Ten years later, Windows XP still dominates the Web

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by tgell, Jan 2, 2012.

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  1. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    I am in that position. The computers I have will not run Windows 7 and I do not want to spend money on a new computer at the moment. Xp does everything I need and does it well. No gamer here. :D I have XP on two computers including an old emachines that I bought in 2002 and have never gotten infected. If I ever do by chance get infected, I keep regular backup images; format, restore, and I am back in business in less than an hour. XP security updates stop in 2014. I may bite the bullet and get a new computer before Windows 8 arrives because of the discounts or install Ubuntu on the emachines and soldier on.
     
  2. BrandiCandi

    BrandiCandi Guest

    tgell, I think you'll be fine for quite a while (until 2014 I'd say!) I didn't mean to incite panic or spread FUD. A couple posters here didn't seem to understand that every OS has an end of life, and if you run it past that time you will inherit some massive security holes. But as long as you are continuously installing all the updates while it's supported there's no reason to flee.

    I was thinking more about this today and wondered what Microsoft will do in 2014 for real. I think for the most part, corporations have kind of ignored Vista so a lot are still running XP. If there are still a huge number of XP users in 2014, then it would be irresponsible for Windows to just drop support. It would also be REALLY BAD for business- all those XP machines would be cracked and the peceived security of MS would get much much worse. I would hope to see MS offer some discounts to upgrade, maybe extend security updates... something. They've got some smart folks working at MS, so surely they've thought of this already.

    Thanks Jack. Yup- I've got all kinds of stuff running in virtual machines. But I'm cheap so it was all free :D Some people have said they have to re-authenicate Windows whenever their virutal machine program is updated- have you dealt with that? Plus I thought the EULA specifically excluded use in a VM for most Windows desktop OSs anyway.

    Linux is a good recommendation- in fact I've learned a lot about Windows through Linux simply by being forced to really understand the process happening. Windows is great & easy to use but that ease of use can sometimes obfuscate the actual process when you're trying to learn HOW it works.
     
  3. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply BrandiCandi. If the Mayans are right, I wont even have to worry past 2012. :D

    I would like to add that I have used Puppy linux and it is freaking awesome for getting data off computers that do not boot. It even recognized all the old hardware on my basement computer including the wireless card.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  4. MikeBCda

    MikeBCda Registered Member

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    I'm one more who feels XP is still fine for my purposes -- I'm not into streaming video or high-end games, and I do keep the OS up to date and have a fairly good "arsenal" of security apps.

    As for when 2014 rolls around, I don't see a problem there either. This system's almost 9 years old, and while it's never yet given me problems other than having to replace the optical drive a couple of times (plus, of course, periodically picking up replacement mice and the occasional keyboard), it's probably getting near the end of its useful lifespan. I expect I'll probably have to replace it with a new one, with whatever Win version is then current, before 2014.

    (Edit) Re 2012 (sorry if I already posted this in another thread here), saw a cute cartoon in one of the Yahoo comics about a week ago. Weather forecaster: "The end of the world has now been downgraded to a tropical disturbance." ;)
     
  5. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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  6. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    What happens when you have a vulnerability in your firewall?
     
  7. elapsed

    elapsed Registered Member

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    You hose your machine down with as much "still supported" 3rd party software as possible. For the first time you'd actually be more secure using 3rd party software, since first party is no longer an option. Then when 3rd parties stop supporting XP, that's when it truly dies.

    BTW, I don't see how a 10% lead on 7 makes XP "dominate", but ok. Also "10 years on XP still dominates" is incorrect enough as it is, considering XP adoption took several years to overtake 98/2k.
     
  8. Boost

    Boost Registered Member

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    Yup,still running just fine here. :thumb:
     
  9. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Yeah 9% isn't exactly dominating but it's still a considerable lead. And just a year ago there was a really significant lead.

    And yeah, 3rd party software will actually be your only option. Hopefully people finally learn that they need to move on from an outdated OS.
     
  10. LoneWolf

    LoneWolf Registered Member

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    As it is here also. :thumb:
    A ten year old OS on a ten year old PC. :D
     
  11. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Down to one XP Pro, Pentium 4 2.4GHz machine, left in this household, with only Sandboxie for 3rd-party security, and nicely augmented with SRP. It's kept fully patched, behind a router, and scanned occasionally with MBAM free. No problems ever found and it runs fine.
     
  12. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Definitely. It's the same repeating story. The same rhetoric was going around when 98 was at end of life. The allegedly more secure OS that replaced it made botnet, rootkits, and patch day household words. Now XP is in the hotseat being replaced by the latest version secured by multiple variations of alphabet soup.
    MS did this very thing with 98. The backlash after they dropped support was quite loud so they reinstated it for a while. In many of the poorer countries, it was still the most common OS at the time.

    This is and will continue to be a repeating cycle. The most used OS will be attacked. Since many of the attackers are professional criminals, these attacks will work. Potential cyberwarfare and governments getting in on the action will only accelerate the problem. As long as we have the same core problem, default-permit based operating systems and security packages combined with unskilled users, nothing will change. Every new OS enjoys a quiet time in their early years until the attackers figure it out. After that, it's the same old arms race game. The one good thing in this game is that user skill and knowledge trumps OS versions. With the right tools enforcing a default-deny security policy, they can all be made more than secure enough for normal usage. If you want more flexibility than default-deny provides, use virtual systems on a default-deny secured host.
     
  13. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Once XP loses enough market share Vista and 7 are absolutely going to start taking serious heat. Already we see malware making use of flaws in the default UAC for 7 / lowered UAC for Vista.
     
  14. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Surely this is an issue for all operating systems not just XP.

    I am running Windows 7 now, and while I tend to download Windows updates pretty soon after they are released, in all honestly if I went for some time without installing updates I would not feel that my computer was particuarly vulnerable. In fact I don't belive that I have have got an infection due to any security holes, but rather from running something I perhaps shouldn't have. I use no real time security software or any other software to help keep me protected from threats - other than having the Windows firewall always enabled, and I never get infected. I see no reason that this would be any different if I was running XP in a few years time when support has ended.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  15. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    This is true, and accordingly security issues won't be as much as a problem for XP then.
     
  16. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    10 years old = NO big deal :p

    If we can make it safe/secure, as i Know i have, & 98SE before that, what's the problem. There aren't any as far as i'm concerned :)

    Vista & W7 users are getting infected EVERY day around the world :D So much for so called " safer" OS's :p

    Use what suits you, NOT what others preach you should !
     
  17. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Definitely not a big deal. If there's one thing the last ten years have proven one thing beyond any doubt, it's that you can't patch your way to being secure. If it was possible, IE6 would be the worlds most secure browser, but the opposite is true. How many times in the last ten years has MS patched their own patches? Like AVs, security patches are reactive, closing holes when they're found. The holes were always there, meaning the OS never was secure. Penetrate, patch, repeat is unending. There will always be holes, known and unknown on every OS they release. As long as a functional payload can't be delivered via those holes, they mean nothing. That's the beauty of default-deny. Properly implemented, you don't have to worry about it any more. The system defends itself.
     
  18. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    Very good points. Also the one about how focus will change to targeting users of the "latest and greatest" since it (64-bit as well!) doesn't seem to be at all immune to attacks.

    Interestingly, one wonders about the "security" of an OS which can be hacked with ease as proved by the vast number of pirated versions floating around (that contribute to the much-hyped market share).
     
  19. catilley1092

    catilley1092 Registered Member

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    Long live XP!! Although Windows 7 Pro x64 is my main OS, I have XP Pro setup as a dual boot on my desktop. I use it several times a week, usually when web browsing, reading & posting on forums (I'm on it now), it's still a reliable OS. I also have XP Mode installed, being that it's a benefit to those who paid a little more for the Pro (or Ultimate) version of Windows 7.

    As long as the user keeps it updated, uses a decent AV/IS solution, and uses smart computing practices (as with any OS), XP is fine. I'll run it until the wheels falls off. And as far as that official end of support date (04/08/2014) goes, that means nothing.

    It just means that the users of the OS will have to keep a quality AV/IS solution installed, scan a little more often, and play it safe. In 2010, Microsoft dropped support for Win 2K Pro, however I still use it, although not as often as XP. I still keep NOD32 installed on that OS, and in fact, have had fewer virus/malware issues with 2K over XP Pro.

    XP's going nowhere. Vista will be long gone before XP will. Speaking of Vista, we have that OS to thank for having support for XP for so long (around 13 years). MS would have gone bankrupt w/o having XP's massive base of users between the time that Vista was released and Windows 7 arrived. More than likely, no other OS will probably be supported as long as XP has (by the official end date of support).

    It would be good to see an "unofficial" SP4 released for XP, just as there was an unofficial SP5 for Win 2K (which I have). That SP, if slipstreamed into the OS install disc, gives you IE6 from the go.

    Forever XP!!!

    Cat
     
  20. BrandiCandi

    BrandiCandi Guest

    :thumb:
     
  21. catilley1092

    catilley1092 Registered Member

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    AMEN to that!
     
  22. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    It's an issue when there's a vulnerability and no support from the manufacturer. And when your OS hasn't made use of any of the modern exploit mitigation techniques that have proved themselves useful.
     
  23. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    The most common method for breaking Windows verification is actually a loader that starts up at boot time to trick the OS into thinking there was a key. This may not be possible with secureboot.
     
  24. guest

    guest Guest

    Two different areas. Don't mix anti-piracy technologies with OS security.
     
  25. guest

    guest Guest

    Is there a write-up somewhere that goes in to detail how to setup
    Windows XP to default-deny?
     
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