On the second Tuesday of each month, we release updates for Windows and other products like Office through Windows Update (WU), Microsoft Update (MU), and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). This is often referred to as “Update Tuesday.” These updates include security updates to keep you protected as well as non-security updates that can bring a range of improvements to your PC running Windows. For example, with last month’s Update Tuesday on April 8th we released the Windows 8.1 Update. And today, we released an update for the Windows Store in Windows 8.1 along with new security updates for Internet Explorer for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
It is important to note that with last month’s Update Tuesday on April 8th – support has officially ended for Windows XP.
So what does this mean if you’re still running Windows XP (click here to see if you are running Windows XP if you are not sure)? With today’s Update Tuesday, if you are still on Windows XP you will not receive any security or non-security updates through Windows Update or Microsoft Update. Because support has ended for Windows XP, we are no longer releasing updates to the general public for Windows XP going forward. If you continue to use Windows XP without support, your computer will still likely work but will become vulnerable to security risks and over time its performance will be affected.
Last week, we released a security update outside of our normal Update Tuesday cycle that fixes a critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 as well as Windows XP. We made the decision to extend the update to all Windows XP customers based on the proximity to the established end of support date of April 8th for Windows XP. Please see this blog post for details on this decision from Adrienne Hall, General Manager for Trustworthy Computing here at Microsoft. This was an exception, however, the Windows XP end of support policy still remains in place moving forward.
There are specific cases in which some enterprise customers have custom support agreements in place directly with us. Enterprise customers with these agreements will temporarily receive security updates for Windows XP to help bridge the gap during their migration process to a more modern operating system like Windows 8.1.
I often get asked why we ended support for Windows XP. The reality is that Windows XP is an operating system that is well over a decade old. The threats that we face today from a security standpoint outpace our ability to protect our customers still on Windows XP. Our modern operating systems today provide more safety and security than ever before. We continue to encourage customers still on Windows XP to upgrade to a modern, more secure operating system like Windows 8.1.