With just less than a month until support for Windows XP ends, the security community has warned that hackers are hoarding exploits to let loose on unsuspecting firms once support ends.
After 8 April Microsoft will not release any more updates for the platform. This means that for hackers any holes in the platform they exploit will not be patched, presenting a potential gold mine.
A week after fixing the 'ring after pickup' bug for Skype on Windows desktop, Microsoft officials said they've also addressed the problem in the Windows Store/Metro-Style version of the Skype app for Windows 8.1.
The issue doesn't seem to be entirely fixed, according to a March 10 post on the Skype "Garage & Updates" blog. But it's better than it was, officials said, with the annoying ring stopping "much faster" with "Skype for Modern Windows 2.6." Here's how Microsoft execs are describing what they've accomplished:
Leaks of upcoming versions of Microsoft's software are nothing new, but it's a little surprising when the source is Microsoft itself. The Spring update to Windows 8.1, known as Update 1, was briefly available from Windows Update earlier this week.
The update wasn't a free-for-all. To get Windows Update to install it, you had to create a special (undocumented, secret) registry key to indicate that you were in a particular testing group; only then were the updates displayed and downloadable.
A decade ago, Microsoft kicked off SDL, or Security Development Lifecycle, a now-widely-adopted process designed to bake security into software, and began building what has become an unmatched reputation in how a vendor writes more secure code, keeps customers informed about security issues, and backs that up with regular patches.
But the Redmond, Wash. company, which just touted SDL's 10-year history with a flashy, anecdote-filled online presentation, seems willing to risk torching that hard-won reputation by pulling the plug on Windows XP.
On Monday, Microsoft China made statements on a Chinese social network that have been misinterpreted in reports in the West. Microsoft in Redmond told ZDNet that they are not extending support for Windows XP in China.
Microsoft translates the actual language used in the post as:
Microsoft China has taken special actions to closely work with leading Chinese internet security and anti-virus companies including Tencent for them to provide security protection for Chinese Windows XP users before they upgrade to modern operating system.