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Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP 829

Posted by timothy
from the tic-tic-tic dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Shona Ghosh writes at PC Pro that the final deadline for Windows XP support in April 2014 will act as the starting pistol for developing new exploits as hackers reverse-engineer patches issued for Windows 7 or Windows 8 to scout for XP vulnerabilities. "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 [them]," says Tim Rains, the director of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing group. Microsoft says that XP shared 30 security holes with Windows 7 and Windows 8 between July 2012 and July 2013. Gregg Keizer says that if a major chunk of the world's PCs remains tied to XP, as seems certain, Microsoft will face an unenviable choice: Stick to plan and put millions of customers at risk from malware infection, or backtrack from long-standing policies and proclamations." (Read on for more.)
"In either case, it will face a public relations backlash, whether from customers who complain they've been forsaken or those angry at Microsoft for pushing them to upgrade when, in the end, they didn't need to." Microsoft makes little or no revenue from customers with old PCs, and desperately wants them to buy a new Windows system of some sort. "It's very easy to say 'just upgrade,' but not all business can do so," says Lawrence Pingree, citing money, resources and mission-critical software. "One of the main reasons why people cannot leave XP is compatibility with other software." Nor is Microsoft blameless. XP has hung around because of the mistakes Microsoft made with Windows Vista, the OS flop that outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer copped to as his biggest regret. If Vista had been more like Windows 7, or had shipped at its original "Longhorn" timetable of 2004, then been followed three years later by Windows 7, XP would not have had the opportunity to lock up the ecosystem for a decade. Pingree has a suggestion for Microsoft. ""If it's such a big problem, maybe they should offer an 'Extended Life' [support] subscription and charge for it.""
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Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP

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  • by Nova Express (100383) <lawrenceperson@g ... minus physicist> on Sunday December 22, 2013 @09:33AM (#45759375) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft should extend support for XP...but only on a cash-for-patch basis. Sell patches at $5 a pop for XP user's, or a one Year Security Update Subscription for $20.

    It's a win-win situation....

    • by rmdingler (1955220) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @09:37AM (#45759387)
      There will be no second act here if the protagonist solves the dilemma in the opening minutes sir.
    • by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @09:41AM (#45759407) Homepage

      The question is: How much does it actually cost them (in dollars) to support XP?

      I get the feeling this is just to try and push people to upgrade, not because XP can't be supported.

      I own two machines which cannot be upgraded for very good reasons.

      (And right now they have auto-update disabled because of the "Windows update uses 100% CPU and leaves the machine unusable" problem which appeared a couple of months ago - a coincidence that this happened just before XP is retired...?)

      • by couchslug (175151)

        "I own two machines which cannot be upgraded for very good reasons."

        What are those? I support a couple of XP machines for a friend who is content with his old CAM software because it does what he wants and the post-processor works with his old Fanuc control, but they no longer connect to the internet. Cut the cord, problem solved.

        • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Sunday December 22, 2013 @11:28AM (#45759901) Homepage Journal

          Of those reasons, I'm betting #1 is 'No driver support for half the hardware in the system.'

          I have tons of equipment that's better than crap being produced today, but drivers for it don't exist past XP.

          • Of those reasons, I'm betting #1 is 'No driver support for half the hardware in the system.'

            Who wrote the initial drivers? Microsoft or third parties? If third parties, are they still around? If so, why aren't they supporting Win7? Does Linux support that hardware?

            I have tons of equipment that's better than crap being produced today, but drivers for it don't exist past XP.

            Fine, just don't connect your machine to the Internet and put others' at risk.

            Microsoft's big "problem" is "free updates". They shou

        • by smpoole7 (1467717) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @12:26PM (#45760183) Homepage

          >> "I own two machines which cannot be upgraded for very good reasons."

          > What are those?

          Plenty of reasons. Khyber's comment below about hardware drivers is one. If you have a sweet server that's still chugging along, you feel no need to replace or upgrade it. If you did, though, you'd have a time finding drivers for it.

          Another reason is if you're using a very expensive software package that simply won't work with anything newer than Windows XP. Then it's not just a simple matter of upgrading Windows, but having to shell out tons of money for other software upgrades at the same time. Until the economy turns around, that ain't gonna happen.

          We've run across cases where a software vendor will say, "don't install anything newer than service pack 2." We handle it by completely isolating these machines from the Internet and disallowing the use of external, user-supplied storage (which most smart admins do anyway, on general principle).

          Here's a piece of trivia for you: one of the key audio streaming companies* for broadcast radio stations, as late as last year, made it clear in their contract that they would ONLY support Windows XP. We dropped them for that reason, but folks, this was in 2012. That kind of stuff still happens, too, and again, blame the economy.

          This admittedly won't affect most users, but it does affect some of us.

          (*actually, to be technically correct, they're an ad-insertion company -- they insert commercial inventory in your online stream -- but I figured everyone's eyes would glaze over if I tried to get that detailed.) :)

      • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @11:16AM (#45759835) Homepage Journal

        One problem with supporting XP, is the old 32 bit thing. Some of the security features available on 64 bit systems just don't work so well on 32 bit processors, or with 32 bit operating systems. http://www.howtogeek.com/165535/why-the-64-bit-version-of-windows-is-more-secure/ [howtogeek.com] Feel free to Google for more information along those lines - there is plenty.

        Worse, XP supports legacy 16 and 8 bit stuff, which is far more insecure than a rational 32 bit system.

        Microsoft does indeed push the upgrade cycle for their own selfish reasons, no one can deny that. But, really and truly, XP is so obsolete that no sensible people are going to waste time trying to support it.

        As soon as I could afford to purchase a 64 bit Opteron, I made the switch to 64 bit computing. The fact that 64 bit Windows XP couldn't support all of my hardware prompted me to make the switch to Linux. At that point in time, Suse Linux had the edge on AMD 64 bit computing, and everything just worked out of the box.

        • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday December 22, 2013 @11:19AM (#45759847) Homepage Journal

          XP supports legacy 16 and 8 bit stuff

          What 8-bit stuff are you talking about? The only 8-bit software that runs on Windows XP runs in an emulator such as FCEUX. The 16-bit software runs in a virtual machine anyway, called NTVDM (for MS-DOS software) or WOWExec (for Windows 3.x software).

        • by upuv (1201447)

          This argument keeps coming up.

          "What if something doesn't work after?" Thus less than some small minority of the populous is inconvenienced.

          How about What if the world is exposed to increasingly harmful malware infections that threaten financial, systems control, hospitals etc.

          Guess what. This is exactly the same ridiculous argument that occurred in the 1970's when seat belts were made mandatory around most of the world. "You can't make seat belts mandatory the pensioners can't afford to install them" An

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        What reasons are those? If its money you should know those old Pentium 4s (which in my exp at the shop is the majority chip when it comes to old XP boxen) are sucking up power and blowing through your cooling like a drunk hitting a free minibar so they are COSTING you money, not saving it.

        I have had excellent luck replacing those aging P4 boards with AMD Bobcat boards [amazon.com]. They are faster than a P4, gives you an APU that will do 1080P over HDMI, and most importantly for your wallet uses less under 100% load th

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      There really are only a tiny number of people for whom such a subscription would make sense. Everyone else would be better off just replacing their PC with a newer one running Win7/8. Windows 7 has XP Mode which works pretty well, and people who absolutely need XP for that one bit of ancient hardware that doesn't even work in the VM would be better off retiring their current machines from day-to-day use and saving them just for that single purpose.

      People who are still using XP day-to-day are idiots and Micr

      • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @12:10PM (#45760113)

        There is almost no scenario where continuing to use XP as your main desktop makes sense

        Take the case of my 74-year-old dad.

        His Gateway runs XP, and runs well. Chrome is fast, YouTube vids of his grandkids play fine.

        Upgrading to Win 7 will cost him $300 - The Win 7 DVD + a new printer, as his HP 1012 doesn't have a Win 7 driver. If there was a $20 / year subscription option I'm sure he'd take it.

        • by puto (533470)
          Apparently the googles does not work in Vancouver. Here is from HPs own support page on how to do it. The LaserJet 1015 x64 printer driver that ships with Windows 7 works just fine with the 1012. Install it explicity with "Add A Printer", it won't be detected by plugging in the printer.
      • Needless expense (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sjbe (173966) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @12:30PM (#45760199)

        People who are still using XP day-to-day are idiots and Microsoft shouldn't encourage them.

        Really? People are idiots for not spending money on new equipment that adds precisely zero additional feature that they need? We should be forced to upgrade to Microsoft's latest software because not upgrading doesn't add to Microsoft's profits? My company uses XP on the majority of our computers and there is nothing whatsoever in Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 that is necessary for us. So we're idiots for not spending money needlessly? Thank $diety we don't let you make our purchasing decisions.

        There is almost no scenario where continuing to use XP as your main desktop makes sense

        Except for the millions of people whose actual computing needs are perfectly adequately filled by XP.

        • Re:Needless expense (Score:4, Interesting)

          by _Ludwig (86077) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @02:19PM (#45760961) Journal

          My company uses XP on the majority of our computers and there is nothing whatsoever in Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 that is necessary for us.

          Your company doesn’t consider security updates necessary?

          • Your company doesn’t consider security updates necessary?

            Security updates are not features. While (unfortunately) necessary they are fundamentally a correction of a defect in their product. You are looking at it backwards. What you are saying is that I'm supposed to pay endlessly for Microsoft for their defective product.

            Now in realistic terms if they wanted to charge a modest (emphasis on modest) fee for security updates to those who want to keep XP in place after a decade of use, I don't really have a problem with that. But I do have a problem with a point

    • by houghi (78078)

      Car analogy: If you bought a car, the company will take out as many errors as possible. However sometimes they miss one. During warranty, they will repair it for you free of charge.

      Now imagine that you bought a car and you want some of the same security features new cars have, like seat-belts and third break light. The old company does not do any security upgrades anymore. You still have several options.
      1) Pay the company to do it for you (as you suggest above)
      2) Pay another company to do it for you
      3) Do it

      • by CaptainJeff (731782) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @10:35AM (#45759619)
        Better car analogy: When a defect (mistake in the fundamental design or implementation of the car) is found that affects its safety, a recall is issued, and the manufacturer fixes it for free. Regardless of warranty status of age of the vehicle.
        • by DrLang21 (900992)
          These are hardly safety issues here. If someone dies or gets injured because of unpatched Windows vulnerabilities, it will be the fault of whoever used Windows XP in the system that caused it, not Microsoft.
      • by hot soldering iron (800102) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @10:44AM (#45759675)

        Microsoft will never Opensource XP. Mostly because it would be a major liability with no benefit to them. Yes, liability. If you have your programmers going through the code and find a module that obviously didn't work like it was supposed to, and exposed the machines to a 0-day hack, your lawyers would race to file law suites against Microsoft to compensate for the companies losses. Or lets say you figure out what ALL the settings in the registry do, including the ones for exclusive use of the FBI/NSA/Microsoft. Now you know that they were fully able to bypass the Microsoft supplied firewalls, and grab whatever info they wanted. And you would spill that knowledge all over the net.

        Where is Microsoft's benefit in all this? It's just not there.

        The only project to Opensource XP that I've heard of is ReactOS [reactos.org], and it is STILL in Alpha stage, even after all these years. I suppose if the demand for it is there, some companies could be encouraged to donate time/money and accelerate the project, for their own benefit.

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @11:03AM (#45759779)

      The unfortunate fact is, the majority of these people are home users on DSL. They aren't going to pay, we're lucky if they even update, and once they're infected their machines are used in botnets to attack the rest of us. Microsoft should continue to publish security updates for XP for free to protect THE REST of its users.

  • So upgrade already (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @09:35AM (#45759381)

    You can run XP in a virtual machine if you have software you must absolutely run that cannot run under Windows 7 or 8.

    If your business cannot support the cost of an upgrade, you really aren't doing it right and probably aren't making much money anyway.

    Windows 7 has been out for over FOUR freaking years. Quite the whiny bitching already.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by murdocj (543661)

      You can run XP in a virtual machine if you have software you must absolutely run that cannot run under Windows 7 or 8.

      If your business cannot support the cost of an upgrade, you really aren't doing it right and probably aren't making much money anyway.

      Windows 7 has been out for over FOUR freaking years. Quite the whiny bitching already.

      This. People are complaining about a version of the O/S that came out 11 years ago.

      • by berashith (222128)

        also, they are acting like microsoft isnt supporting customers. If you havent purchased something in 11 years, you arent a customer.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We still run XP on a few remaining machines and we don't really have the money do upgrade the. We aren't really making that much money, because that's not really the aim of the company - we essentially provide serviced offices* for self employed people (including the two directors). In essence, the company's aim it to provide employment for a whole bunch of people. Sure making a bit of money is nice, but at the moment, as long as we break even and the brokers make money, we're happy.

      * Not just serviced offi

    • by linebackn (131821) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @10:30AM (#45759599)

      You can run XP in a virtual machine if you have software you must absolutely run that cannot run under Windows 7 or 8.

      Not if the software you need to run is a device driver for special hardware.

      And you still have the issue that the VM may need to talk to the outside world and therefore be as "vulnerable" as real hardware.

    • by BUL2294 (1081735) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @10:45AM (#45759679)
      I'm sorry, but tell me an easy way for a non-technical business (e.g. a dentist's office) to shut off Internet access in most consumer-grade VMs (VMWare Player, Hyper-V, Win7's VirtualPC, etc.) while keeping network access alive. Yes, there's things like fiddling with hosts files and the like, but no consumer-level VM offers a "keep networking but disallow Internet access" switch. (Sure, you can disable NAT, but then your VM can't network, so what's the point???)

      Also, Microsoft's Win32 application compatibility via the Windows 6.x kernel is decent for 32-bit and weak for 64-bit (WoW). To add, there's so much 16-bit code floating out there in businesses, written during the Win9x era, especially from vendors that no longer exist. Even trying to get some Microsoft programs working is a chore--e.g. Visual FoxPro 9 SP2. (I don't give a shit how "old" it is, it's still used and doesn't work well with Win7 x64). Microsoft has the R&D resources to figure out how to run 16-bit code on 64-bit Windows (e.g. NTVDM running on WoW--essentially a VM within a VM), and we'd be fully in the 64-bit OS era...
      • by Anonymous Coward

        You remove the gateway ip address in the TCP/IP settings. A single entry. Duh.

  • Slashdot Poll ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lennie (16154) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @09:37AM (#45759383) Homepage

    I feel a Slashdot Poll might be in our future:

    Number of Windows XP security updates Microsoft will release in the first and second year after they said they wouldn't:
    - 0
    - 1-5
    - 5-10
    - 11 or more

  • Can't complain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @09:37AM (#45759385) Homepage
    Although Windows XP still works wonderfully for me, and although I'd like to continue using it (with security updates of course), I really can't complain. It's one of the longest supported OS's in PC history. Nothing else has come even close, and no vendor is talking about having anywhere near a decade+ of support in the near future, either.
  • And? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Stick to plan and put millions of customers at risk from malware infection

    Not trolling, but sticking with XP - even with continued support - is still putting millions of customers at risk from malware infection. Win 7 is much more secure (I assume 8 is too but I won't touch Win 8).

    One of my clients is going to stick with XP (it's on about 1/2 their systems) and only upgrade to 7 if the workstation needs to be replaced. Some of their workstations have been running for 8 - 10 years and still meet the needs of their users. If it ain't broke why replace it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @09:43AM (#45759413)

    Microsoft isn't putting customers at risk by not patching what will then be a 13-year old operating system. They had a full life cycle plan in place and customers have had many years advance notice to plan their transition. The lack of resources placed on transitioning legacy software to something other than an end-of-life OS is squarely the fault of the customers. The people in charge obviously don't place a great deal of importance on security or support. They have made their decision, let them suffer the consequences.

    • by _Ludwig (86077) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @10:10AM (#45759515) Journal

      On the one hand, quite true, fuck ’em. They brought their problems upon themselves. But on the other, their problem becomes everyone else’s when several million corporate PCs are added to the world’s botnet population.

    • by linebackn (131821) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @10:22AM (#45759557)

      Microsoft isn't putting customers at risk by not patching what will then be a 13-year old operating system. They had a full life cycle plan in place and customers have had many years advance notice to plan their transition. The lack of resources placed on transitioning legacy software to something other than an end-of-life OS is squarely the fault of the customers. The people in charge obviously don't place a great deal of importance on security or support. They have made their decision, let them suffer the consequences.

      What do you mean you've never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven's sake, mankind, it's only four light years away, you know. I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that's your own lookout. Energize the demolition beam. I don't know, apathetic bloody planet, I've no sympathy at all.

    • by jkrise (535370) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @12:41PM (#45760253) Journal

      It is 13 years since MS started selling XP. Even as late as 2010 when Windows 7 was just released; XP was still offered to enterprise customers since Vista was shit.

      Windows 8 does not run many applications developed using tools that came with and later supported XP. And these apps are not even 2 years old.

      So please cut out the "13 year old XP" crap. MS is still officially selling XP for some enterprise customers. They better support it for 7 years AFTER they stop selling XP. Say 2020.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    New features for life on XP - no.
          Security features for 5 more years, if it means back porting them - yes.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I working in health care, our PRIMARY robotic pharmacy dispenser runs DOS 6.x
      It works, vendor has not mentioned any intent to replace the code so why should we.
      I drive to work in a 14 year old - it works, so ... ?

      If you think I am joking ask your hospital about ( McK..... )

  • by mseeger (40923) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @09:56AM (#45759451)

    No, the time bomb are people still running XP....

  • An easy choice... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tambo (310170) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @10:12AM (#45759519)

    The key to this dilemma comes down to one word:

    "Microsoft will face an unenviable choice: Stick to plan and put millions of customers at risk from malware infection,"

    I don't think that Microsoft actually considers these people "customers." I think MS very distinctly considers them non-customers of their flagship product, since they have not purchased any of the four latest versions (Vista, 7, 8, 8.1). All of Microsoft's customers should have followed its exhortations over the last five years to spend a few bucks and upgrade dump their now-13-year-old OS.

    It's indisputable that across the computing industry, the perceived mandate of legacy support for next-gen OSes is increasingly feeble. In non-desktop markets - e.g., consoles and phones - the presumption was never there to begin with (starting with the Super Nintendo!) Web programming exhibits similar tendencies - how many Java applications from back in the day won't run on modern browsers? And won't that include the entire Silverlight platform in a few years? The tendency is that the river of upgrades will carry all projects of significance along in its current, and the projects that gather on the banks (i.e., don't receive newest-OS upgrades) are... detritus. For right or wrong, that's the view.

  • by sjwest (948274) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @10:23AM (#45759565)

    More of linux shop here but the one remaining ms os pc which had updates until november has just been deemed illegal by somebody last month.

    I briefly tried to deal with the issue - the supplier hp told me to get lost, and once through to the right region (hp's website royally sucks) the human blamed ms and gave me a wrong phone number for buck passing.

    I have put the machine on a list for debian upgrades for next year.

  • by JudeanPeople'sFront (729601) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @10:25AM (#45759573)
    The problem is that you can't upgrade to Windows 7 anymore. Also, you can't buy a new computer with Windows 7. You have to go to Windows 8. Which it's crap, compared to Windows 7. Whoever upgraded to Windows 7 is holding on to it and isn't going to move to Windows 8 until... never.
  • by jmccue (834797) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @10:26AM (#45759581) Homepage
    Sometime in Jan or Feb 2014, MS should send a patch to XP with a nag popup. The popup will state "XP End of Life April 8, 2014. Please upgrade or you will loose internet connectivity". The number of times this popup appears increases the closer you get to Apr 8. Come April 8, all ports on XP are closed permanently. This illustrates why Open Source OSs are preferable to closed OSs. With Linux/*BSD... one can, if desired and have the knowledge, patch it themselves if they need to run a very old release of a system.
  • by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @12:05PM (#45760093) Homepage

    This never happens to any of the iCult as Apple obsoletes them completely every two years. The iSteve is laughing in his grave.. "13 years of support!?! Are you fucking crazy?"

    And not for nothin I had XP until this past year and did not have one virus and did not run any active virus protection. Once or twice a year I would download one and do a full scan only to have cookies removed. I'm still amazed at how some people seem unable to keep their pc clean. Probably a good reason not to have sex with them either!

  • by bazorg (911295) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @12:46PM (#45760287)

    If Vista had been more like Windows 7

    This is such bullshit! In the alternative universe where Windows 7 was ready on the day Vista came out, software drivers for W7 would have been as unavailable as they were for Vista. All sorts of software that required users to have full admin permissions would have been broken by W7 UAC as it was by Vista's UAC. All PCs sold with 512MB or 1GB RAM would have still be slow compared to XP.

    Only 1 or 2 years down the line when OEMs had caught up and released proper drivers, when PCs were being sold with 2GB+ RAM and when people learned to separate normal from admin users did Windows Vista/7/8 become less of a nuisance. It had very little to do with Windows 7 being so awesome.

  • by gaiageek (1070870) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @01:24PM (#45760551) Homepage
    I've got a couple 70-something members in my family who are running XP laptops just to run a web browser: email and the basics. Having moved to Linux myself and being the family computer guy, I'm wanting to switch these two laptops to some lightweight flavor of Linux that will work for them and require little or no support from me. I've tried many different lightweight distros in the past year, but I thought I'd ask here for input from any of you who have actually done what I'm about to do.

    Requirements:
    - fast and light: will run fine on a Thinkpad T41 (which doesn't support PAE kernel)
    - Windows-like interface (I'm thinking LXDE, definitely not Unity)
    - easy to use Wi-Fi manager (some of the Wi-Fi managers in lightweight Linux distros are way too technical for a novice)
    - once a year if any on-site maintenance (remote maintenance is fine if necessary)
    - auto updates in background but with very low chance of system breaking with an update (maybe no auto updates is better?)
    - ACPI support (at least lid closed = suspend)
    - printer support

    Chromium OS seems like a good option, and it will run on one laptop (Thinkpad T61) but I'm pretty sure it uses a PAE kernel, ruling out the T41. I've been looking at Lubuntu, Peppermint OS, Porteus, Slax, Puppy Linux. All seem like viable options with a 30-minute test drive, but this is where I'm seeking feedback: on how some of these distros might be good or bad choices in the long-term, especially given that I won't be able to be physically present if something goes wrong.
  • by kawabago (551139) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @01:50PM (#45760769)
    Microsoft should transition all those XP users to a linux distro made to look and behave more like Windows. If Windows really is better then those customers will come back when they buy a new machine. In the mean time, Microsoft will have off loaded maintenance onto open source and freed itself to innovate. No doubt they will do something else, that will turn out to be stupid.
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @02:04PM (#45760871) Journal

    > ....says Tim Rains, the director of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing group.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but it's his job to say that, whether it's true or not. Windows 8 needs a shot in the arm, and upgrades from a bunch of panicked XP users is literally money in the bank.

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @02:11PM (#45760907)

    Stick to plan and put millions of customers at risk

    People who bought a product once. They've been told their support will end. They've been told it will become less secure (if they understand what that means). It's not Microsoft's problem any more.

    It would be better if commercial software was sold with a ticking clock built in. After "X" number of years (or months for Apple), the product just stops. Wont boot, won't run. No getarounds, hacks or fixes - just dies. Obviously there will need to be a totally "in your face" way of reminding customers that this will happen and for the advertising to be absolutely unequivocal before the product is purchased, but you don't expect a packet of cereal to last forever, why should you expect software to, either?

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