieces of advice: Upgrade your software or decommission it,” said Qualys CTO Wolfgang Kandek. “While some uses of XP can’t simply be upgraded, examine if it is a critical component to your system. Isolate XP as much as possible, and limit dangerous activity on these devices -- including surfing the web and using e-mail.”

XP Workarounds Emerging

Or, you can use one of the workarounds emerging. We caught up with Darren Leroux, senior director of product marketing at WinMagic, maker of SecureDoc encryption software, to get a contrary view on the doom and gloom many are spreading about the end of Windows XP support. He told us a lot of security organizations in the industry are paying attention to end of support for XP.

“As an encryption provider, it means that change is being forced on customers to move to a more current version of Windows, versions that include features for enabling encryption of data at rest,” said Leroux. “This is a good thing, as encryption needs to be a fundamental part of any security policy. We hope that the upgrade will lead to a focus on well-managed enterprise encryption approaches.”

Meanwhile, other companies are suggesting a migration to a newer version of Windows but are providing ongoing support to customers that don’t want to or can’t migrate just yet. IT software firm 1E plans to continue full support for all its products running on Windows XP until the end of 2014 -- free.

Geoff Collins, vice president of product management at 1E said most of his customers have taken advantage of 1E’s technologies to fulfill a Windows XP migration. But he knows some will continue to run pockets of XP for a various reasons, such as complying with regulatory mandates to run essential legacy apps. (continued...)

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Ed.:

Posted: 2014-04-12 @ 8:41am PT
@Yonce: Thanks for catching that typo. We made the fix.

yonce:

Posted: 2014-04-12 @ 6:00am PT
Its Robolinux NOT Robulinux

XPeriment:

Posted: 2014-04-08 @ 2:44pm PT
Two words: Xubuntu + Winehq. Then you can keep running your software that is dependent on Windows XP in a safe and updated environment. And it is cheaper what all those self-proclaimed experts are selling.



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