It goes without saying that Microsoft is trying to convince the entire Windows XP user base to move to a newer version of the operating system, be it Windows 7 or Windows 8.
Along with its hardware and software partners, Redmond itself regularly talks the risks of still running Windows XP beyond its retirement date of April 8, 2014. And once again, the technology titan is back with another blog post.
This time it is Tim Rains, director of Trustworthy Computing who explains that the 11-year-old operating system will soon become vulnerable forever:
“What is the risk of continuing to run Windows XP after its end of support date? One risk is that attackers will have the advantage over defenders who choose to run Windows XP because attackers will likely have more information about vulnerabilities in Windows XP than defenders.”
To prove his point, the Microsoft executive has also published a graph that was included in the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report Volume 14 that reveals that Windows XP is currently the OS with the highest rate of malware infection.
Both Windows 7 and Windows 8 are the most secure platforms right now.
The Microsoft official further states:
“The very first month that Microsoft releases security updates for supported versions of Windows, attackers will reverse engineer those updates, find the vulnerabilities and test Windows XP to see if it shares those vulnerabilities. If it does, attackers will attempt to develop exploit code that can take advantage of those vulnerabilities on Windows XP.”
This in of itself is the scariest of thoughts. Windows XP is about to join the ranks of Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows Me when it comes to security. Tim tops it off by terming this as the ancient operating system as having zero-day vulnerability forever:
“Since a security update will never become available for Windows XP to address these vulnerabilities, Windows XP will essentially have a ‘zero day’ vulnerability forever.”
Redmond seems to be aware that not all XP users will upgrade to a newer version straight away. While the old operating system currently commands a worldwide market share of around 37 percent, the technology titan has expressed its desire to see it fall down to 10 percent by the retirement date.