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  1. 1 Million Computers Still Vulnerable to Major Windows Security Exploit Microsoft advises all affected systems to update to the latest software. HIGHLIGHTS Microsoft recently discovered "wormable" vulnerability on Windows It affects all machines except the ones running Windows 8 and Windows 10 The vulnerability is believed to be remotely exploitable Microsoft has warned nearly one million computers globally are still at risk of a malware attack Microsoft has warned that nearly one million computers globally are still at risk of malware attack similar to WannaCry that spread worldwide in 2017 causing billions of dollars in damage. The software giant recently discovered "wormable" vulnerability in Remote Desktop Services for Windows that can automatically spread. The company has issued its second advisory, urging users to update their systems to prevent the "BlueKeep" malware attack, TechCrunch reported on Friday. "Microsoft is confident that an exploit exists for this vulnerability. It's been only two weeks since the fix was released and there has been no sign of a worm yet. This does not mean that we're out of the woods," warned Simon Pope, director of incident response at Microsoft's Security Response Center (MSRC). "Our recommendation remains the same. We strongly advise that all affected systems should be updated as soon as possible," said Microsoft. The bug is a "critical" vulnerability that affects computers running Windows XP, Windows 7 and server operating systems. These operating systems are widely being used especially in corporate environments. "The vulnerability can be used to run code at the system level, allowing full access to the computer -- including its data. "Worse, it is remotely exploitable, allowing anyone to attack a computer connected to the internet," reports TechCrunch. Only Windows 8 and Windows 10 are not vulnerable to the new bug. Source
  2. Windows XP on the Nintendo Switch Is a Real Thing Now After Linux and Windows 10, here comes the turn of Windows XP to be installed on the Nintendo Switch. As detailed in this reddit thread, Windows XP on the Nintendo Switch is actually an emulated version that runs via L4T Linux and QEMU, but according to user We1etu1n who made the whole thing happen, you can even play Pinball 3D at full speed. While this doesn’t sound like a major achievement at first glance, it’s something that truly highlights the potential of the Nintendo Switch, which has evolved substantially beyond its original purpose of a gaming console.Not the fastest experienceNeedless to say, running Windows XP on the Nintendo Switch isn’t necessarily the best experience you can get with this operating system, but just for experimenting it’s certainly something that’s worth trying out. “I’ve been using the Nintendo Switch as my main desktop for the past few days via L4T Linux. I have the Cinnamon DE running and have a 2GB Swap dime in order to keep things nice and smooth. In order to do this, just install QEMU and make a 10GB img as a hard drive. Once done, just install Win XP onto it with QEMU like a VM. Took me 6 hours to install and reach the desktop. Speed isn’t great but it legit can run Pinball 3D at full speed,” the aforementioned user explains on reddit. For what it’s worth, Windows XP no longer receives support since April 2014, but despite this, it’s still one of the desktop operating system still in use these days. Users have been requesting a second edition for many years already, but this is obviously out of the table given Microsoft’s full focus on Windows 10. You can follow the full progress of the project, but also get more ideas for expanding the capabilities of the Nintendo Switch by checking out the page linked above. Source
  3. After 17 years, support for the last Windows XP variant comes to an end. Because of changes coming to Windows Update, users have until July to apply final patches. Extended support for Windows Embedded POSReady 2009—the last supported version of Windows based on Windows XP—ended on April 9, 2019, marking the final end of the Windows NT 5.1 product line after 17 years, 7 months, and 16 days. Counting this edition, Windows XP is the longest-lived version of Windows ever—a record that is unlikely to be beaten. Other enterprise-targeted variants of Windows XP have reached end-of-life recently, with Windows Embedded Standard 2009 reaching end-of-life on January 8, 2019. Windows Embedded for Point of Service SP3 and XP Embedded SP3 reached end-of-life in 2016, while support for Windows XP Home and Professional SP3 ended five years ago, on April 8, 2014. Despite the nominal end of support for Windows XP five years ago, the existence of POSReady 2009 allowed users to receive security updates on Windows XP Home and Professional SP3 through the use of a registry hack. Microsoft dissuaded users from doing this, stating that they "do not fully protect Windows XP customers," though no attempt was apparently made to prevent users from using this hack. With POSReady reaching the end of support, the flow of these security updates will likewise come to an end. Facing facts, the death of Windows XP should be welcome at this juncture—ZDNet's Jason Perlow declared in 2017 that "If you're still using Windows XP, you're a menace to society," while the Australian Department of Defence only migrated the last of their systems off of Windows XP in February 2019. Looking back: Migrating from Windows XP In January 2014, Tech Pro Research surveyed TechRepublic members about their migration plans from Windows XP. The report (available freely here for TechRepublic members) found that 37% of respondents said they intended to continue using Windows XP. Of those, 40% indicated that "It works, so there's no need to change," and 39% cited business-critical software with dependencies on Windows XP, a response that was more common among respondents from organizations with over 500 employees. Of organizations that intended to remain on Windows XP, 42% of respondents cited security and malware risks as their primary concern, with 29% similarly concerned with a lack of continued patches or updates from Microsoft. Microsoft did go to the extraordinary step of patching Windows XP systems against WannaCry, deploying the update created for Embedded Standard and POSReady 2009, though 98% of WannaCry victims were using Windows 7. Notably, 11% of respondents in the survey indicated plans to migrate systems to Linux, with 1% planning migrations to Mac OS X. Where do you want to go today? Microsoft undoubtedly would prefer Windows XP users upgrade to Windows 10, though attempting an in-place upgrade from XP to Windows 10 is likely a bad idea (and upgrading from POSReady 2009 to a consumer version of Windows is entirely unsupported). In 2015, TechRepublic chief reporter Nick Heath took a look at the lowest-spec systems you could install Windows 10 on. If your systems are not connected to the Internet, it is possible to continue operating an out-of-support of system, though it's important to be wary about any devices—particularly USB drives—connected to the system. It's unclear when Windows Update services for POSReady 2009 will be deactivated, if ever—minor issues such as expired certificates could impede the ability to install updates, though Windows 2000 could still connect to Windows Update as late as 2015, with some effort. Of note, Windows Update will require SHA-2 encryption support as of July 16, 2019 to continue receiving updates. It's probably a safe bet that Windows Update will continue to work normally until then, though guarantees are impossible. For current deployments, updating sooner rather than later is advisable. Alternatively, the perennial Windows alternative ReactOS is still in active development. For more, check out 8 strategies to keep legacy systems running, How PC/GEOS found a 5th life as an open source DOS shell, and how to install Windows 10 in a VM on a Linux machine, or for a deeper dive into TechRepublic's archives, check out "Microsoft bids adieu to Windows 98." Source
  4. Good News: Windows XP Is Finally Going Dark While all eyes are on the adoption of Windows 10 and the current market share of the soon-to-be-retired Windows 7, Microsoft is still keeping an eye on Windows XP. And there’s a good reason for this: this operating system was launched in 2001, retired in 2014, and yet, it’s still surprisingly widely-used these days. However, as we can see in a new batch of statistics provided by NetMarketShare, Windows XP is finally going dark, after a year 2018 that was full of ups and downs. One year ago, Windows XP was running on no less than 4.59 percent of the desktop computers across the world, which for an operating system retired four years before, that’s quite an achievement.Lowest market share in historyAnd what’s worse is that its market share then improved to reach 5.04 percent in May for a reason that’s very hard to be explained. Fortunately for the entire industry, Windows XP then embraced a descending trend to collapse to 3.19 percent in September the same year, but only to increase once again and to eventually reach 4.54 percent in December. Since then, however, Windows XP has constantly declined, and in March 2019 it reached its lowest market share since the 2014 retirement. The OS now runs on just 2.29 percent of the PCs across the world, and there’s a high chance it would continue its drop in the coming months. In case you’re wondering why stepping away from Windows XP is so important, it all comes down to the lack of security updates and software support on this platform. Not only that Microsoft no longer patches vulnerabilities in the operating system, but third-party app support is also missing, so most of the programs running on it are already outdated. Unfortunately for Microsoft, while the Windows XP struggle is close to coming to an end, another one is just around the corner. Windows 7 will be retired in January 2020, and by the looks of things, it’s likely to become the second Windows XP. Source
  5. I guess everybody agrees that Windows 7 is one of the most successful, if not the most successful version of Windows released so far. However, the clock is ticking for Windows 7, as Microsoft will retire this particular version in just two months, with the latest updates to be shipped in January 2020. This is something that Microsoft has reminded on several occasions, and expect the company to increase efforts on making people aware that Windows 7 is going dark in the coming months. The popularity of Windows 7 has been considered one of the reasons Windows 10’s adoption rate improved at a rather slow pace, as many people just wanted to stick with this OS version instead of moving to the more modern successor. The familiar desktop, the lack of a Microsoft Store and other new features, and the refined performance of Windows 7 made it one of the most popular OS versions in many years. But now with Microsoft preparing to pull the plug on it, Windows 7 is approaching its end, and just like it happened in April 2014 when Windows XP was pulled, users are recommended to prepare for an upgrade in order to avoid staying with an operating system that no longer gets security patches. But just like five years ago, retiring Windows 7 is going to be quite a challenge for Microsoft, especially because figures indicate that it’s very likely to become the second Windows XP. December 2018 desktop OS market share In other words, it won’t go dark without a fight, and certainly, lots of users would continue running it even after support comes to an end. Last month, Windows 7 was running on 36.90 percent, and it was the first time it dropped to the second place, with Windows 10 now the leading desktop platform worldwide. These figures look a lot like those of Windows XP one year before its demise. In April 2013, 12 months before Windows XP was scheduled to get the axe, it was the second most-used operating system on the desktop with a share of 38.73 percent. Windows 7 was at that time the leader with 44.73 percent. Windows 8, which was the newest OS version in 2013, failed to impress, and instead of convincing Windows XP users to upgrade, it actually produced no significant change in terms of market share. The same happens today, though it goes without saying that Windows 10 is by far more successful than Windows 8. Windows 10 is continuously improving and is right now the leading platform, but again, it’s unlikely it would help kill Windows 7 in the remaining time until January 2020. Desktop OS market share in April 2014 when Windows XP was retired For now, Windows 7 continues to be considered one familiar desktop operating system that many people just love, and despite the approaching end of support, it’s unlikely users would migrate en-masse to Windows 10. Because truth be told, there’s no other version that you can choose right now, other than Windows 10. Five years after its demise, Windows XP continues to be surprisingly popular. NetMarketShare claims Windows XP now has a share of 4.54 percent, which is quite impressive for an operating system launched 18 years ago. The same is very likely to happen with Windows 7 too, especially because it’s so widely-used these days. Nevertheless, expect the market share of Windows 7 to drop at a faster pace in the coming months, mostly as we get closer to end of support. As for the reasons you should upgrade before the time comes, there’s not much to say here. Without security updates, Windows 7 would remain exposed to hackers, and given that most Windows versions share the same vulnerabilities, it would be a lot easier for malicious actors to compromise a system running an unsupported operating system. Source
  6. Effective this week, Windows XP is no longer supported by Firefox. More than four years after Microsoft stopped supporting the platform, Mozilla is making a similar move. Last year, the organization said support for Windows XP was expected to be dropped by June 2018, but the browser developer took a few more months to make that happen. On Wednesday, Mozilla announced the release of Firefox 62 and also revealed that it updated Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) to version 60.2. With these releases, Mozilla cut support for Firefox ESR 52, which was the last version of Firefox with Windows XP support. “At the end of February 2016, XP users made up 12% of release Firefox. By the end of February 2017, XP users made up 8% of release Firefox. If this trend continued without much change after we switched XP users to ESR, XP Firefox users would presently amount to about 2% of release users,” Mozilla says. While Firefox ESR 52 continues to be available for download, it no longer receives security patches, meaning that any vulnerability found in the browser will remain unpatched. With Chrome no longer supporting the platform since version 49 and Internet Explorer 8, the browser most used as standard on the platform, getting no security updates for more than two years, Windows XP users are left with no major browser than could keep them safe from exploits while navigating the Internet. Although still widely used in organizations, Windows XP is currently a nearly-17-year-old operating system that hasn’t received security patches for over four years (although Microsoft did release emergency fixes last year, to address Shadow Brokers-related bugs exploited in the global WannaCry outbreak). “It required effort, and it required devoting resources to supporting XP well after Microsoft stopped doing so. It meant we couldn’t do other things, since we were busy with XP,” Mozilla says. Users impacted by the recent change in Firefox are advised to upgrade to a newer operating system to continue receiving patches not only for Mozilla’s applications, but also for other software their computers depend on. In addition to dropping support for XP, Firefox now includes a preference that allows users to distrust certificates issued by Symantec (by setting "security.pki.distrust_ca_policy" to 2 in about:config). This is yet another step towards removing all trust for Symantec-issued certificates in Firefox 63. Firefox 62, Mozilla notes in an advisory, also addresses several vulnerabilities: 1 Critical severity, 3 High risk, 2 Medium severity, and 3 Low risk. Affecting Firefox 61 and Firefox ESR 60.1, the most important of these could potentially be exploited to run arbitrary code. Source
  7. INDIAN AUTHORITIES are putting their collective foot down with banks who are still using Windows XP in their ATMs. The Central Banking Authority of India RBI has told banks that they have one year to sort the mess out - that's June 2019 - or they will be fined. In the shorter term, banks have two months in which to upgrade to the latest version of Windows XP, add a BIOS password and disable any USB ports. All pretty obvious stuff, except that so far, there's been something of a disconnect between "obvious" and "actually doing it". Banks should have the latest operating systems up and running on at least 25 per cent of machines by the end of September, and all their ATMs by the end of June 2019. By March 2019, banks are expected to have an anti-skimming method in place to protect cards. And by the end of this year, the target is to have half of machines running up to date services, with 75 per cent by March 2019. The fact of the matter is, despite being an emerging super-state in terms of finance, the cash machine network is one area where there has been a complete failure to move with the times. As such, the banks will have to throw a lot of money at getting their systems up to code. By the time of this deadline, Windows XP will have been beyond End of Life for five years. At the time of writing, Windows XP has a 2.85 per cent market share globally (based on figures from Netmarketshare), but that covers everything from IoT right up to workstations. Nevertheless, it is still used on more machines that Windows 8.1 and significantly more than macOS versions 10.12 and 10.13 combined. The news comes as a rat was discovered last week in an ATM in the North East of India, having been out of service for over three weeks. During that time, the rat had literally eaten itself to death, gorging on 1.3m Rupees (about £14,000). We're not convinced that switching from Windows XP would have made much difference to that one. Source
  8. Valve is kicking the operating system off its service starting January 2019. Upgrade or GTFO. Windows XP and Vista users have six months to upgrade their operating systems or get the hell off of Steam. Windows XP users are a tiny fraction of Steam's overall user base, only 0.22 percent according to Valve's own tracking. However, 0.22 percent out of a total of 125 million Steam users, is roughly 275,000 users who will no longer have access to Counter-Strike unless they upgrade. That's a lot of potentially annoyed customers. Those quarter millions users will have to upgrade or leave. According to Valve, the new features its rolling out on Steam—including its nifty new Discord-style chat system—use an embedded version of Chrome that the older versions of Windows can’t support. “In addition, future versions of Steam will require Windows feature and security updates only present in Windows 7 and above,” Valve said. That’s what this is really about. Security. Look. Windows XP was great. We all loved Windows XP, but it came out in 2001 and Microsoft stopped supporting it in 2014. Microsoft has been a victim of its own success. XP is was so popular that millions of users, some of them in government and business, have clung to the operating system despite its increasing security issues. Microsoft even released an emergency security patch in 2017 in response to the WannaCry malware. To those 275,000 I say upgrade or lose the ability to AWP noobs in Counter-Strike 1.6. Source
  9. Windows 95 still powering Pentagon PCs The United States Department of Defense is now migrating to Windows 10 as part of a broader effort announced in collaboration with Microsoft, and the transition to the new operating system is projected to be finalized in the fall of this year. In the meantime, however, there are lots of computers operated by the Pentagon that are still running older Windows versions, and according to officials, some are even powered by Windows 95 or 98. Speaking about Pentagon’s efforts to boost security of its systems, Daryl Haegley, program manager for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment, has revealed that many of the critical computers are currently powered by unsupported Windows versions, including not only Windows XP (which is no longer getting updates since April 2014) but also releases that are more than 20 years old. “About 75 percent of the devices that are control systems are on Windows XP or other nonsupported operating systems,” he said, adding that these stats were collected after visits to different 15 military sites. Don’t worry, be happy Haegley says there’s no reason to worry, though, adding that all these computers do not have an Internet connection, so they are harder to hack. This isn’t impossible, though, especially if these systems are part of larger networks where other computers are connected to the web. “A lot of these systems are still Windows 95 or 98, and that’s OK—if they’re not connected to the internet,” Haegley explained. DefenseOne says that systems running Windows 95 or 98 feature sensors that connect to the Internet anyway, so they’re more or less vulnerable to attacks, and running old operating systems certainly doesn’t help. In the end, Haegley calls for the US DoD to expand its bug bounty programs and call for security researchers to look for vulnerabilities not only in its websites but also in critical systems that could be exposed to cyberattacks launched by other states. Source
  10. Batu69

    Windows XP: Not dead yet!

    Some businesses have legitimate reasons to keep using Microsoft's obsolete operating system. But for most, the reasons that companies hold on to Windows XP boil down to not wanting to spend the money to upgrade. That's not a good long-term plan. For better or worse, Microsoft’s Windows XP is still in use. Indeed, recently you may have been startled to read that the United Kingdom’s newest aircraft carrier, the Queen Elizabeth, runs Windows XP. That particular story wasn’t true, as it turns out, but some of the warship’s construction contractors did use the old operating system. You likely were willing to accept the QE story because so many businesses are still running Windows XP. Some hold on to the out-of-date OS from pure laziness and cheapness, but others have genuine reasons for sticking with it. It’s been three years since April 8, 2014, the end of mainstream Windows XP support. But that hasn’t stopped these companies from relying on the software. Windows XP lives We all know that the OS is still in use, if for no other reason than discovering a family tech-support emergency in which we are asked to fix a relative’s old computer. However, the exact number of systems that still run Windows XP is a bit hard to pin down; the percentages vary depending on the reports you read. As of June 2017, Windows XP still has an amazing 7 percent market share, according to U.S.-based analytics vendor Net Applications. This percentage is derived from “data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of HitsLink Analytics and SharePost clients,” Net Applications explains, based on its worldwide network of over 40,000 websites. Irish analytics company StatCounter doesn’t have Windows XP usage quite that high, but at 5 percent market share, Windows XP shows amazing life. Windows XP remains particularly strong in the People’s Republic of China, where it’s the second most popular desktop operating system (after Windows 7) with 20 percent using the OS. Of these, approximately 90 percent are pirated copies, according to StatCounter. StatCounter’s numbers come from its web analytics service; the company’s tracking code is installed on over 2.5 million sites globally, where it records billions of page views. In the United States, Windows XP’s use as a desktop OS has been declining. According to the Federal Digital Analytics Program's (DAP) analytics page, in the past three months Windows XP was used by only 0.6 percent of users. That’s far less than Net Applications and Statcounter’s global numbers. That may reflect the nature of the sites from which DAP collects web traffic: more than 300 executive branch government domains across 3,800 websites. Most, 81 percent, of site visitors are U.S. citizens. Even in the U.S., those numbers may disguise the presence of Windows XP systems in business. According to a study, 2017 OS Adoption Trends, conducted by Spiceworks, a Windows help desk company and network of IT professionals, 52 percent of businesses are running at least one Windows XP instance, and the OS is still installed on 14 percent of business computers. How many computers is that altogether? Some rough calculations put the number over 100 million Windows XP users. Not all of those computers have an Internet connection, but we know that quite a few do. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and other reasons Why are there still so many users? One major reason that Windows XP lives on is that it was so popular. The OS had a supported life of almost 13 years—far longer than any other desktop operating system. “It was one of the first Microsoft operating systems people latched onto,” says Peter Tsai, a Spiceworks senior technology analyst. Even on the eve of its end-of-support death in March 2014, Tsai says, Windows XP still ran “on approximately 30 percent of the more than 1.6 billion PCs in the world.” Do the math: that’s 500 million computers. In addition, he says, “The five-year gap between Windows XP and its unpopular successor, Windows Vista, resulted in an uncommonly large installed base.” Another reason for Windows XP’s sturdy tenure is the lack of a direct migration path to Windows 10. Windows XP users who are motivated to upgrade must first move to Windows 7, then upgrade to Windows 10. For practical purposes, that means it makes more sense to trash the old hardware and buy PCs with pre-installed Windows 10. If your company has the money, that is. But that was years ago. Why are people still using it on desktops? Several IT people confided in me, usually privately. (Who wants to advertise his company’s vulnerabilities, after all? Many are simply embarrassed.) A system administrator from a midsize industrial company told me, “Management just doesn’t want to pay to replace our systems. It’s that simple.” He’s not alone. Another sysadmin, who works for a real estate company, says, “If it’s not broke, they don’t want to fix it.” According to the Spiceworks study, the reasons IT professionals stick with the current OS are no immediate need, lack of time, and budget constraints. Another reason businesses hold onto Windows XP is custom software. A sysadmin at a different real estate firm confides, “We have a property inventory program we use in-house, and no one has a clue what’s inside it. There’s just no money to hire someone to rewrite it.” A building engineer reports that his company relies on software that runs on Windows XP to keep the building’s HVAC systems running, as well as lighting management and other controls. His employer has no interest in updating the operating system; they don’t see any problem. The software may not be custom; it might be an old third-party application. A jeweler who uses a vertical design program explains, “The last good version only runs on Windows XP.” In some cases, it’s possible (or necessary) to run a Windows XP application in a virtual machine. For example, Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP with Windows Server Update Services. As one annoyed user expressed on a Spiceworks discussion thread, “I had to install an XP VM on my home network last year to run an XP-specific mapping program.” A related reason is computer-controlled hardware. Many industrial, medical, and scientific hardware used desktop Windows XP as a poor man’s embedded controller. Their users view the computer as a tool and give little attention to the underlying OS. Why spend money upgrading? This works fine For these companies, upgrading the entire system for a new operating system simply costs too much money. As a light-manufacturing company CIO told me, “This equipment cost us hundreds of thousands, and we use it every day. It just isn’t cost-effective to replace it, especially since these systems don’t connect with the Internet.” Even when the equipment doesn’t cost a mint, some hardware is just too old to be supported by newer operating systems. For example, a really old but special-purpose printer has drivers on Windows XP, but as one sysadmin reports, “Windows 7 and up are not supported for the spooler manager and job queue client.” And “Windows XP also runs our older-than-dirt handheld bar-code scanner terminal app.” You’re not asking management to replace a desktop computer; you’re asking them to buy a whole new piece of business equipment. That may be even more of an expense when vertical hardware and software intersect. One ophthalmology practice uses a small LAN of connected Windows XP clients, reports another admin. “We’re still on Windows XP due to the specialist apps that connect to the various eye scanning devices.” IT pros know this is asking for trouble. In the Spiceworks survey of more than 450 IT professionals, 68 percent were concerned about the end of security patches and bug fixes. But IT concerns don’t always translate into corporate priorities. Embedded XP: The hidden Windows That’s especially true when it comes to hardware that uses Windows XP Embedded. Numerous computer numerical control (CNC) controllers from companies such as Siemens, Mitsubishi, and ProtoTraks still run this specialized version of the operating system. The controllers generally are expensive ($50,000 to $150,000) and are installed on even more expensive hardware, which often starts at half a million dollars. No one wants to mess with machinery that costs so much and that works perfectly well. Besides, as a manufacturing professional, Garegin Khachiyan explains, “With just over 15 years of experience in the manufacturing field, neither I nor anyone I personally know ever experienced any security issue with CNC controllers that ran on Windows.” Windows XP Embedded also lives on in bank automated teller machines (ATMs). “A majority of ATMs still use that OS," says security expert Bruce Schneier. "And once Microsoft stops issuing security updates to Windows XP, those machines will become increasingly vulnerable. Although I have to ask the question: How many of those ATMs have been keeping up with their patches so far?” That’s a good question. “Newer ATMs can be patch-managed remotely," says security writer Kimberly Crawley in a recent Hackernoon blog. "But older ATMs, including a large percentage of the machines still in use in the U.S., can only be patched manually. That means a bank’s IT professionals have to visit the machines, branch by branch, one by one, to apply Microsoft’s Windows XP for Embedded Systems’ security patches. The IT professionals who have the specialized knowledge necessary to manually patch ATMs are expensive.” However, apparently they are not as expensive as replacing them. So Windows XP Embedded-powered ATMs will keep dispensing cash in banks around the country. Supporting and securing Windows XP Microsoft appears to still be renewing Windows XP “Custom Support” contracts, though the company doesn’t publicly describe the terms. In response to all questions about Windows XP Custom Support contracts, a Microsoft spokesperson said, the company was “unable to accommodate your request at this time.” He added, “As always, we recommend customers stay current with the latest updates to Windows. The best protection is to be on a modern, up-to-date system that incorporates the latest innovations including the latest security features and advancements.” A Custom Support contract is not intended to last forever. Generally speaking, these contracts require customers to submit a migration plan to a supported edition of a product, along with goals and dates, and Microsoft must approve the plan. Contract milestones are expressed as percentages of the covered systems. If a company doesn’t meet the migration milestones, Microsoft can refuse to renew the deal or cut off support. A Custom Support contract is not intended to last forever. That said, some contracts are still in place. The United States Navy purchased Windows XP support until 2017, which also included Office 2003 and Exchange 2003 support. According to the contracting announcement, “Across the United States Navy, approximately 100,000 workstations currently use these applications.” In 2016, the Australian government reported it had paid $3.4 million for 15 months’ worth of Windows XP support to cover agencies to July 2017. Other government agencies probably wish they had made the investment. In 2015, a hospital system in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) revealed it was still running 1,260 Windows XP systems (with no extended support). In 2016, NHS hospitals were still running the OS. Then, in 2017, the hammer of WannaCry ransomware came down, which knocked out multiple NHS facilities. WannaCry used Windows XP’s insecure version of Windows’ Server Message Block (SMB) networking protocol to spread in local-area networks. It needed only a single vulnerable PC to attack multiple systems. Microsoft considered the problem serious enough that, for the first time ever, it released a security patch for an out of support program. Clearly, the number of Windows XP systems justified such a radical step. What does it take to migrate? The moral of the story? Yes, there may be financial reasons and inertia that keep businesses using Windows XP, but in the long run they’re not convincing. WannaCry was not a one-time event. There will be more attacks. The OS is both too popular and too easy to attack for hackers to ignore. If your business continues to use the OS, at the very least, ensure that your systems have no ties to the Internet. It’s like leaving the door to your home not only unlocked but wide open. Windows XP Embedded, which tends to be used in stand-alone systems, is practically speaking safer, but it’s still vulnerable. Whether the recent ransomware attacks are enough of a motivation for the “if it works don’t fix it” decision-makers to make a change is yet to be determined. I hope so. The time has come to kiss Windows XP good-bye and upgrade your systems. Article source
  11. Time to upgrade that decade-old operating system, man. If you're using an operating system that's over a decade old to play Blizzard games, we have some bad news for you. Starting in October, Blizzard says it will "begin the process of ending support for Windows XP and Windows Vista in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm." The fact that Blizzard was still supporting these long-in-the-tooth Microsoft OSes (XP launched in 2001, Vista launched in early 2007) says something about the long tail of low-end hardware that the company targets alongside top-of-the-line modern systems. Though Microsoft dropped mainstream support for Windows XP and Windows Vista years ago—and ceased issuing security fixes for the operating systems in 2014 (with another issued earlier this year)—Blizzard says that a "decent portion of our audience was still using" the platforms long after Microsoft left them for dead. Three major Windows releases later, though, the "vast majority of our audience has upgraded" to a more recent OS, Blizzard says. Windows XP's longevity was something of an outlier in the world of PC operating systems, still seeing significant adoption a decade after its launch. When Microsoft finally pulled the plug on mainstream support for the OS in 2014, it was still running on 29 percent of Web users' PCs. Even today, XP commands a surprising 6.4 percent of all desktop Web users, according to NetMarketShare, far ahead of Vista's 0.53 percent. Blizzard's move will probably have the biggest practical effect in countries with developing economies, where old computers that can only run older operating systems still have some popularity in budget gaming cafes. Even in the developed world, though, you can still find online guides to building budget gaming rigs based on XP. Earlier this year, Microsoft told its corporate partners to start migrating away from Windows 7, which will at least receive security updates through 2020. Article source
  12. The years have rolled by and Windows XP is now an antiquated and unsupported operating system (OS). But just because Microsoft no longer provides support, that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to revisit Windows XP. They might be work related, or maybe you miss XP and want to take a stroll down memory lane? Well, the death bell may have tolled, but there is still a way of installing Windows XP, using a download provided by Microsoft. It is absolutely true — you can still download Windows XP. Microsoft knows that web developers always have a need to test their websites on a variety of browsers and OS. As such, Microsoft provides Windows XP Mode, a full version of XP that runs from within Windows 7. Now, most people have also long since moved on from Windows 7, too. Making this compatibility mode fix, well, a little unhelpful. Don’t give up though because I’m going to show you how to take that Windows XP Mode download, extract a file or three, and load it up in a virtual machine. Before we begin, you’re going to need to download and install the latest version of Oracle VirtualBox, available here. Furthermore, you’re going to need a file archive tool, such as 7-Zip or PeaZip. I’ll be using 7-Zip for this tutorial, but PeaZip comes with the same functionality. Once you’re ready, head on to the next section. Downloading and Extracting Windows XP Mode Virtual Hard Disk Let’s get started. Head to the Microsoft Windows XP Mode download page. Select Download. On the next page, select WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe, then hit Next. The Windows XP Mode executable will now download. When it completes, don’t install it. Instead, browse to the executable, then right-click and select 7-Zip > Open archive > cab from the context menu. This immediately opens the executable in 7-Zip for you to have a poke around. There are three files. Select Sources to reveal another three files. Double-click xpm. This is the XP Mode virtual hard drive folder. It should look the same as the image below. These are the files we need to create the XP Mode virtual hard disk. Unfortunately, they’re Archive files, meaning they’re currently Read-only. (What’s in an executable, anyway?) We need to extract these files to a new folder. Select Extract from the toolbar, then press the ellipsis icon next to the address bar. Browse to where you’d like to extract the files — your C: drive is fine — and select Make New Folder. I’ve called my folder Windows XP Mode, but the choice is yours. When you’re ready, press OK, then OK again to start the extraction process. This can take a minute or two. Head to the folder you created when the extraction process completes. You’ll see the same list of files. The difference is that we can now edit these files as we see fit. Select the file named VirtualXPVHD. Press F2 to rename. Insert a period (full-stop, U.K. readers) between the “P” and the “V,” and press Enter. The file should immediately change into a virtual hard disk, and the icon to boot. Installing the Windows XP Mode Virtual Hard Disk in VirtualBox Before we completed the XP Mode virtual hard disk extraction, I asked you to download and install VirtualBox. VirtualBox is a very popular, free virtualization device. It can virtualize all sorts of operating systems, including macOS (read our tutorial here), Linux (try five different Linux distros!), and of course, copies of Windows, old and new. Anyway. Onwards! Open VirtualBox. Select New. At bottom of the Create Virtual Machine window, select Expert Mode (if your window shows an option for Guided Mode, you’re already using Expert Mode). Now, give your virtual machine a suitable name. If you include “XP” in the virtual machine name, the Version will automatically change to reflect that. Even so, double-check the Version is Windows XP (32-bit). Assign the virtual machine some memory. Memory is a shared resource, meaning both the host (your PC) and the guest (the virtual machine) use it concurrently. Luckily, Windows XP is old, and doesn’t require buckets of RAM to run. I would advise assigning a minimum of 512 MB — but you won’t need more than 2048 MB. Finally, we need to assign a hard disk — the virtual hard disk we extracted from the Windows XP Mode executable, earlier. Under Hard disk, select Use an existing virtual hard disk file. Then, hit the folder with the green arrow. Browse to the folder we extracted our files to, select VirtualXP, then Open. When you’re done, your new virtual machine setup should look like this: Okay? Hit Create. Windows XP Mode Virtual Machine Disk Settings Before we boot up our shiny new Windows XP virtual machine, we need to tweak a few settings. On the VirtualBox toolbar, press Settings. Head to System. Look at the Boot Order. Uncheck Floppy, and move it down the list. Promote Hard Disk to the top of the pile. Just like your host PC, the virtual machine has a specific boot order. We want the virtual hard disk we created to be at the top, so it boots first. Under Display, increase Video Memory to 128 MB. Network Settings: Default Double-check the Network settings. Older versions of VirtualBox relied on the manual entry of network configurations. The software is a fair bit smarter these days (read: automated), and usually picks up your network settings without prompt. My Windows XP Mode virtual machine works using the default configuration. That is, using NAT, the adapter specific by VirtualBox, and making sure Cable Connected is checked. Network Settings: Host-only Adapter However, if it doesn’t work (and we’ll realize the good or bad news in a moment when we fire up the virtual machine), you can try an alternative configuration. Set Attached to: Host-only Adapter Set Name: VirtualBox Host-Only Ethernet Adapter Set Promiscuous Mode: Deny Check Cable connected Using the Start Menu search bar, type “network,” and select the Network and Sharing Centre. In the left-hand column, select Change adapter settings. Hold CTRL and select both your Ethernet/wireless card and the VirtualBox Host-Only Network. Then, right-click and select Bridge Connection. This creates a network bridge, allowing the virtual machine to connect to a network even though it doesn’t have direct access to the router (or alternative switch). When you enter the virtual machine, you’ll have to update your network adapter settings. Head to Control Panel > Network and internet Connections > Network Connections. Then, right-click the Local Area Connection, and select Properties. Highlight internet Protocol (TCP/IP), then select Properties. Select Use the following IP address, and enter an available IP address for your home network. For instance, I will enter 192.168.1.10. Enter your Subnet mask and Default gateway. Unsure what they are? On your host machine, press Windows Key + R, then type CMD, and hit Enter. Now, type ipconfig /all. You’ll find the information you need listed under your Ethernet or wireless adapter name. Enter the same DNS server addresses as the host. I use Google DNS, so I’ll enter 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. Hit OK. Turn It On! We’ve extracted the virtual hard disk. We’ve created our virtual machine, we’ve fiddled with the settings. I think we’re ready to go. Highlight your Windows XP Mode virtual machine on the main VirtualBox window. Double-click it. Hold your breath! Looks like we made it! There is a strong possibility that your mouse will not immediately work with the Windows XP Mode virtual machine. Navigate the operating system installation pages using the TAB key, arrow keys, Spacebar, and Enter key. Complete the installation. You’ll arrive at a completely black screen. Don’t worry! Press Right Ctrl + R to Restart the virtual machine. When it reboots, you can Cancel the New Hardware Installation and Microsoft Automatic Update wizards. Instead, head to Devices > Install Guest Additions CD Image. Use the default installation location and wait for the setup to complete. You might encounter warnings that you are attempting to install unsupported software and/or drivers. Select Continue Anyway. Once the Guest Additions installation completes, select Reboot now. (If it fails to reboot, Restart the virtual machine again.) And there you have it. A working, fully-featured Windows XP installation to call your own. Note: this installation will expire within 30-days. If you have an old Windows XP license key, you can enter that to keep the virtual machine active. Otherwise, you’ll have to reinstall. That’s a Wrap Who says Windows XP is dead? Thanks to VirtualBox and Microsoft offering Windows XP Mode for free, we can revisit and hold onto Windows XP forever. It was, and indeed, remains a popular version of Windows, even for the nostalgia-inducing sounds and desktop backgrounds. That said, Windows has come a long, long way, and it is clearly no longer suitable as a primary operating system, security issues aside. Article source
  13. Microsoft remains a strong brand despite WannaCry Many blamed Microsoft for the recent WannaCry ransomware fiasco, claiming the software giant should continue providing support for Windows XP and deliver patches for all Windows versions faster, but despite all this criticism, Microsoft remains a well-loved brand. Or at least, this is what a new survey conducted by Morning Consult reveals, with 83 percent of the respondents still viewing the brand favorably a week after the WannaCry outburst started. There are indeed 57 percent of users who said they were concerned about Microsoft products in the future after WannaCry, but on the other hand, 22 percent of them said they weren’t too concerned despite the risks of getting infected. 8 percent pointed out they weren’t concerned at all. The good news for Microsoft is that 39 percent of the people who participated in the survey claimed they still planned to buy Microsoft products, while only 25 percent said they would have second thoughts when facing such a decision. Windows 7, biggest victim of WannaCry Furthermore, a total of 8 percent of the respondents say they are “much more likely” to purchase Microsoft products in the future given the quick reaction of the company to the ransomware, while another 9 percent explained they are “much less likely” do it. “The strength of Microsoft’s brand leaves it largely unscathed by the recent security issue — unlike its tech industry peer Yahoo Inc. After disclosing its own data breach, Yahoo’s favorability fell 10 percentage points, polling shows,” Morning Consult says. “Safety appears to be a top priority for people: Most of those surveyed say they are quick to download the latest security updates and have various passwords across platforms.” For what it’s worth, Windows XP wasn’t the biggest victim of the WannaCry ransomware, but Windows 7, which actually got patches from Microsoft earlier this year on Patch Tuesday. This means that most of the systems that were infected were actually outdated, either due to pirated licenses or because system administrators blocked updates from installing because of various reasons. Source
  14. Kaspersky's boss baffled by Win XP usage Eugene Kaspersky has one issue with the WannaCry ransomware attack that has taken over the world in the past week - why are so many people still using Windows XP?! "I can't understand why they still use Windows XP because if they have hundreds or thousands of PCs it's very expensive to handle all of that," Kaspersky Lab boss said, baffled by the entire situation. He added that it's much easier to prevent these types of attacks for small businesses than for enterprises. "They just have to have their updated systems, they have to have their backups, and they have to have security solutions - and that's good enough," Kaspersky told ZDNet reporters present at the event. Things are a lot more complicated, however, when it comes to larger enterprises, especially given the number of systems working on XP in the wild. That's because, in order to replace old systems, you need proper budgets and to afford the downtime. "At the same time there are many systems that are certified to Windows XP, so they can't change it - they can't update the certificates," Kaspersky said, adding that he understands the complexity of the issue. WannaCry and its legacy When WannaCry hit, it was obvious there was a problem with the systems that were most vulnerable. Microsoft went out of its way and released patches not only for the versions it still supports but also for Windows XP, which was discontinued a while back. It was believed that Windows XP systems would be the bulk of those infected by WannaCry, but the reality showed a different story. Researchers revealed that, in fact, Windows 7 users had been hit the most by this ransomware. Hopefully, people will continue to update their systems in order to patch up the vulnerability that was being exploited by WannaCry, especially given the number of samples found in the wild, as well as the other threats out there that are just waiting to make use of the same SMB problem, such as EternalRocks, which makes use of 7 NSA hacking tools. Source
  15. There's a ransom-free fix for WannaCry‬pt. Oh snap, you've rebooted your XP box Sooo... that's not gonna work for you mate Windows XP PCs infected by WannaCrypt can be decrypted without paying ransom by using a new utility dubbed Wannakey. Wannakey offers in-memory key recovery for Win XP machines infected by the infamous ransomware strain. The fix can be used to dump encryption keys from memory. This RSA private key, once recovered, can be used to restore encrypted files on infected computers. Caveats and limitations apply. Compromised machines must not have been rebooted after being infected, otherwise the crucial keys will already have been discarded from volatile memory. That's quite a big ask a week after the devastating WannaCrypt outbreak, especially since initial advice centred on turning off machines to stop the further spread of infection across corporate networks. The Wannakey tool, put together by security researcher Adrien Guinet and released on Thursday, appears promising but is yet to be independently tested. Windows XP is, of course, the antithesis of a strong and stable operating system even when it doesn't have a malware infection. So whether it'll work for victims of WannaCrypt before their system crashes has to be doubtful. The developer readily acknowledges these limitations. "This software has only been tested and known to work under Windows XP. In order to work, your computer must not have been rebooted after being infected," Guinet writes. "Please also note that you need some luck for this to work, and so it might not work in every cases." ®
  16. Windows XP still has a market share of 7 percent The WannaCry ransomware outburst that started last week compromised a total of 1,500 Windows XP computers at NHS Scotland, Health Secretary Shona Robison revealed, adding that the organization still has some 6,500 PCs running the unsupported operating system. Speaking about the outcome of the WannaCry attack, Robison explained that systems running other versions of Windows were also compromised, including many powered by Windows Server 2003. “At the moment we understand mainly Windows 2007 and Windows 2003 devices were affected and only a small number of Windows XP devices were affected,” Robison said in a statement. “I know Windows XP has been an issue raised within the media. What I can say about that is there are approximately 6500 XP devices out of around 153,000 total devices, less than 5%.” No patient data exposed On the other hand, authorities in Scotland explain that no breaches of patient data were experienced and no information was stolen as part of the attack, as hackers only demanded a ransom payment to restore access to files. Robison went on to explain that the government is currently working on plans to prevent similar infections in the future, without revealing whether an upgrade from Windows XP to a supported operating system is planned or not. “Reviews are already underway to capture what can be improved to ensure that we reduce the chances of a similar attack happening in the future,” she said. Windows XP was launched by Microsoft in 2001 and no longer receives support since April 2014. XP was one of the versions targeted by WannaCry, with Microsoft itself deciding to roll out a patch, despite the operating system being unsupported, to prevent the ransomware from exploiting a known vulnerability in the OS. At this point, Windows XP has a global market share of 7 percent, but after the WannaCry fiasco, more users are likely to migrate to a newer operating system as soon as possible. Source
  17. WannaCry ransom dialog on infected computers Microsoft rolled out the first Windows XP update after three years in an attempt to protect customers from getting infected with WannaCry, and now the company says governments should treat vulnerabilities in a different way because civilians are the very first ones affected every time such an accident happens. Thousands of computers across the world were infected since Friday with a new ransomware called WannaCry which locks down PCs and asks for a $300 ransom to restore access to files. The infection is based on a vulnerability that was stolen from the NSA earlier this year and which was published online by hacking group Shadow Brokers. The affected organizations include state departments in several large countries, as well as health institutions like the British NHS. Microsoft said on Friday that systems running fully up-to-date versions of supported Windows were protected, and decided to also release an update for computers with older Windows versions, like XP and Server 2003, to block the ransomware. In a statement today, Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft, confirms that the exploit was patched on March 14 for Windows users, confirming that attacks are based on the NSA vulnerability that got leaked accidentally. Update, update, update Smith emphasizes that it’s critical for customers worldwide to update their systems to remain protected, explaining that while some organizations need time for testing, Microsoft is also spending more time to certify updates before shipping them. “As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems. Otherwise they’re literally fighting the problems of the present with tools from the past,” Smith explained. Eventually, Smith also calls for governments to treat these issues seriously, pointing out that agencies should no longer create a “stockpile of vulnerabilities,” but instead report them to the vendor. “This is an emerging pattern in 2017. We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world. Repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage,” he said. One possible solution to prevent these cases in the future is to adopt the Digital Geneva Convention that would make it a requirement for governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, “rather than stockpile, sell, or exploit them.” Source
  18. Windows XP is still running on more than 7 percent of desktops worldwide The Abilene Police Department has decided to finally make the move to Windows 10 as part of an upgrade plan that involves buying technology worth no less than $1.3 million. According to reports, the local City Council approved the investment plan back in January 2016, but the police department is only now performing the transition, after purchasing new equipment and mobile software for vehicles and records management system. The transition to the new devices is going smoothly, local officials said, and with Windows 10, all systems are fully up to date. “The largest selling point to this entire system was the fact that we were operating on antiquated hardware,” Assistant Police Chief Doug Wrenn said. “That is no longer the case today, and I sleep a lot better at night knowing that.” What’s interesting is that the police department was using Windows XP, which was launched in 2001 and which no longer receives support since April 2014. Because the configuration powering these systems was very old, every time something broke down, the IT team purchased replacements parts from eBay, mostly because old hardware can no longer be found in stores. Windows XP still insanely popular Windows XP remains the third most popular desktop operating system in the world after Windows 7 and Windows 10, and by the looks of things, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to disappear anytime soon. Instead, Windows XP appears to be here to stay, with its market share shrinking at an insanely slow pace, despite the fact that it hasn’t received a single security update in the last 3 years. This means that systems still running it can become vulnerable to attacks should hackers develop exploits aimed at unpatched vulnerabilities, and with the recent leaks, finding such security flaws isn’t rocket science. Everyone on Windows XP is obviously recommended to upgrade as soon as possible, though in some cases the transition is a lot more expensive given that hardware upgrades are also necessary. Source
  19. Windows XP: Why It Won't Die For Years To Come Old versions of Windows are sticking around longer than you might think, in unexpected places. Old versions of Windows just won't go away. Earlier this week Microsoft ended its support for Vista, which means the decade-old operating system will no longer get security updates. And while this may spur some companies to finally kick out their old devices, there are still plenty still holding onto Vista and XP -- and perhaps even older versions of Windows. "I think if you dug down deep you'd find some Windows 98 in places too," said Stephen Kleynhans, research VP at analyst Gartner. Just how much old Windows is in use is actually unclear: according to research by Spiceworks, just over half of businesses still have at least one PC running Windows XP and nearly one in 10 still have Windows Vista running somewhere too. Spiceworks calculates that Windows XP is running on 14 percent of all PCs in businesses worldwide, while Windows Vista is only running on one percent. In contrast, Windows 7 has the highest share, running on 69 percent of business PCs. Windows 10 currently has nine percent of the overall share, followed by Windows 8 at five percent, according to Spiceworks. It's worth noting these numbers for XP are higher than other sources which paint a slightly different picture: NetMarketShare says that Windows XP makes up around seven percent of PCs accessing the internet (Vista is a rounding error at less than one percent), with Windows 7 accounting for half and Windows 10 a quarter. And other stats show XP with a much lower share still, as my colleague Ed Bott has explored elsewhere. Not in front of the users Still, considering that nearly 90 percent of IT professionals surveyed by Spiceworks said they are concerned about the risks of running unsupported operating systems such as Windows XP and Windows Vista, why are they still being used at all? "The reality is we tend to think of PCs as devices that sit in front of users. If you look at that class of device there's practically no XP left, but there are PCs used in all kinds of different scenarios in companies," said Gartner's Kleynhans. That might be a Windows XP PC running a security system and monitoring the card swipes at all the doors in an office, or a PC monitoring elevators and recording a log. If those PCs don't have new applications installed on them, and are not connected to the internet, most companies don't see good reasons to replace them. "Those machines might have been there 10 years, and they're running Windows XP, and they will probably run that until the day they're finally disposed of because there's no reason to spend any money or any effort to change it," said Kleynhans. For example, Kleynhans encountered one organization using heavy equipment that needed to set up using software tools that only ran on Windows XP. "Most larger companies probably have one or two things like that hanging around in the periphery. It's not an indication they are strategically sticking with XP. That's a tactical reality," he said. However, that doesn't mean it's would be a good idea to use an out-of-support version of Windows on a PC used for standard office work. "That would just be dumb, quite frankly," said Kleynhans. "That would be a bad thing to be doing because there is no security left, no fixes coming down the pike. You should at least be trying to keep somewhat up-to-date with a machine that some individual cares about to do their daily job." One area where XP has a stronghold is perhaps with consumers, Kleynhans said, who don't think about security issues, and are more concerned with the few dollars it will cost them or the time and effort to do an update rather than the potential problems. And chances are nothing will make them upgrade. "If you haven't converted by now there's nothing that will force you to convert at this point until the hardware physically dies." XP has stuck around so long because it was an extremely popular version of Windows -- certainly compared to its successor, Vista. And Windows 7 is similarly popular, which means it may also be with us for quite some time. "There will be similar cases to the ones we see with XP where the machine is doing its job sitting in a corner, so why would we ever touch it? Seven years from now, 10 years from now, we'll probably be looking at some survey and it says look at all this Windows 7 that's still out there," said Kleynhans. "It's not that companies will say en-masse that they are not going to Windows 10 -- in fact we are seeing the exact opposite: we are seeing a very positive response. But there will be some places in the company where they decide, for whatever reason, to keep some Windows 7 in that corner." Source
  20. ATMs are being upgraded to Windows as well Windows 10 is here with so many new features, but for some reason, there still are millions of ATMs out there that continue running Windows XP, even though upgrading to the latest operating system obviously has so many security benefits. Fortunately, the transition to Windows 10 has started for ATMs too, and Diebold Nixdorf is the first to do it, with the company announcing today that it’s working with partners to provide a smooth experience for customers and reduce the impact caused by the upgrade to a new operating system. “We are not only the first ATM manufacturer readily available to support Windows 10, but have been shipping processors that are Windows 10 compatible since mid-2014,” Senior Vice President, Systems, Ulrich Näher, was quoted as saying. “This is a true testament to our company’s ‘future-proof’ development mentality and protecting our customers’ investments - that meet the needs of today and anticipate those of tomorrow.” Windows XP Embedded Even though most ATMs were running the embedded version of Windows XP, the security risks remain, especially when taking into account that it’s an old platform we’re talking about here. Windows XP was launched in 2001 and support ended in 2014, but the Embedded version‘s end of life is as follows: Embedded Service Pack 3 on January 12, 2016, Windows Embedded for Point of Service SP3 on April 12, 2016, Windows Embedded Standard 2009 on January 8, 2019, and Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 on April 9, 2019. There is currently no information as to other ATM vendors that are planning the migration to Windows 10, but it’s expected that this trend would continue, especially given Microsoft’s push that also involves partners across the world. “We have been working diligently with other industry groups to ensure our customers are better prepared and to make this migration as easy as possible,” Senior Vice President for Software Alan Kerr added. “Migrating to Windows 10 is an important next step for any financial institution interested in leading the future of consumer transactions and we are uniquely positioned to support them.” Source
  21. Windows XP remains the world's third most popular desktop OS Believe it or not, Windows XP is still powering 7.44 percent of the world’s computers, even though it’s already 15 years old and it no longer receives support since April 2014. NetMarketShare data reveals that in March 2017, Windows XP dropped approximately 1 percent from the previous month, but remained the third most popular desktop operating system in the world after Windows 7 and Windows 10. Truth be told, the decline of Windows XP seems to happen at a faster pace these days, but this ancient operating system somehow sticks around despite the obvious risks of running a platform that no longer receives security updates from its vendor. The evolution of Windows XP’s market share shows that even though it has already reached end of support, it remains the preferred choice for an important share of users, with some months even bringing a substantial increase in market share. Months of recovery Back in July 2016, for example, Windows XP posted growth from 9.78 percent to 10.34 percent, while a new recovery was experienced in late 2016 when it registered increases for two consecutive months from 8.63 percent to 9.17 percent. According to Microsoft’s estimates, there are 1.5 billion Windows PCs out there, so if these figures are accurate, it means there are more than 111 million computers still running Windows XP. This is worrying to say the least, especially because many of them are being used by governments, departments, organizations or agencies across the world, with such systems often being spotted in airports, police stations, or hospitals. Without a doubt, Windows XP won’t disappear overnight, but hopefully, no other increase in market share would be experienced in the coming months and the gradual decline would accelerate. As for the reasons why Windows XP remains so popular these days, it’s mostly because upgrading to a newer operating system is seen as either a too expensive move for companies, as hardware upgrades are also needed, or because its successors aren’t considered worthy alternatives for home users. Source
  22. Windows XP Has More Users than Windows Vista and Windows 8 Combined, Avast Says Avast provides Windows usage data in latest report While it’s important to note that these figures come from computers running Avast, they do align with the statistics provided by research firms whose main activity is monitoring operating system usage, so there’s a good chance these are accurate. First and foremost, there’s leader Windows 7. According to Avast, the operating system launched in 2009 is currently powering more than 56 million computers where its antivirus product is installed, and this means a share of no less than 48.35 percent. Windows 10 is growing, the security firm says, and it managed to reach a share of 30.46 percent, which accounts for a little over 35 million devices running Avast security software. Windows XP still a super-popular choice But what’s a little more worrying for everyone, including here Microsoft, users, and Avast itself, is that Windows XP, which was launched in 2001 and no longer receives security updates since April 2014, is still running on more than 6.5 million computers. This means that it has a share of 5.64 percent, more than Windows 8 (2.51 percent) and Windows Vista (2.08 percent) combined. Windows 8 was launched in 2012 as Microsoft’s new revolution, but its small market share is mostly the result of most people choosing the free upgrade to Windows 8.1. The OS launched one year later has a share of 10.96 percent, which represents 12.7 million PCs running Avast. For what it’s worth, Windows Vista is also reaching end of support next month, so users who are still running this OS, and there are at least 2 million according to Avast, should already start planning the upgrade. Windows 10 is the safest bet right now, as Windows 7 itself is also projected to reach EOL in January 2020. Source
  23. Audacity for Windows Audacity was, is, and there’s a good chance it’ll continue to be one of the most popular audio editors out there, so every time new updates come out, users rush to give them a try. This time, however, the new version of Audacity comes with mixed news for Windows users. As our resident Linux expert Marius Nestor told you a few hours ago, Audacity 2.1.3 is bringing tons of improvements, but as far as Windows systems are concerned, there are two very important changes. First and foremost, this new version officially introduces support for Windows 10. The audio editor was already working on Windows given the fact that it fully supported previous versions of the operating system, but with this update, it’s fully compatible with Windows 10 and no bugs should exist anymore. “Windows 10 is now supported (there should be no ‘Internal PortAudio Error’ or failure to find any devices as long as the built-in audio devices are enabled),” the change log reveals. Waving goodbye to Windows XP Additionally, this new version is also said to be the last one shipped for Windows XP users, though information here is a little scarce. Basically, Audacity 2.1.3 is the last official update for Windows XP systems, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that future versions would no longer work on Microsoft’s OS launched nearly 16 years ago. The bigger problem is with bugs or new features that won’t work correctly with Windows XP, as the developing team would no longer address problems that users experience on this OS version. Unfortunately, there still are plenty of users running Windows XP out there, with stats putting this old version at about 8 percent market share, and there’s a good chance some of them rely on Audacity for audio editing too. Sooner or later, everyone on Windows XP might have to upgrade given that most applications abandon this OS version, so you should consider this option for your PC as well. As always, if you want to give a try to this new version, you can download Audacity for Windows right now to see all the improvements in action. Source
  24. Windows XP installed on an iPhone 7 They say Apple is working hard to lock down iOS and restrict users from doing anything that could affect system stability or security. And while nobody can deny this, there still are ways to do things that you wouldn’t normally believe to be possible on a mobile phone, including installing old desktop operating systems. Such as Windows XP, that is. YouTuber Hacking Jules posted a video showing Windows XP running on an iPhone 7 as part of a project whose purpose can’t be anything else than proving that it’s possible. At first glance, the video seems to be real, and the uploader has even included some iPhone information, such iOS version and settings, to prove it’s not fake. Windows XP on an iPhone? I don’t think so In case you’re wondering how come that’s possible to run Windows XP on an iPhone, it’s all thanks to emulation software, in this case iBox, which is available on GitHub. Doing it, however, is not as easy as you’d be tempted to believe and getting Windows XP up and running takes more time than expected, despite the powerful hardware, mostly because of the old tech without support for an iPhone. As you can see in the video below, Windows XP does boot on the iPhone, though it takes quite a lot of time, but performance is painfully slow to say the least. Of course, the mouse is controlled with touch, but this doesn’t seem too accurate either, and it makes sense given the fact that the screen space is so small. In the end, this project shows that it’s possible to run old Windows on an iPhone, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can actually make it your daily driver. If you do love the idea of having a Windows phone, there’s no better time to get one, as HP is paying up to $600 for an iPhone 7 when buying the company’s Elite X3 with Windows 10 Mobile. Source
  25. Windows XP still being used on around 8 percent of the world's PCs Mozilla has recently launched Firefox 52 and this particular release is one critical moment for Windows XP and Windows Vista, as it’s the last version of the browser offering support for these two old operating systems. This is the reason Mozilla launched Firefox 52 as an extended support release version, which means that it will continue getting security updates exclusively for another more year, but on the other hand, no new features and improvements are being added. This decision gives XP and Vista users more time to upgrade their computers or find an alternative browser, though options in this regard are pretty limited right now. Mozilla Firefox will continue getting updates and improvements on Windows 7, 8.1, and 10, and Windows XP and Vista users are recommended to upgrade to any of these versions. World not yet giving up on Windows XP Windows XP no longer receives updates since April 2014, while Windows Vista is projected to reach end of support on April 11 this year. This means that no patches are released and software developers are one by one dropping support for these operating systems. In the case of Windows XP, choosing the right browser becomes kind of a challenge, as Google has already pulled support for the 16-year-old OS in Chrome last year, while Internet Explorer is no longer getting any updates and improvements. Opera keeps working on Windows XP, while Firefox will continue getting security patches for another 12 months. On the other hand, third-party statistics show that Windows XP continues to be more popular than anyone expected, with a market share of approximately 8 percent. Windows Vista is substantially less popular, but the existing market share of Windows XP shows the world’s just not ready yet to abandon this OS, despite the fact that Microsoft itself retired it nearly 3 years ago. Source
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