Scientific surveys reveal that the technology community is about as fickle as they get. I’m joking, obviously, but there are times when it seems like only the professional wrestling fandom is fussier when it comes to matters like this.
Case in point: Microsoft’s recent release of a patch for Windows XP computers to fix a critical flaw in Internet Explorer. After the platform reached end of support early last month. For some the news was shocking; for others, overly reassuring.
However, there is no shortage of people that believe Microsoft caved in.
Caved in to Windows XP holdouts.
Those 27% that are still using the old operating system, for one reason or another.
Now, obviously, a case can be made for the proximity of the discovery of this important flaw to the retirement of the operating system. Attacks making use of this exploit were recorded a couple of weeks after April 8, the day the vintage OS reached end of support.
Redmond even hinted this fact when announcing the rollout of the patch.
But for some people, particularly those involved in helping the Windows XP user base to migrate to a newer platform, the release of this patch is a mistake.
One that sets a poor precedent.
They wonder whether this lulls those that are stuck on Windows XP a false sense of security. And whether it provides more ammunition to people that will demand Redmond to fix the next critical flaw, just one more time. Again and again.
Personally, I think Microsoft took the right step, and everyone should be appreciative of it. The company made it clear that this will not become a habit, and the user base has to upgrade to newer, supported platforms, one way or another, sooner or later.
This decision, misguided or not, also had a lot to do with the calls to stop using Internet Explorer on Windows XP and move to a different web browser. From the US government, no less.
What do you guys think?
Irresponsible or a very sensible decision?