Starting this April, Microsoft will discontinue supporting Windows XP. In order to steer users away from the thirteen year old operating system, Microsoft won’t be providing its security suite (called Security Essentials) for Windows XP users once the operating system reaches its end of life.
Today, Microsoft rolled out a pre-release build of Security Essentials which can’t be installed on a computer running Windows XP. The software is only compatible with Windows Vista and higher. On the download page, under the system requirement information, Microsoft has provided a link to the previous stable version of Security Essentials and advises Windows XP users to get that version instead.
“As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date,” Microsoft stated.
“If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to help protect your PC,” the company adds.
There are still many banks, government offices, educational institutes, etc., that are running Windows XP, and may continue to do so after the 8th of April as well. Yesterday, we heard that the security firm Qihoo will be providing security and support to Chinese users running Windows XP, although we question how they plan on doing so. With no security patches from Microsoft, do you trust other third 3rd-party clients to save your computer?
You can snag away the pre-release build from the download link below if you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7. If you are running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, Windows Defender replaces Microsoft Security Essentials, so you do not need to download anything.Further reading: Microsoft, Security, Security Essentials