Microsoft fixing deadly IE security flaw, Windows XP getting the love too

Microsoft Surface

Microsoft headquarters

Microsoft is rolling out an update outside the traditional Patch Tuesday batch updates to fix a deadly security vulnerability discovered last Saturday by FireEye Research Labs that affected its Internet Explorer browser ranging from the old IE6 through to IE11.

Of great interest is that Microsoft is actually availing the update to the millions still running its decade-old popular operating system, Windows XP, even though it has ended support for the OS.

In a blog post announcing the update which will be available via Windows Update in a few hours around the world, Adrienne Hall, the General Manager for Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft writes:

Even though Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and is past the time we normally provide security updates, we’ve decided to provide an update for all versions of Windows XP (including embedded), today.  We made this exception based on the proximity to the end of support for Windows XP.

Still, Microsoft is making it clear that it wants Windows XP users to make the switch to either Windows 7 or the more recent Windows 8.1 in order to continue enjoying updates and a more secure platform.

Just because this update is out now doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about getting off Windows and moving to a newer version of Windows and the latest version of Internet Explorer.

Those of us who’ve been adamant to join the tile craze and are still using Windows 7 are advised to upgrade to IE11.

According to Netmarketshare, Internet Explorer usage accounts for at least 50% of the global browser user base. This means even more users were vulnerable thanks to this zero day exploit. 30% of desktop computers in the world are thought to be still running Windows XP hence the concerns raised by many on the fate of those users should Microsoft have decided not to release the update to Windows XP. Good guy Redmond!