Ralph writes:

I’m surely not the only one who uses non Microsoft protection for my copies of XP… I trust my AVG and other apps will continue to support me for many years to come, specially with no Microsoft competition!

Unfortunately Ralph, there’s a problem with your reasoning. Third party security companies depend on Microsoft security patches for their threat protection. Check out this statement from Symantec (the company behind Norton Anti-Virus)  about what the end of Microsoft support means for its customers:

“After the official End of Support date from Microsoft goes into affect, Symantec Support may not be able to provide full threat resolution on XP systems due to a lack of Microsoft security patches. It has always been Symantec’s stance that proper network and workstation security begins at having the most recent security patches from the OS vendor. Depending on the nature of the threats involved, Windows XP may be susceptible to viruses and risks that more recent iterations of Windows is immune to. …we cannot guarantee that we will be able to prevent threat activity involving unpatched exploits.”

Mcafee has similar statements on their website and other third-party security companies will follow suit.

Third party companies depend on Microsoft security patches and it’s unlikely they’re going to put time and effort into an operating system that Microsoft no longer supports. Far from being a competitor for security, Microsoft has provided patches and bug fixes that these companies depend on. They would have to start whole new divisions to fill in the gap left by the end of XP support.

Unfortunately, XP systems are going to have a HUGE target on their back and be very attractive to those with bad intentions and it’s unlikely that you’ll see anyone lining up to offer protection.

 Is Microsoft trying to force XP users’ hand? Yep, they sure are. The company feels that while the OS is stable, it’s not secure enough to withstand modern threats and not powerful enough to keep up with customers’ future computing needs.

~ Cynthia