AVAST: “Abandoning Windows XP is a Big Mistake”

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Well known security software company AVAST had some harsh criticism for Microsoft.    For six years now we have known Microsoft’s plans of ending security support for Windows XP early next month.  Nevertheless, we have seen large corporations and governments unready to transition off the operating system.

AVAST fears a security nightmare:

Microsoft recently announced that technical support will no longer be available for Windows XP as of April 8, 2014, ending automatic updates for the operating system. Microsoft will also eventually stop providing anti-malware signature updates to XP users, in 2015. Abandoning Windows XP is a big mistake, especially since Microsoft has not been very successful in transitioning XP users to newer systems. The AVAST database shows that 23.6% of its more than 200 million users is still running Windows XP.

The company also calls for users to abandon Internet Explorer and urges users to go to Google Chrome:

In addition to Windows XP itself being a security risk, Internet Explorer on Windows XP poses an even larger threat. The latest version of the browser available on Windows XP is version 8, making it outdated and lacking a number of security improvements available in its later versions. Of our existing Windows XP user database, 21.5% run Internet Explorer, leaving themselves open to easy attacks. Google Chrome is a good alternative and is fully compatible with Windows XP, updating itself automatically.

But of course the most important part of the post was to promote the company’s own software:

AVAST is devoted to protecting the PC ecosystem by not only supporting Windows XP for at least the next three years, but also by creating protection modules and detections specifically designed to cover Windows XP vulnerabilities and other security problems. We have already taken additional steps in our latest product release, avast! 2014, by making the product lighter, both in terms of speed and resource consumption, tailoring it for older machines still running Windows XP. In addition to the security value, avast! 2014 is offered for free, which is especially important for XP users. Upgrading to a newer version of Windows comes with costs, costs that not everyone can afford and is probably a big reason why many users haven’t upgraded yet.

Source: AVAST

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About Author

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • blackhawk556

    “Microsoft recently announced” what a bunch on shit. They announced this years ago. This is everyone’s fault using XP, except Microsoft. They didn’t keep this a secret and have released more secure software years ago but everyone refused to listen. They always blame Microsoft even though it’s their fault. Get caught with their pants down and blame one one company.

    • Asgard

      Hehe this whole thing is so funny to follow. And at the same time when support ending for 13 years old OS is a disaster, even enterprises embrace Android and I have not seen over 18 months support for any device.

    • deathdealer351

      Well by recently they probably mean since 2007 but what they more mean is until recently we expected MS to keep support for a old buggy OS (when compared to win7 and 8) until maybe 2020

    • techieg

      Avast is just trying to make money and/or publicity off all this. They certainly won’t bite the (customer’s) hands that they hope will feed them but instead place the blame on MS.

    • ScaryBiscuits

      This is everyone’s fault except Microsoft’s.
      When did you forget that ‘the customer is always right’?

  • jim

    WTF. Windows XP is OVER. Buy new machines and install NEW Windows for your protection. So simple.

  • NITSUK

    There has been allot of time to migrate for general users to Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, end of the day Microsoft cannot support users that cannot afford to upgrade forever, like every other company they must push old for new.

    Many just simply don’t like change we find however with little TLC and training users can enjoy the new benefits from Windows 8 (8.1 now) which most our clients have found very good after initial week of getting their head around it.

    With regards to governments, banks and etc… using it for special systems such as cash points, special machinery; that yes may be slightly tricky with newer OS’s as they intend to be aimed at end user more than anything else however if they update they invest in new developments then this will also be addressed.

    Though we’re all IE users at our company (other than the Unix server admin and software dev); also would partially agree with not using older versions of IE as it is useless in many areas, IE11 has to be the best to date and it is a shame that it is not compatible with anything below Win 7.

    • Bruce

      For ATMs and other machines, I’m sure the new Windows embedded offer many benefits over XP, and in most cases they don’t have to replace all of them at once, so they should’ve started upgrading long ago.

    • Gman

      There is really no problem in running XP on ATMs. ATMs are very closed and proprietary systems, they rarely have direct internet connection.

  • Tips_y

    “Microsoft … not … successful in transitioning XP users to newer systems” It is NOT Microsoft’s problem to transition XP users to newer system but it IS Microsoft’s obligation to warn people support will cease in some future date and to move to more secure systems like W7 and W8, which they have been doing since 2008!!! Did not know those people running Avast are morons!!! What is even more pathetic and stupid is they themselves will stop supporting XP in 3 years and yet they do not want Microsoft to stop supporting it – what idiots!!!

    • LexicoRed

      Yes it is MS problem because it is their customer and if you do not take care of the customer then they go elsewhere…

      • http://www.spauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

        So Honda should have warranties on their cars for 13+ years? No. Companies can’t support legacy products forever, they’d go bankrupt. Just because some people love a good 1981 Honda Accord, doesn’t mean Honda should have to provide warranty support in 2014.

        • Guest

          Honda still offers replacement parts for 13 year old cars so the still support the product.

          Try again.

          • http://www.spauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

            Replacement parts is not the same thing as warranty and or OS support.

            And auto companies generally don’t PRODUCE parts past 10 years or so. The parts are available because they’ve stock piled them. But usually after 10 years, 3rd party manufacturers create replica parts and/or remanufactured. Even in 2007-2008 I was starting to have problems getting certain parts from Honda on my 1999 Prelude.

            Cars also have a much longer lifespan than electronics. So it would be expected that they have “some” long term support. But electronics, especially computers are dated within 5 years. And software is even less. If you have a software version that is more than 3 years old (Adobe Creative Suite) that is considered dated.

            Microsoft has been more than generous with providing 13 years of support. Especially providing they’ve had 3 updated versions since. Anyone bitching about their dropping support clearly has their head up their ass, or something of the nature. Do you see Apple or Google supporting 13 year old products of theirs? I don’t think so.

          • Guest

            I don’t worry about Apple or Google.

            And don’t kid yourself MS has not been generous by continue support if XP. They was forced into it by first delivering the crap called Vista and then killed transition to W7 by talk of W8 that do was rejected by the market.

          • http://www.spauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

            Lol, whatever. It’s clear you’re butt hurt because Microsoft hasn’t held your hand and whipped your ass for you. You anti-Microsoft people really have a hard time getting over yourselves.

          • Guest

            Not at all. I just do not find it helpful for so call MS supporters to make excuses for the company’s poor performance regarding product development and execution.

          • grs_dev

            Actually, I am a Microsoft partner on so many levels. It’s clear you do not understand the IT business. Fanboism is not going to save Microsoft or my business that I am losing because of their stupid decisions.

          • grs_dev

            Actually, Honda, does offer extended warranties that start or kick in right when the manufacturer’s warranty ends. They may offer it through a different vendor, or whatever, but yeah, companies who manufacture products and worry about the competition, do not simply tell their customers: “Hey, we think 13 years was enough, please go ahead and check out the competition.”

            Utter stupidity on the Microsoft Windows business side…

          • http://www.spauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

            Ya, and you have to PAY extra for those warranties. And they usually are third party companies. Meaning, Honda is not the one liable to support the product.

            And like I said before, the life expectancy of a car is far greater than an electronics item/computer. Cars last 15, 20, even 30 years beyond their original sale. Any computer that is still going past 5-7 years is considered heavily outdated and obsolete. Sure, it may still power up and “work” but it’s basically a dust collector.

            They’re not saying “check out the competition,” they’re saying “check out one of 3 different new versions we offer.” And Microsoft isn’t even killing XP, they just aren’t providing anymore security updates, etc. You can still run XP if you want, it’s not going to blow up on you. Regardless, it’s absolutely asinine how much you and companies like Avast are hanging on to XP.

            This isn’t some fanboism bullshit, this is just common sense. I wouldn’t expect Apple or Google to support their OS for 13 years, and they don’t. So get real and move on.

          • Guest

            Yes but Apple does not try to drive profit from updates as histotlrically MSFT has done. Apple makes money on hardware and gives value to upgrading OS by making it inexpensive to do.

            Fact is It is more in MAFT interests to update OS. As a profite driver, rather then in the customer interest. This is why so many has not done it over the past 13 years. It also reflect problem if MSFT business model in this new age of freemium software.

      • grs_dev

        I agree that they were customers at one point however they’ve become XP customers and not Microsoft customers.

        Any copy of XP that is still running out there has long reached its depreciation age and is today worth $0 both hardware and software.

        Cost is the #1 reason for these entities to not move to a newer OS but it’s not the cost of licensing Windows as much as it is the cost of revamping their processes that run on XP that they are trying to avoid.

        Microsoft could give these businesses Windows 7 or 8 for free and they’ll still stay on XP because they locked themselves into XP. If it was the cost of the OS these stragglers would have run towards Linux years ago. It’s not the cost of the OS.

        • http://www.spauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

          EXACTLY

  • Keifwoki

    How could you possibly waste your time writing an article on something so obviously lacking of intelligence? Who would give these guys the time of day? ….Seriously wtf??

    • Nham Thien Duong

      Exactly, AVAST isn’t even worthy to be mentioned, they’re obviously trollin’ here, and Apple and Scroogle are in it too (at-least they’ll benefit from anyone believe these dumb rantings, as they promote Scroogle Chrome).

  • http://www.spauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

    Wow, Avast just made themselves look really stupid. Do they not realize how ridiculous it looks complaining about lack support for a 13 year old OS? Microsoft is not the fault here. Users and companies like this are responsible for upgrading, period.

    • LexicoRed

      Actually what is ridiculous is that MS could not offer a true value position to get user to move off XP in the last 13 years.

      Rather then blame the customers, let’s put it where it belongs the failure of Ballmer years of management and not creating a truly compelling reason to up grade to either the last two offerings.

      • Blaze Blue

        What more do you need to know just to move on to the two new OS? How many stones do you need to be thrown at your head to say wake up it’s 2014. It’s not the 90 anymore man get with it. You and this bogus security company are really redundant.

      • http://www.spauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

        A true value proposition? I can name 100s if not 1000s of reasons/values Vista/Win7/Win8 have over XP. Just from a usability standpoint those OSes are way ahead of XP.

        You sound just as ludicrous and foolish as Avast. Do everyone a favor and stop blaming other people for your own lack of intelligence or reason.

        • grs_dev

          You clearly did not understand Lexico’s point. It’s obvious that what you consider value as an individual end user is not resonating with those who are still operating on XP.

          Lexico is right to a certain degree. So after all they did manage to move 80% of the market and there will always be 20% who won’t move for one reason or another.

          The part that Lexico is missing is that in my opinion at least, the 80% who did move on to a new OS did not move away from XP because the support is ending. It’s clear that those who are married to XP are still on XP even though the support is ending in weeks. So is the value there to move to Windows 7 or greater? I think the answer is yes.

          • http://www.spauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

            Actually, I did get his point. Hence the second half of my reply. There are a million value propositions of the other versions over XP. But not a single one resonates with those last remaining XP users. Why? Because the only thing that WILL kick them off XP, is dropping support and making the use of XP either dangerous or insufficient with other applications, etc.

            Those users are either…

            1) Enterprise users who have some dated process that relies on XP. Which in of itself is ridiculous because Microsoft has always been very good at supporting legacy applications with every new OS. So if they are that attached to XP, then they are DOING IT WRONG.

            2) People that have computers at home they only use once in a while for browsing the web or organizing some photos. Those users have absolutely no need to upgrade. Windows 7 could jerk them off and cook their dinners, they still wouldn’t upgrade. Only when XP becomes a vulnerability, or actually stops working, will they upgrade.

            So, you missed my point. That is the only “value proposition” that will kick the rest of the XP users off it, is to stop supporting it completely and/or break it.

          • grs_dev

            Actually no I did not miss your point. I now realize that you do not understand the meaning of the term value from a business to a customer.

            Value is defined as one or more feature or benefit that as a customer one would feel justified voting with one’s dollars for, hence paying for it.

            Clearly the users who are reluctant to move away from XP and onto Win 7 or 8 on their own do not see the value in doing so. In other words changing the version of Windows adds to their cost and does ZERO for their revenue, or profits.
            This is the ultimate example of waste.

            If your only reason to upgrade as a customer is the discontinuation of support then you’re not upgrading because you are convinced you are getting more for your money. You’d be upgrading in that case because you’re being forced to and not because you’re seeing anything that actually makes business sense.

            Hope that helps you

          • Guest

            Well said.

          • http://www.spauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

            And AGAIN, you are missing my point. The majority of the users that remain on XP are there because there is no value that would get them to upgrade. They’re in places like mom and pop shops, grandma with her PC she turns on twice a year, a techy who has 10 computers and the 12 year old laptop runs XP for old times sake. Or the companies that have somehow managed to lock themselves in through some proprietary process that is married to XP despite Microsoft’s excellent legacy support.

            Cleary that you don’t understand there are a decent amount of users who will not upgrade unless they are paid to or the cost of their business upgrading all its systems is paid for. Therefore, the only thing Microsoft can do that doesn’t cost them millions in payouts/buy offs is to make it obsolete and naturally kick people off through vulnerabilities.

            Some users simply won’t upgrade. We had a lead IT guy at my company who refused to upgrade software, etc because he thought the upgrades were a security threat. We had a bunch of systems that were literally years behind. Thankfully, he’s gone. But the point is not matter what features Microsoft adds, it won’t convince people like I’ve listed to upgrade. So is Microsoft destined to support XP forever? Its been 13 years, how long is enough? 20? 30? It’s ridiculous. I don’t know any other software company that has been provided as much support for such an age old version.

          • grs_dev

            You couldn’t be any more off in your assessment. The largest concentration of XP licenses IS NOT in mom and pops shops who are too lazy or technologically challenged to upgrade.

            Please educate yourself on the facts before sharing your incorrect opinions.

            The XP issue is an enterprise and corporate one. Many banks have built ATM machines on XP. Many corporations have built internal applications that do not simply just run on Win 7. These are systems that cost millions to develop and will cost more millions to redevelop. And guess what? The applications if and when they get redeveloped, they will most likely provide little to no additional value over their predecessors. So this is just waste from a business standpoint. These are the customers who are asking the simplest question a customer should ask when being compelled to pay for a service or a good: “Why?”

            Supporting or not supporting XP is a Microsoft problem. I’ll give you an example…
            I paid for my sofa and have no plans to upgrade it simply because the manufacturer of the furniture piece has decided to no longer support the model I purchased. The only difference here with Microsoft and XP, is that my sofa did ship with holes in its bottom through which rodents and intruders can simply just creep in. I that you or anyone else for that matter wouldn’t give the furniture maker a break had they shipped you an inherently defective product. I also hope that you hearing the words “Hey it’s been 13 years since you bought that sofa, come on, time to upgrade…”
            I am not against moving people off XP. I am simply saying that a company should not be allowed to simply abandon its customers who paid the price it asked for. Microsoft should and needs to own up to the decisions it made in the past.

            When I hear Ballmer beat his chest during his townhalls and proudly declare that no company in the history of mankind made more money to its shareholders, I would like to also hear Nadela follow up that statement by hearing about how Microsoft, in the new era, decided to do right by its customers…

          • http://www.spauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

            And you CLEARLY didn’t read my post. Please educated yourself on peoples posts, before falsely accusing people of making “incorrect opinions.”

            Since you can’t seem to read, let me highlight where I specifically called out enterprise users…

            “Or the companies that have somehow managed to lock themselves in through some proprietary process that is married to XP despite Microsoft’s excellent legacy support.

            I mentioned the Enterprise users out there that are married to XP for legacy reasons. And they NEVER will updated unless it becomes a security vulnerability. Again, you are missing the point. There is no BENEFIT that Microsoft could create to motivate those types of users. Only depreciating XP, making it a vulnerability, will motivate them to upgrade.

          • Guest

            You simply do not understand customer support. MSFT could use their form able resource the create tools to help these customers migrate to the upgrade.

            Sadly you show contempt for customers, which is ok if you have a monopoly but those days are gone.

          • http://www.spauldesign.com/ Simon Paul

            You simply do not understand the realities of business. The very customers you are talking about usually have very customized solutions which is why they are stuck on XP. So does Microsoft need to spend millions working with each company’s custom environment and software to get them over to a newer version of Windows? No, that would be insanely complex and ridiculous. Microsoft has done a great job of supporting legacy users.

            The remaining users have a responsibility of their own to migrate to new systems. That’s the reality of business technology, unfortunately some companies bury themselves in dated systems and operations. It is not Microsoft’s, Apple’s, or Google’s responsibility to hand hold every customer through their unique migration. Especially from a 13 year old OS.

            The days of monopoly are gone, yes. But do you mean to tell me the people who struggle to get off XP are going to make the even bigger jump to Apple’s OSX? Or even worse Linux? Linux requires even more maintenance and long term support. And Apple is the worst at any legacy support. So tell me, if Microsoft is supposedly “ignoring and abusing” their customers, who are those customers going to go to that is any better?

            It’s not contempt, it’s reality.

  • Bruce

    Microsoft is doing the right thing. Most XP users are either migrating or switching already, the only ones who aren’t are those with machines incapable of running Win7, but those machines won’t last forever.

  • williamk73

    This is a case of companies and individuals not wanting to spend the money on upgrading to a more secure and much more efficient OS. Even before the deadline, it would have worthwhile to invest in w7 or w8, but as usual companies are fixated on their short run bottom line. Its a disease that stunts long run success. Now companies are going to be forced to spend on the upgrade, or pay Microsoft to support XP for them individually – which will cost even more in the long run. Avast, despite what they say, are very happy with this situation, and will profit from it.

  • grs_dev

    Fear mongering always works for a percentage of the population.

  • Nham Thien Duong

    ”O.M.G. :-O My O.S. X Cheetah is no longer supported by Apple ¿why do those evil bastards do that? Apple is so evil for stopping to support this old O.S.” – No-one ever, ¿then why does Microsoft get this? and no, having a larger marketshare is not the reason, look at Android for that, the media tells everyone with an old device to upgrade, while when it comes to Windows, the media tells everyone with an old device that Microsoft is evil. (>_<)

  • NegLewis

    MS will still support XP for years – but not as a free service.
    Look at older versions of windows.

    Banks will pay for that.
    Users… those 20%+ don’t even care.
    I bet 99% of those 20% doesn’t even have a firewall installed… or an antivirus/antimallware…

    • TrenMoe

      I have to say that is something that always pissed me off we Windows user really shouldn’t need antivirus or anti-malware. It wasn’t until recently MSFT made it a priority to make a safe OS it seems.

  • NGM123

    Avast and their whore overlords Google are just pissed that their cash cow low tech insecure platform may be abandoned by the masses, suck it up losers.

  • Antonioerre

    Abandoning AVAST is the way to go. ;)

  • Tirinti

    Using Windows XP in 2014 is even bigger mistakie. It should be illegal, because people, including managers of the corporations, are morons and they haven’t realized, that it is time to buy a new PC. Windows license should be cheaper but it should have limited validity.