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Google To Support Windows XP Longer Than Microsoft 154

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-it-aint-broke dept.
An anonymous reader writes in that Google plans to support XP longer than Microsoft. "Microsoft will officially retire its Windows XP operating system early next year, but Google on Wednesday announced it will continue to support its Chrome browser for the platform through at least early 2015. The Mountain View, Calif., Web giant announced it will keep sending out updates and security patches to the Windows XP version of Google Chrome 'until at least April 2015.'"
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Google To Support Windows XP Longer Than Microsoft

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just let XP finally die...

    • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @11:25PM (#45149411)

      Just let XP finally die...

      Why? My retired parents have a Gateway PC that runs perfectly fine and runs XP perfectly fine. Doesn't crash, doesn't blue screen, they just turn it on and it works. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

      • by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @11:30PM (#45149441)

        The trouble is that unless it's going to stay disconnected from the internet, one day it's going to get owned, and then you'll need a upgrade plan and you won't be in any position to make a transition because your PC is toast.

        • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @11:37PM (#45149467) Journal
          If I hadn't already commented, I'd give you +1 Funny for using the future tense when describe when the system is going to get owned.
          • Yeah I guess I was a little optimistic there wasn't I?

          • If I hadn't already commented, I'd give you +1 Funny for using the future tense when describe when the system is going to get owned.

            And I'd mod the whole thread ironic, considering the number of zero-day exploits that have come up for Windows 7 and 8.

            • by Monsuco (998964)

              And I'd mod the whole thread ironic, considering the number of zero-day exploits that have come up for Windows 7 and 8.

              Except flaws in 7 & 8 will be fixed. Flaws in XP won't be. In fact, many of the vulnerabilities that affect 7 will also plague XP and due to XP's inferior security model, they'll probably be worse. When security notices for 7 go out, hackers will know to try those flaws out on XP.

              • XP will obviously be the more important one in real terms (given that people actually use it); but it would be interesting to know whether XP or Vista will be more screwed by malicious actors either hunting exploits in 7 and 8 or studying patches issued for 7 and 8 for clues to use against unpatched systems.

                Both will be largely unsupported by MS in the near future; but while XP has the fundamentally more broken security model, Vista is much closer to 7 and 8 architecturally, and so probably has (inferior
        • I hope he has a disaster plan for when the basement floods...

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          That self updating, free, XP friendly, 2013 aware anti virus software will save them :)
        • by thsths (31372) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @03:05AM (#45150381)

          Not really. The OS does not protect you against the internet, because it has only minimal contact with it. Most attacks will not come through the router, and client based attacks should be prevented by the browser. Using XP with Chrome throughout 2014 may not be a dangerous as some people fear, as long as Google includes workaround for relevant flaws of the OS such as font handling.

          • Most attacks will not come through the router

            Erm, explain?

            Attacks that aren't coming from the router could only be on the local network by implication, so that possibly means locking down wi-fi and making sure any devices on the local network are locked down with secure passwords on all accounts.

            But the above would apply to computers running *ANY* OS, not just XP...

            • by Noughmad (1044096)

              Most attacks will not come through the router

              Erm, explain?

              Attacks that aren't coming from the router could only be on the local network by implication

              They could also be between keyboard and chair.

            • I understood it to mean 'Most attacks will be thwarted by the router setup,' as it is less likely that he was implying there would be a greater amount of physical or local threats.
        • by JohnnyMindcrime (2487092) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @05:11AM (#45150799)

          Rubbish!

          For any PC to get owned that is tucked behind a NAT router, it's the user that has to do something stupid first.

          If all you ever do is use a web browser to go to well-known sites and you know how to read and interpret a URL, then unless one of those sites has been hacked and some malware has been injected into it, nothing will happen to you. In my experience in computer and Internet security, it's going to dodgy sites for pr0n or warez that opens the doors to something nasty.

          Likewise for email - don't use a client like Outlook that has deep hooks into the OS, use a lighter client and always delete emails that are from sources you don't trust.

          Security has very little to do with what's built into the OS, it is far more about educating users to understand what the likely attack vectors are and to moderate their own behaviours to mitigate their risk of being exposed to those vectors.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Aqualung812 (959532)

            Your experience is wrong.

            Cross-site scripting has allowed ads on very normal sites (MSN.com, CNN.com, etc) to infect XP computers that are fully patched.

            • by geekoid (135745)

              That's becasue its a server/browser issue, not an OS issue.
              Has there been a successful XSS attack on a fully patched XP in the last 2 years?

              Basic Home systems used casually where people don't click on pop up ads, go to trusted site are pretty safe. The risk analysis show pretty clearly that a patched XP behind a NAT is pretty safe, and certainly not worth the cost of upgrading.

              IF they poster has set them up with auto back-up, then there is no reason for them to change.

              IF we are talking about 100's of machin

              • Except for the whole "XP lacks separation of privileges" thing, which makes every minor attack on a webpage capable of rooting your machine, together with the lack of any sort of OS hardening other than DEP, sure.

                XP is as old as Linux 2.4 (which was EOL'd 3 years ago). Would you ever run Linux 2.4 as your desktop OS?

                • I don't claim to be as much an expert on Windows 7 as I am on Linux and perhaps XP, but the only additional security that I understand Windows 7 has but XP doesn't is the UAC stuff - and that's primarily there to stop idiots who are logged in with administrator privileges not allowing everything to run that asks to run.

                  If you are the average clueless user that used to use XP that has migrated to Windows 7, are you suddenly going to start paying attention to UAC prompts asking you questions?

                  And please define

                  • I don't claim to be as much an expert on Windows 7 as I am on Linux and perhaps XP, but the only additional security that I understand Windows 7 has but XP doesn't is the UAC stuff - and that's primarily there to stop idiots who are logged in with administrator privileges not allowing everything to run that asks to run.

                    TO some degree, thats right, but it does a lot more than "stopping idiots". I tried running as non-admin, and I tried setting it up for many users, but the reality was that many programs simply would not work without admin privileges, and it was a nightmare to configure and work with. Runas only worked some of the time, some programs inexplicably refused to run if they failed the admin check, there was no real capability of modifying protected files while logged in as a normal user (as you cannot easily /

              • That's becasue its a server/browser issue, not an OS issue.

                When the default browser is tied to the OS, and the OS will not permit running the latest version of that browser, it is an OS issue to me.

                Has there been a successful XSS attack on a fully patched XP in the last 2 years?

                No. If I were someone writing these, though, I would wait until April 2014 to release anything I had since Microsoft will not post fixes after this date.

          • For any PC to get owned that is tucked behind a NAT router, it's the user that has to do something stupid first.

            If all you ever do is use a web browser to go to well-known sites and you know how to read and interpret a URL, then unless one of those sites has been hacked and some malware has been injected into it,

            Yea! Except thats the MOST COMMON ATTACK VECTOR out there. Most viruses are coming from "legitimate" websites which either have ads or have been hacked and are serving up infected PDF, Java, or flash objects.

            Plus, the whole idea of "just go to well-known sites" is the stupidest advice ever to come from redmond. This isnt 1995; it is neither uncommon nor particularly far-fetched to use google to look up some bit of information, and find your answer on a site youve never been to before. Should the user no

            • Yea! Except thats the MOST COMMON ATTACK VECTOR out there. Most viruses are coming from "legitimate" websites which either have ads or have been hacked and are serving up infected PDF, Java, or flash objects.

              With all respect, much of that still comes down to common sense of the user. Why would someone like me, with years of experience in IT and IT security, blindly open every PDF, Flash Object or Java app that is fired at me? And much of this comes down to keeping the appropriate executables updated - it's

              • by jedidiah (1196)

                > With all respect, much of that still comes down to common sense of the user.

                If you are still depending on the "common sense of the user" in 2013 then you are an idiot. This is an approach that has been proven wrong time and time again. It's a fundementally broken approach to system design. This is not news. This isn't even old news.

                It borders on computer archeology.

              • You wouldnt open them, but your browser would unless you (unlike 90% of users) changed the default setting and used an extension or browser which makes those objects click-to-play.

                You can argue the point but it is statistically the most common vector, and my experience is that users who are infected are usually not "doing something wrong", other than failing to update their plugins.

                it can happen that malware is served up within those - but again, highly unlikely in legitimate sites and mostly mitigated with a good ad-blocker.

                You call it unlikely, I call it statistically common. It has historically happened a LOT.

                I've no idea what "confirmation bias" means, I've never come across that term before.

                It means that you have a hypothesis,

          • Bullshit. The vast majority of drive-by browser infections these days come from either hacked sites or ad-networks that serve up malware in an ad (usually JavaScript or Flash, but sometimes Java plug-in).

            Case-in-point. I have a user who would get infected monthly, just from doing research on the web using Internet Explorer on WinXP. Not visiting dodgy sites, but doing regular business research on companies / products / etc.

            Finally got tired of cleaning/wiping the machine monthly so we installed Firef
        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          Not really. Keep it behind safe firewall and OS itself is unlikely to become a vector.

          At which point other vectors become important. One of them being web browser. Which google is going to keep up to date.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You are implying that:
          1) there is no firewall
          2) that the firewalls won't be updated
          3) they are stupid
          4) they don't have a computer(s) before the XP machine that has cutting-edge hardware and software that is all up to date and is cleaning up anything before it even reaches the XP machines.

          I've never had a single virus since early 90s when I started using computers. I started when I was basically 15-ish.
          Most viruses are a user problem (even ones that use very easily seen exploits). The rest actually are ste

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I hate when people say "If it ain't broke don't fix it" as that has so many bad applications.

        1. Windows would still use IE6 (it still renders webpages, so it clearly ain't broken - hell, we could go back to mosaic with this)
        2. We wouldn't have spoked wheels (it's not like the original design of the wheel was broken)
        3. Fiber internet connections wouldn't exist (did dial-up ever actually break?)

        Even if you were to counter something like "things move on" or "improvements don't mean it was broken" well couldn't

        • You're seriously going to use IE6 as a bastion of standards?!?!

          The concept of the wheel has been around for *thousands* of years. The *implementation* is what has been modified and improved upon.

        • by Lisias (447563) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @12:24AM (#45149671) Homepage Journal

          1. Windows would still use IE6 (it still renders webpages, so it clearly ain't broken - hell, we could go back to mosaic with this)

          Are you nuts? IE6 was utterly broken since the very beginning!!!

          2. We wouldn't have spoked wheels (it's not like the original design of the wheel was broken)

          The original wheel design was broken for the use the guy that invented the spoked wheels had in mind. He needed a big but lightweighted wheel, and solid wheels couldn't be properly used that way - so, it was broken! =P

          3. Fiber internet connections wouldn't exist (did dial-up ever actually break?)

          Are you kidding? I jumped out dial up in the very instant I could afford broadband! :-)

          Constant "no carrier" breakouts, slow speed, busy lines... Dial up was used just because it was what we could afford in the time.

          On the other hand...

          I still have an old Athlon XP box here at my side for some retro-gaming, and guess what? It's running Windows XP. WIth all the security measures I implemented here to protect my inner network, the fact is that my XP box is secure as never it was before.

          I simply don't have the slightest incentive to throw it away and waste more money on a "newer" box, as the current one is fullfilling perfectly the computational niche it plays now.

          Of course I use another box to day to day computing (a Mac Mini), but why bother setting up a virtual machines if I can play my games perfectly on a 3GHz Athlon XP with a Soundblaster Audigy and an ATI Radeon 4670 with 1GB?

          Until this machine is dead, I don't have a single unique reason to buy another (it handles the games I play, and that's all).

      • Just wait until April of next year and see if you can say the same thing.
      • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday October 17, 2013 @12:20AM (#45149645) Homepage Journal

        If it ain't broke...

        If it weren't broke, they wouldn't be getting new fixes every second Tuesday.

      • That same PC might also run a fully modern (more secure) lightweight Linux distro.

        On the other hand, parents...

      • by mixmasta (36673)

        I agree with the sentiment, but XP is a bit dangerous and will get worse.

        My advice... back up the important files and install Xubuntu.

      • Doesn't crash, doesn't blue screen

        How does such blatent trolling get a +5 Insightful?

        • How does such blatent [sic] trolling get a +5 Insightful?

          Because it's the truth. (c) 2005 Gateway hardware running a patched XP, Chrome, Thunderbird & Office 2000. No crashes.

      • by cbope (130292)

        If it ain't broke, then why does MS still keep pushing out patches for XP? Because there are exploitable holes, that's why.

        The whole thing falls apart after April 2014 when MS stops pushing out any patches for XP. Zero-day exploits will undoubtedly appear shortly thereafter, and now black hat hackers will have a huge incentive to target XP machines because they know that once they are in, a patch is not coming to close the hole. Think about that for a moment...

        The only way to keep an XP machine safe from at

        • by geekoid (135745)

          "The only way to keep an XP machine safe from attacks after April 2014 is to unplug it from the internet completely."
          SO when MS stops support, their going to also turn of my firewall and AV programs? No? STFU.

      • Just let XP finally die...

        Why? My retired parents have a Gateway PC that runs perfectly fine and runs XP perfectly fine. Doesn't crash, doesn't blue screen, they just turn it on and it works. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

        I see that you're typing these slashdot posts on your abacus then?

    • Just let XP finally die...

      Probably betting that they can score some IE6 marketshare that might otherwise turn into IE9/10 marketshare by telling risk-averse microsoftie corporate admins that, while they aren't Microsoft, they are your best chance if you still want to cling to XP after MS hangs you out to dry. I'm assuming that the job will not be a plum assignment on the Chrome team; but it isn't necessarily an illogical strategy.

    • by sd4f (1891894)
      It's simple, Microsoft doesn't make any money from WinXP anymore, so support is pointless, whereas, google still does make money from it.
    • I have a machine running XP. It runs my music software beatifully. The associated, expensive, not optional to replace hardware has no drivers for 7 and above. Additionally Windows 8 is a total pile of shit.

      XP is staying on this machine.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Just let XP finally die...

      You realize why Google's doing it right? Google knows a good chunk of their ad viewing population consists of users on Windows XP. They also know that XP browser support ends at IE8, with Firefox keeping current for maybe another year beyond that. They need to keep Chrome too because as long as there's a good chunk of people on the XP teat, there's a good chunk of ad-viewing population they make money off of.

      What, you expect Google to give up what probably amounts to 40-50% of thei

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @11:24PM (#45149405)

    Google To Support Windows XP Longer than Its Own Fucking Products

    Really, who cares about this kind of marketing Gotcha stunt. It's for the likes of eweek and cnet to analyze.

    • by bondsbw (888959)

      Yeah, by the headline you'd think Google is providing support for Windows XP itself. You know, if you take any headline coming from this site without a grain of salt.

  • Priorities (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Nice one Google. I really appreciate how you are keeping support for XP when there will soon have been four new releases and 13 years since XP was released, and yet you dropped support for the latest version of RHEL.

  • by digitaltraveller (167469) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @12:01AM (#45149571) Homepage

    It would be hugely amusing if one of these projects announced (even in jest) that they were would continue to issue patches for XP after EOL.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't it be hilarious, if by June or July of 2014, Microsoft resumes pushing out the Malicious Software Removal Tool and patches for Windows Firewall again, after all the world's XP machines get malware at the same time?

  • I can still download modern software that will run perfectly fine on Windows NT4 SP6a. I wouldn't run that POS OS, but if I were to do so, I could run pretty much everything that I wanted to and be able to have modern software on my machine that fills every conceivable need.
    • that fills every conceivable need of mine.

      FTFY. Some people's computing needs may be fulfillable with DOS. People are different from each other.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if they will try and turn XP into a form of Chrome-OS, push the brand forward with their windowed apps from Chrome as they are doing on Windows 8, then start advertising to the users about Chrome books. Then when their poor old XP machines fail, the users will already be familiar with the Chrome ecosystem, look at the cost of a Chromebook and think "why do I need a full blown desktop".

    • You are the only person here who gets it. Check out my other comment for details.

    • I wonder if they will try and turn XP into a form of Chrome-OS, push the brand forward with their windowed apps from Chrome as they are doing on Windows 8, then start advertising to the users about Chrome books. Then when their poor old XP machines fail, the users will already be familiar with the Chrome ecosystem, look at the cost of a Chromebook and think "why do I need a full blown desktop".

      It is indeed possible that they have thought about the upgrade path which you described.

  • They aren't supporting XP, they are supporting Chrome on XP. I don't see how this is so shocking as software companies have long done this. We develop applications that are expected to work on XP / 2003 through Windows 8.1 and it wasn't really that long ago we were still targeting Windows 2000. It constrains some of your choices and increases your testing surface but if the business thinks there is money to be made going after a customer segment, we do it.
  • Google is doing this to build a migration path for users XP to Chrome OS.

    By 2015 Google will have a mature Chrome OS, and a huge number of XP users that have no migration path. This is a huge opportunity for Google to win these people over as users -- first as Chrome users, then as Chrome Apps start becoming plentiful through Chrome, XP users will have a way to use modern services while skipping over WIndows XP and the non-existent modern services that will be available for it.

    The next step for Google is t

  • When there are zero browsers supporting updates on XP maybe people will finally migrate elsewhere.
  • Let's look at Windows 98. A study posted on slashdot found that if you connect a Windows 98 computer to the internet (with no AV and no SPI firewall on the modem) it caught a virus in 11 seconds on average. That's while sitting idle at the desktop. April 9th 2014 will be similar for XP. Nobody will have a functioning online XP machine past the 8th.
  • No chrome for Android 4.0, which is still nearly 40% of the current Androids in use.

  • I just found out that my Windows 7 license is somehow tied to a magic number planted in my laptop hardware. This means that I will not be able to run it under VirtualBox, which is the best Windows XP emulator I have to date. What next?
  • If you are Google you do not want Chrome to be the part that
    busts open XP.

    XP with no applications but one XP might be as secure
    as Win8 and a full treasure trove of applications by who
    knows what is on them.

    MS has got to get Mom&Pop companies off it ASAP.
    Other than a disconnected system that prints reports
    for the book keeper XP is a blunder.

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