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Microsoft returns to scare tactic in dump-XP campaign


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Microsoft returns to scare tactic well in dump-XP campaign

Browse the Web? Use email? Don't do it on an XP PC after April 8, company warns

Microsoft yesterday pulled out the big guns -- a fear-of-God approach -- to scare users into dumping Windows XP, telling them that the most popular tasks done on a PC will put them in the crosshairs of cyber criminals.

While the advice wasn't this specific, it amounted to telling customers to switch off their older PCs and never turn them back on.

The Tuesday post by Tim Rains, director of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing group, was similar in theme but more urgent in tone than one he wrote last October when he said that after April 8, the chance that malware will infect XP PCs could jump by two-thirds.

"I want to share some of the specific threats to Windows XP-based systems that attackers may attempt after support ends, so that these customers can understand the risks and hopefully decide to immediately upgrade to a more secure version of Windows, or accelerate existing plans to do so," Rains wrote.

Microsoft will issue the final public security updates for Windows XP on April 8, marking the official retirement of the 13-year-old operating system. XP-powered PCs will continue to run, but any vulnerabilities uncovered by researchers -- whether white hat, gray hat or black hat -- will not be patched.

The assumption by Microsoft and virtually every security expert is that hackers will then begin targeting XP machines more aggressively because of the aged OS's prominence. According to Web measurement vendor Net Applications, nearly a third of all Windows systems still run XP.

Citing statistics that Microsoft compiles from its antivirus software and its regularly-updated malware cleaning tool, Rains said that the top two risks for XP users after April 8 are browsing the Web and opening email.

"Since browsing the Internet is a risky proposition if running on out-of- support systems like Windows XP after April, small businesses and consumers should limit where they go to on the Internet to help manage the risk," Rains advised. He also said opening email or using an instant messaging (IM) client would be a bad idea, as exploits could be "integrated into phishing attacks, malicious emails and IMs."

Rains contended that switching browsers would not help. "Changing browsers won't mitigate this risk as most of the exploits used in such attacks aren't related to browsers," Rains said when he warned XP users to be careful on the Web.

While that's true -- most attacks don't rely on browser vulnerabilities -- Rain's advice was also disingenuous: Microsoft will stop serving security updates to Internet Explorer (IE), no matter what version, if the browser is on an XP system. Even IE8, which most XP users are now running, will not be patched even though it will be repaired on other editions, such as Vista and Windows 7, until 2017 and 2020, respectively.

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I did see something this week online about a $100 discount, XP trade-in offer.


Catch is that one must buy a new Win8 computer, of course.



No love lost between Redmond and me.  

Just mentioning it because there might be folks who could take advantage of the deal.  $100 is $100. :)

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Ah, Microsoft, ye old masters of FUD. When trying to appeal to the tech community doesn't work, why not switch to the tactics used to sell Windows in the old days? I mean, it worked then, didn't it?

In all seriousness, Windows XP installations will eventually become a nightmare to maintain. It probably won't happen right away, but eventually major security issues with the operating system are going to make it too easy to infect, or compromise Windows XP systems in other ways. You can cover up some of those issues with security software, but not all of them (especially since security software still isn't good at proactive protection against unknown threats).

The problem here is that Microsoft is not giving people options that they want when it comes to upgrades. This is going to cause lot of people to either stay with Windows XP, or switch to a non-Microsoft platform.

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/me makes popcorn and sits back waiting for all hell to break loose when the balloon goes up .


i wonder what percentage of XP machines (non-embedded) do not really ever get connected to the internet for "browsing" (etc) ...

say , computers that are the controllers of cnc machines and such ?

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/me wonders if the $100 applies to a system originally purchased with XP on it but no longer has XP - computer has the OEM XP key still on it though, so if it is verified by key only, I'm definitely good to go on the upgrade.


Question is:  Do I really *want* it?

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If I'm reading it correctly, you get a $100 rebate only at the Microsoft store, for new Microsoft machines running W8.1 (ARM Surface talbets excluded). The new machine needs to be above $599 to be considered for the rebate. You can either visit the online store with an XP system, which will be detected, and the rebate would then offered onscreen, or, bring in an XP machine at a MS store directly and trade it in to get the rebate.


If they really want to push 8.1 on XP users, they should offer the $15 upgrade they had at the beginning of W8 and let us decide how/where we install it.

But they don't want us to just upgrade the system, they want us to dump our old hardware as well.

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  • Root Admin

I actually installed Windows 7 x64 OEM on a 2006 system but it kept having too many issues with resources conflicts (box was not made for Windows 7) so I finally gave up and fdisk, format, installed XP Pro and I must report that whatever was broken before in their Windows updater for XP is now working just fine.  Downloaded about 150 updates and its installing now.

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Yeah this is a Dell that was purchased in Jan 2007.  It's running Win 7 without any issues, but I've upgraded the video cards and HDs, and added more RAM, so that helps.


I can still downgrade to XP, but it's actually my mother's main desktop, and I don't think she is willing to let me do that.


However, I do have a spare HD on which I could do it without her losing all of her stuff.....

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this may veer a little off course .


there is going to be a lot of older XP machines in the category that ron mentioned : a little shy on resources to run W7/8.1 efficiently .

the good news is that (most of) those machine can run a 'nix OS ... it may not be the latest and greatest but there will be a version that will load/run .

sure , like the old camel filter commercial says ;  "... they're not for everyone" , but it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick (with MS wielding said implement) .


i recently loaded mint 9 on a 2006 acer laptop , works ok . replacing open office with libre office was the hardest part .

i was looking around at distrowatch ...

there is an offering of an OS designed for "older and resource limited" machines : http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=08357

i am going to try loading it on one of the older laptops that are notorious for not liking anything but windows XP : toshiba .


if a person can get along running non-windows specific software (say , photoshop) , this is a possible solution .

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  • Root Admin

Yeah but that just doesn't fly with most users.  I've put like 3 users on Linux and within a couple weeks had to put them back on XP.  There use was so minimal I thought for sure Linux would fit the bill but each one found it just too difficult to maneuver and use. I'm very tempted to try it with some production computers that only do barcoding on a web page and nothing else.

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yeppers ... i have had similar results among adults , for most of them it is too much of a PITA to "relearn" an OS (or is that put forth a little effort and utilize a few more braincells ?) .

i suppose that pretty much the same would happen if one asked a mac user to "jump ship" and swap over to either windows or linux .

i have my theory/ideas about why this is and all i can say that it amounts to an "inside job" . ;)<_<:lol:


i tried the OS i mentioned above on three different machines today ... it would not load on them .

it may just be that the machines are all too new ... according to what i gather from the OS website .


about those "dedicated" machines ...

for such a purpose , there is a chance that it would work out .

there is a lot of equipment that runs on a 'nix base .

what is the name of the barcode equipment ?

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