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Experts question Microsoft's decision to retire XP

Gregg Keizer | Dec. 5, 2012
Microsoft will 'draw a line in the sand' in 2014 when Windows XP exits support, security researchers said today, even if millions of people are still running the aged OS and a zero-day bug threatens the Windows ecosystem.

Even some of those who bet on the "line in the sand" acknowledged that there were factors that might prompt Microsoft to erase that line.

"The only scenario I can see where they would extend support isn't a security scenario," said Pescatore. "The biggest issue facing Microsoft is the declining share of Windows on devices. So they might continue to patch as a business decision, (so) that by offering patches, they at least hold onto those people still running XP."

Cherry closed the circle on the debate, pointing to one of the driving philosophies at Microsoft over the last decade as proof.

"Microsoft has invested significant resources in its Trustworthy Computing initiative and I think that investment and preserving its now-better-reputation in this area would not allow them to have an XP that was doing harm," Cherry said. "They cannot allow a security vulnerability to cause harm."

Sounds simple.

But it's not, said Miller. "It's really a no-win situation for them," he said. "I wouldn't want to be on the committee at Microsoft that decides this."

 

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