Should software vendors extend support for their products on Windows XP?

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Oct 21, 2013

Is Google making the Internet more or less secure by extending support for Chrome on XP?

A software vendor's decision to release updates to its product is generally seen as a good thing, but the decision by Google to continue to support the Chrome browser for Windows XP beyond the operating system's end-of-life has been somewhat controversial.

Security experts are anxiously looking ahead to April 2014 when Microsoft will stop releasing updates for its popular Windows XP operating system. More than 12 years after its release, the operating system is still widely used, thus the impact of a "perpetual zero-day", as is has been called, could be significant.

Of course, it is still possible that many XP users will be convinced to move to a newer operating system - and it is also possible that many XP users don't download updates in the first place. To them, the lack of availability of updates won't make them more vulnerable than they already are - though that is hardly a reassuring thought.

In the meantime, Google has announced that it will continue to support the XP version of its Chrome browser for at least a year beyond the end-of-life of the operating system.

One could argue that this is a good thing: after all, it will remove one infection vector for XP machines. It may also be the best Google can do in a situation in which - for various good or bad reasons - people won't stop using XP.

But one could also argue that this will only encourage people to continue to use XP. It has even been suggested that this is a rather unfair way of Google taking on its big rival Microsoft, perhaps even as a sneaky way to push its own operating system.

What do you think? Is Google making the Internet more secure by extending support for its own product? Or is it giving stubborn users of XP what may seem like a good reason to continue using the operating system?

Let us know what you think by voting in the poll in the right-hand sidebar of the VB website.

Posted on 21 October 2013 by Martijn Grooten

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

Nominations opened for sixth Péter Szőr Award

Virus Bulletin is seeking nominations for the sixth annual Péter Szőr Award.

Haroon Meer and Adrian Sanabria to deliver VB2019 closing keynote

New additions to the VB2019 conference programme include a closing keynote address from Thinkst duo Haroon Meer and Adrian Sanabria and a talk on attacks against payment systems.

Free VB2019 tickets for students

Virus Bulletin is excited to announce that, thanks to generous sponsorship from Google Android, we are able to offer 20 free tickets to students who want to attend VB2019.

VB2018 paper: Lazarus Group: a mahjong game played with different sets of tiles

The Lazarus Group, generally linked to the North Korean government, is one of the most notorious threat groups seen in recent years. At VB2018 ESET researchers Peter Kálnai and Michal Poslušný presented a paper looking at the group's various…

Book your VB2019 ticket now for a chance to win a ticket for BSides London

Virus Bulletin is proud to sponsor this year's BSides London conference, which will take place next week, and we have a number of tickets to give away.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.