We re-confirmed with Microsoft today that Windows XP support is still scheduled to end 90 days from now on April 8th. The company has also quietly confirmed something that was rumored several months ago; Microsoft will no longer provide Microsoft Security Essentials for the OS after April 8th.
The news came via a new revision of Microsoft's Windows XP end-of-support web page that included that tidbit of information. Specifically it said, "Microsoft will also stop providing for download on Windows XP on this date."
Earlier today, we contacted Microsoft to ask if the Windows team was going to make extra efforts to close any exploits in Windows XP before the April 8th deadline. Microsoft responded with this statement from a spokesperson that, while it did not answer our question directly, it seems to be an appropriate one for the purpose of this story:
Running a well-protected solution starts with using modern software and hardware designed to help protect against today's threat landscape. In addition, Microsoft recommends best practices to protect your PC such as: 1) running up-to-date antivirus, 2) regularly applying security updates for all software installed, and 3) using modern software that has advanced security technologies and is supported with regular security updates.
The lesson here is that Microsoft is cutting ties with Windows XP in just three months and they want users to know that it will be vulnerable to bugs and issues afterwards that won't be fixed.
Update: An earlier version of this story stated that Microsoft would not supply anti-virus updates for Windows XP owners who had Microsoft Security Essentials installed. This has not yet been confirmed so we have updated the story to reflect that information. Microsoft did state in October that it "will not guarantee updates" for the program after April 8th. We have emailed Microsoft to get a definitive statement on this matter.
Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft