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Oliver Sutton

Windows Xp

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I thought support had just ended but then found this

Microsoft extends security support for Windows XP

Microsoft will continue to provide virus warnings for Windows XP users until 14 July 2015 – over a year after all other support for the software is scheduled to stop.

Microsoft had previously said that it would halt all security updates on 8 April 2014, when support for Windows XP ends. The extension is intended to give organisations a little more time to complete their migrations to newer versions of the operating system, according to Microsoft.

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That's very generous of them. :unsure:

Not really. Compromised XP machines could be a vector for attack across a whole network running MS software. Once into a network via an XP machine a malware writer would not necessarily be restricted to exploits on PCs running old software.There are lots of commercial users who are still struggling to get their estates off XP. F*cking them over could potentially generate a lot off bad PR and lose future sales for MS.

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I wish people with the XP dilemma would give Linux some consideration. Ive tried it a couple of times over the last five years or so and I always dropped it in a day or two since it just seemed like more effort than it was worth. But it really really isnt the case any more. Its ready for prime time. I am amazed. A few weeks ago I had to reinstall Win 7 and I really couldnt be bothered, since doing everything can take a few hours. So I had a Linux live DVD lying around and I thought id be lazy and just use that for the day. Well, I never did get round to reinstalling Win 7. I was up and running in about 10 mins with the live DVD. Devices working, software installed, just had to enter my wireless details really. I was blown away. A few days later, still on the live DVD, I just hit the HD install button on that instead. A few weeks have gone now and I am so happy. I never believed I would ever switch to Linux. Im amazed. All zero cost. If you dont need obscure software, you are going to have everything you need. OS updates and software all comes from one place and the code has been checked by the OS maintainers. No installing random drivers and exe's off the web. So blown away, I will never go back to windows. Just a couple of years ago I was saying to people Linux is just not worth the effort, but its just not true any more. The majority of people just do not have any need to use windows and pay for software any more. Id say in some respects Linux is even easier than Windows. And for those that like to tinker it is so much more flexible.

You dont even have to install it to try it, just use a live DVD. Linux Mint is the distro that got me started. Its the newbie version lol. Some Linux users are a bit snotty about Mint, and I guess its kinda like how AOL was to internet service in the 90s, but it does the job, it eases the transition. I have enjoyed the experience so much I have already been playing with other distros like Debian and Arch. It even got me curious enough to watch a couple of interviews with Linus Torvalds. Its pretty fascinating actually.

I actually think the transition from XP to Mint would be easier than from XP to Win 7 or 8. Ive been using MS since the mid 90s and yet XP to 7 is a bit of and odd transition I found. Never did get as comfortable with 7 as I was with XP. I really think the transition to Mint could be easier for a lot of people. Real eye opener.

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The problem for M$ is there are huge numbers of people using the operating system, if a flaw is found every single machine is liable to be compromised and you are talking about a botnet of a couple hundred million PC's. Shutting down a botnet of that size would be a nightmare task and for M$ they would be forced to either issue updates for XP or do something radical like offering a free supported operating system.

http://www.infoworld.com/t/microsoft-windows/only-microsoft-knows-the-true-windows-xp-numbers-isnt-telling-238174

The simple fact is that we don't know -- don't even have a clue -- about the number of Windows XP machines still out in the wild. Back-of-the-envelope estimates put the figure at about half a billion machines, but that calculation ignores a host of crucial factors. Foremost among them: How many "real" copies of Windows XP will be thrown to the dogs next month when Microsoft cuts off support? There's only one company that has an inkling of the "real" number, and that company isn't talking.

A couple of days ago, Gregg Keizer at Computerworld put the numbers through the wringer as part of his impassioned call for Microsoft to extend XP support. The calculation looks like this: Net Applications says that 29.5 percent of the world's PCs ran XP in February. If there are about 1.65 billion PCs running around (including, presumably, 1.4 billion Windows PCs, using Microsoft's latest figure), that comes to about 488 million XP PCs now in operation.

The popularity of XP is a huge problem for M$ it also proves that it's newer offering haven't tempted those with older PC's to move to a new operating system or buy a new PC. For the security of the internet it provide a very interesting discussion about how something as critical as the operating system should be managed.

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The popularity of XP is a huge problem for M$ it also proves that it's newer offering haven't tempted those with older PC's to move to a new operating system or buy a new PC.

Further to my post above, my Firefox used to be noticeably laggy. I just assumed Firefox had become too mainstream and bloated and that my add-ons didnt help either. Well, same set up in Linux and it is flying. It opens instantly, never has a slow down, Im quite surprised by it. I must assume that it was windows that was the problem all along.

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I wish people with the XP dilemma would give Linux some consideration.

For the majority of people Linux is more than adequate and is free. It's like Office the free versions Libre/Open Office are more than adequate for most tasks.

M$ big problem now is if large numbers of XP users ditch windows and move to linux because I doubt people would move back.

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Further to my post above, my Firefox used to be noticeably laggy. I just assumed Firefox had become too mainstream and bloated and that my add-ons didnt help either. Well, same set up in Linux and it is flying. It opens instantly, never has a slow down, Im quite surprised by it. I must assume that it was windows that was the problem all along.

Have to admit I've seen firefox become laggy recently on Windows.

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Have to admit I've seen firefox become laggy recently on Windows.

+1

If I didn't neee Windows for my corporate work I would ditch Windows completely

I think the XP support stopping could backfire on MS as people simply do not upgrade their PCs but instead go and buy a tablet instead.

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A Linux installation might be feasible for a private individual with an older XP PC, but for corporate networks it's a trickier proposition, because:

1 - You've got to support it yourself

2 - You may be running applications software for which no Linux version is available (e.g. all the popular Adobe packages)

3 - You may have hardware for which no drivers are available

4 - There will be a major training learning curve for your staff, who will have been using MS software since they were schoolkids.

As for the XP end--of-life issue, I read in a Sunday paper article that apparently MS believe that around 90% of the remaining XP installations are pirate copies in China, Russia and India, and that the real reason they are determined to kill XP is to take a large amount of pirate copies out of circulation. Apparently organised crime gangs in the developing world are supporting XP by modifying copies so that they talk to the criminals' server for updates rather than Microsoft's. The criminals download legit updates and put them on their own server, thereby keeping the pirate copies up to date. Apparently attempts to hack Vista, 7 and 8 so that they don't "phone home" to Microsoft have thus far been unsuccessful.

But as long as there are a significant number of consumer PCs and corporate networks in the developed world that are still running XP, that creates the PR nightmare for MS as described above, meaning that they've effectively been forced by customer resistance into at least carrying on with barebones security updates.

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+1

If I didn't neee Windows for my corporate work I would ditch Windows completely

I think the XP support stopping could backfire on MS as people simply do not upgrade their PCs but instead go and buy a tablet instead.

A tablet fulfils many people's computer need just fine. For many, it will now be their only "computer". Anything bought new, with XP on it will be getting antique now, an dwell ready for "recycling".

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If some easy to use Linux distro could pull of an MS and get some decent number of OEMs on board to pre-install so the masses could see it, they definitely would not switch back. MS would be in big trouble. As it stands right now, I just dont know how likely it is for any large number of people to decide to make that switch. Im sure most have never even heard of Linux and just dont even think about something like OS choice. To most Im sure the OS is like a fixed part of the computer. It just comes with it. Difficult to over come that I reckon. However, as desktop use gets less and less MS are losing out anyway. Not that Im rabidly anti-MS, I have just suddenly become pro-Linux. Im still blown away by the situation now after running it for probably three weeks or more.

I tried Open Office a couple of years ago and it was not handling Word docs correctly. Formatting got messed up when others used Word to open my OO created docx. That of course is a complete deal breaker, which just added to the impression that all this free stuff was just not worth it. But checking Libre when I first booted Mint a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were no problems at all. (I assume OO has since fixed that problem anyway, but I have no need to check.)

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I need a new laptop but I am shocked how many being sold have components going back 6 or 7 years and how expensive the mid to top end market are. I suspect this is due to lack of laptop sales with firms trying to squeeze every penny out of people who do need a laptop.

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As for the XP end--of-life issue, I read in a Sunday paper article that apparently MS believe that around 90% of the remaining XP installations are pirate copies in China, Russia and India, and that the real reason they are determined to kill XP is to take a large amount of pirate copies out of circulation. Apparently organised crime gangs in the developing world are supporting XP by modifying copies so that they talk to the criminals' server for updates rather than Microsoft's. The criminals download legit updates and put them on their own server, thereby keeping the pirate copies up to date. Apparently attempts to hack Vista, 7 and 8 so that they don't "phone home" to Microsoft have thus far been unsuccessful.

That confuses me a bit but perhaps I dont understand what is being said. If its saying cracked Win 7 cant get updates its just not true. Or is it that users of pirate versions dont want to get updates direct from MS? Ive seen multiple people run pirate versions of Win 7 totally fine for years with out any up keep.

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A Linux installation might be feasible for a private individual with an older XP PC, but for corporate networks it's a trickier proposition, because:

1 - You've got to support it yourself

2 - You may be running applications software for which no Linux version is available (e.g. all the popular Adobe packages)

3 - You may have hardware for which no drivers are available

4 - There will be a major training learning curve for your staff, who will have been using MS software since they were schoolkids.

As for the XP end--of-life issue, I read in a Sunday paper article that apparently MS believe that around 90% of the remaining XP installations are pirate copies in China, Russia and India, and that the real reason they are determined to kill XP is to take a large amount of pirate copies out of circulation. Apparently organised crime gangs in the developing world are supporting XP by modifying copies so that they talk to the criminals' server for updates rather than Microsoft's. The criminals download legit updates and put them on their own server, thereby keeping the pirate copies up to date. Apparently attempts to hack Vista, 7 and 8 so that they don't "phone home" to Microsoft have thus far been unsuccessful.

But as long as there are a significant number of consumer PCs and corporate networks in the developed world that are still running XP, that creates the PR nightmare for MS as described above, meaning that they've effectively been forced by customer resistance into at least carrying on with barebones security updates.

I wonder if that's been to do with the slack up take in those countries why put lots of effort into hacking the OS if you have such a large user base?

I had always wondered if Windows Update could be compromised, the nightmare scenario for M$ would be a virus that could get machines to update from a server issuing compromised updates and then for an added bonus offer AV updates which would keep the machine clean from rival gangs virus's whilst giving you total control.

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But checking Libre when I first booted Mint a few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were no problems at all.

Form fields with pulldown menus, tables, tracked changes and semi-protected documents created in MS Word do not function the same way (and in many cases, not at all) in Libre Office.

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Further to my post above, my Firefox used to be noticeably laggy. I just assumed Firefox had become too mainstream and bloated

A lot of the time it is crap websites with megabytes of poorly optimized javascript to run, thousands of connections opening behind the scenes etc. Facebook has recently done some update which kills firefox on my laptop. Chrome copes better it seems.

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A Linux installation might be feasible for a private individual with an older XP PC, but for corporate networks it's a trickier proposition, because:

1 - You've got to support it yourself

2 - You may be running applications software for which no Linux version is available (e.g. all the popular Adobe packages)

3 - You may have hardware for which no drivers are available

4 - There will be a major training learning curve for your staff, who will have been using MS software since they were schoolkids.

1 - No so. Many of the major distributors offer support packages. Suse is pretty highly rated for this.

2 - Yes, that's a problem, but it is possible to run such software in a virtual environment, such as VirtualBox. That's what I do.

3 - Maybe, but I don't think that's such a big deal. Most common hardware is supported pretty well these days.

4 - Someone who is used to XP will probably find most Linux distributions more familiar than Windows 8!

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I use linux and it's improved but there's always something that doesn't work for me. Installing software can be troublesome even for fairly tech minded people. The average Joe would not be able to cope with it imo. M$ suggestion that hardware needs to be up to date is disingenuous. XP machines have enough processing power to remain safe,slow but safe.

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I use linux and it's improved but there's always something that doesn't work for me. Installing software can be troublesome even for fairly tech minded people. The average Joe would not be able to cope with it imo. M$ suggestion that hardware needs to be up to date is disingenuous. XP machines have enough processing power to remain safe,slow but safe.

It depends on the hardware but some machines where I work have been upgraded to win7 and they boot much faster, not sure what scripts where running in the background with XP but you could switch the machine on, make a cup of tea have a 5 min chat and it would still be loading! Win7 on them have given them a new lease of life.

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A Linux installation might be feasible for a private individual with an older XP PC, but for corporate networks it's a trickier proposition, because:

1 - You've got to support it yourself

2 - You may be running applications software for which no Linux version is available (e.g. all the popular Adobe packages)

3 - You may have hardware for which no drivers are available

4 - There will be a major training learning curve for your staff, who will have been using MS software since they were schoolkids.

As for the XP end--of-life issue, I read in a Sunday paper article that apparently MS believe that around 90% of the remaining XP installations are pirate copies in China, Russia and India, and that the real reason they are determined to kill XP is to take a large amount of pirate copies out of circulation. Apparently organised crime gangs in the developing world are supporting XP by modifying copies so that they talk to the criminals' server for updates rather than Microsoft's. The criminals download legit updates and put them on their own server, thereby keeping the pirate copies up to date. Apparently attempts to hack Vista, 7 and 8 so that they don't "phone home" to Microsoft have thus far been unsuccessful.

But as long as there are a significant number of consumer PCs and corporate networks in the developed world that are still running XP, that creates the PR nightmare for MS as described above, meaning that they've effectively been forced by customer resistance into at least carrying on with barebones security updates.

It is probably the most pirated piece of software in history. However, there are a lot of legitimate copies out there as well being used particularly in the commercial world. Famously some big government departments including HMRC and the NHS are still in the process of migration to Windows 7.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/14/win_xp_uk_gov_hacker_deadline_miss/

Sadly for these users it is not simply a matter of booting up a new machine and migrating a few documents and some media files. Their desktops are usually locked down and configured with specialist software and security settings designed to meet the requirements of their corporate employer. Getting these right across an estate of tens of thousands of users is often a nightmare. It is certainly much harder than the old mainframe upgrades that used to be done 30 years ago when everyone connected to systems from 3270 dumb terminals. In fact I now quite often encounter corporate set ups where the supposedly antique big iron of the IBM mainframe is upto date while a lot of the MS estate struggles along along on XP, Office 2003, Windows Server 2003, and even SQL Server 2000

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It depends on the hardware but some machines where I work have been upgraded to win7 and they boot much faster, not sure what scripts where running in the background with XP but you could switch the machine on, make a cup of tea have a 5 min chat and it would still be loading! Win7 on them have given them a new lease of life.

May just be because they cleared out all the crap that came pre-installed with the PC. I have a Windows XP VM on my Linux machine at work, and it takes less than ten seconds to boot up.

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I wish people with the XP dilemma would give Linux some consideration.

Linus Torvalds still accept patches from the NSA. As long as I know the various Free/Net/Openbsd don't. I am running Netbsd on my second quite old laptop, previously struggling to run Vista, and it runs very fast.

Linux was ok 10 years ago. In their attempt to attract Windows users they have also introduced vulnerabilities. The *Bsd's have stayed true to their Unix mission.

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Linus Torvalds still accept patches from the NSA. As long as I know the various Free/Net/Openbsd don't. I am running Netbsd on my second quite old laptop, previously struggling to run Vista, and it runs very fast.

Linux was ok 10 years ago. In their attempt to attract Windows users they have also introduced vulnerabilities. The *Bsd's have stayed true to their Unix mission.

Pretty much BSD is BSD! I would recommend it! Give it a go! If you can't work it out, there's always Ubuntu, which I am running here!.

NetBSD would be my first choice. It installs easy. If you don't like it you can try something else.

Er, remember to make your primary user a member of the "wheel" group. :huh:

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Not really. Compromised XP machines could be a vector for attack across a whole network running MS software. Once into a network via an XP machine a malware writer would not necessarily be restricted to exploits on PCs running old software.There are lots of commercial users who are still struggling to get their estates off XP. F*cking them over could potentially generate a lot off bad PR and lose future sales for MS.

I would hardly call Microsoft ending updates for Windows XP 'f^cking' anyone over.

The end of life date for Windows XP has been known for a decade, its also been pushed back several times to extend the time IT departments and individuals have had to respond.

Simply put people have failed to respond to the situation appropriately.

Work arounds and upgrade paths have been available (some provided by MS themselves, like XP Mode) for free or as paid solutions for a very long time.

There is simply no excuse for not being prepared for this, other than not being willing to invest in a solution (money or research/testing time) sooner...

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