Microsoft: You will still need to activate Windows XP after April 8th with a fresh install

When Windows 7 was released in 2009, some of its SKUs included a feature called "XP mode". In the simpliest terms, the Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate versions of Windows 7 could allow older Windows XP programs to run in a simulated environment; the idea was to help small businesses make the transition from XP to 7 easier.

With Windows XP now set to lose all security and software update support from Microsoft on April 8th, some Windows 7 users might be wondering about the future of "XP mode" as well. ZDNet reports that, according to a statement from Microsoft, the company has no plans to release a patch for  Windows 7 that does away with "XP mode".

Having said that, Microsoft states that people who continue to use that feature to run older programs in Windows 7 could still face security risks because Windows XP won't get any more updates in less than three months. In other words, it's best to simply stop using "XP mode" after April 8th.

ZDNet also reports that if, for some reason, you want to install Windows XP on your PC after April 8th, Microsoft will still require that the OS be activated before it can run on your computer. A spokesperson said, "Computers running Windows XP will still work, they just won’t receive any new security updates. Support of Windows XP ends on April 8, 2014, regardless of when you install the OS."

Source: ZDNet | Image via Microsoft

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Last week one of my computers had a massive hardware failure. To cut a looooooong story short, I had to revert to the original factory BIOS and install an old copy of XP. It took over 6 hours to install on the damaged hardware. For those who understand hardware, I was using XP as a "stepping stone" to run a boot patch to allow me to boot from an external USB. When this was complete I could install Windows 7 on the USB. But for a couple of hours I had XP running on my PC again.

My God! I can't believe anyone, anywhere on Earth can still think XP is "good". For me it was horribly slow and lacked so many features I've since become comfortable with on 7/8. XP was the best there was 13 years ago and is still a FAR more competent OS than anything from Apple or those Linux loonies.

A message for those out there posting that "XP is good enough" - "good enough isn't good enough. Get with the program. Every time you comment you just let the rest of us know that you're obviously barely "smart enough" to operate a computer. Go buy an iPad. It was made for you.

riahc3 said,
Hello,

Noone really cares of activation.
What everyone cares about is a Service Pack with ALL updates/patches/etc?

If they release that, then millions of users will assume they are up to date 'for now' and will put off an upgrade.

There will be no further SP or even a hotfix roll-up for XP or Office 2003.

There will never be another service pack for XP. They aren't even going to release any more for 7...Microsoft seems to hate service packs now. There is a very slim chance that they might offer a security rollup for XP but in my opinion that's unlikely at this point also.

Steve121178 said,

If they release that, then millions of users will assume they are up to date 'for now' and will put off an upgrade.

There will be no further SP or even a hotfix roll-up for XP or Office 2003.

Not only "assume" but a service pack would expand the extended support for more time (in that case the newer SP would give the OS more extended support). It sucks, i know, because after installing a XP SP3 one still has a gazillion of updates to install; same is true for 7 (i just installed a few days ago a laptop a Windows 7 SP1 and post SP1 it had almost 1GB of updates, WTF?).

Any thought of "doing away" with XP mode within Windows-7 would be a supreme act of arrogance and the height of business folly. Microsoft has already shot itself in the foot many time with Windows-8. Why would they want to further add insult to injury? Regrettably, sometimes companies do stupid things. We'll just have t wait and see.

TsarNikky said,
Regrettably, sometimes companies do stupid things. We'll just have t wait and see.
They're not going to go back on their official word now, but in any case from personal experience I can tell you that VirtualBox is free and beats Virtual PC any day.

Vista is soon to follow. Sad, considering they dropped non-security support for it far faster than they did XP.

Ignorant population and bandwagoning.. *sigh*

"far faster"? They don't want every OS to end up like XP, which remains the sole exception thus far. No doubt with Vista they reverted back to the existing OS support lifecycle. The only problem now is whether they'll be forced to follow in XP's footsteps with Win7.

Romero said,
"far faster"? They don't want every OS to end up like XP, which remains the sole exception thus far. No doubt with Vista they reverted back to the existing OS support lifecycle. The only problem now is whether they'll be forced to follow in XP's footsteps with Win7.

you have to understand two things:

1) businesses upgrade in cycles. they just upgraded to windows 7 and they are not going to upgrade again soon. this has nothing to do with how good windows 8 or 9 are.

2) windows 9 is supposed to have a sku for businesses, kind of how windows 2K used to be a client OS for businesses before XP-pro took over that role. We're likely to see MSFT going back to that strategy and provide upgrade paths and time tables business prefer. for example businesses don't want yearly new versions of windows, consumers do. windows for consumer needs to move faster so splitting it makes sense.

3) windows for consumers, 9 or whatever they call it is a post-pc OS. meaning it isn't about getting people to upgrade but about capturing the people that are leaving pcs anyway including windows 7 or xp. As such you can't really say they will be stuck with the windows 7 problem since they never set out to get those people.

What is interesting, after 2003, Office 2000 SR-1 didn't require product activation anymore. When my dad bought in 2000, we had to call to get it everytime we had to reinstall it.

I am tired of seeing XP, just kill it and let it disappear into the thin air. It was good while it lasted and now it's quite obsolete, IMHO!

Please tell that to your bank, credit union, insurance agent's office, attorney's office, and doctor's office. Odds are extremely good they are running their applications inside XP.

MaSx said,
I am tired of seeing XP, just kill it and let it disappear into the thin air. It was good while it lasted and now it's quite obsolete, IMHO!

If your tired of seeing XP, then go buy every1 a copy/license of either 7 or 8. you'd be happy then.

off course you do. if I buy an old version of photoshop, it still needs to be activated. same with any software product that requires activation.

why must we demand Microsoft make an exception to a standard industry practice?

neonspark said,
off course you do. if I buy an old version of photoshop, it still needs to be activated. same with any software product that requires activation.

why must we demand Microsoft make an exception to a standard industry practice?

bad example : CS2 version of photoshop doesn't need anymore to be activated.

bigmehdi said,

bad example : CS2 version of photoshop doesn't need anymore to be activated.

The activation servers are offline but it doesn't mean CS2 is now free.

Anyone know if a new XP install will still receive all "existing" updates/patches/service packs after april 8th ? are those going to be available for ever ?
Not that I`m planning on installing it though

It's a valid question since people might still need to use it in a VM for certain things. I'd suppose existing updates should still be available, but maybe there's an end date for that too.

I know that you could update Windows 98 for years after it was discontinued, so I would think you'll be able to for some time. It would be better to just slipstream them and make a new install disc though.

Ahh Boooo! Microsoft once said that if Xp is being phased out, they may just remove the activation.. I guess "may" is just a horses crap hope.

Bumblefly said,
I believe what they said is that activation would always work, not that they would remove it.
Although "always" is a bit of a stretch this is much more plausible than what ThunderRiver believes MS officially stated. (Perhaps it was more of a hopeful but unofficial statement from some employee?)

I can't remember exactly who said what, it has been a long time. It was from back when XP and activation first came out and people were freaking out about it asking "what happens when XP is retired, will I still be able to activate?" At the time no one knew that XP would last over a decade.

the fact is that someone will compile all the updates into a superupdate; slipstream it with an install disc, and disable WGA because it's no longer needed.

I have read on a few web sites open source people demanding that Microsoft give away not only the binaries, but also the source code under GPL. As if the OSS people have any right to "demand" Microsoft do anything, especially when the first thing to be done is to replace WINE with the XP sources.

WhatTheSchmidt said,
I have read on a few web sites open source people demanding that Microsoft give away not only the binaries, but also the source code under GPL.

This has to be one of the most stupid things I've ever heard. If they love FOSS so much (and no doubt have been cursing MS for years), why would they want Windows when they have Linux already? Also it's not as if every last bit of patented code in XP is never used in later versions of the OS, including the latest one. There really are some very dumb people in this world.

Romero said,

This has to be one of the most stupid things I've ever heard. If they love FOSS so much (and no doubt have been cursing MS for years), why would they want Windows when they have Linux already? Also it's not as if every last bit of patented code in XP is never used in later versions of the OS, including the latest one. There really are some very dumb people in this world.

Linux fanboys have been talking about how you can drop Windows and use WINE to run any Windows app on Linux. They think it is a viable alternative to Windows. But WINE doesn't work. If it did, Microsoft would be panicking, using every legal maneuver to stop it. If Microsoft were to release WinXP sources as open source, they could scrap WINE, port the necessary XP code to run on Linux, and it would would be a viable alternative.

If they made it open source they would also have to make huge portions of Windows 8 (and future versions of NT) open source as well. Why do people make such stupid demands and what right do they have to demand anything? Microsoft should just keep ignoring them (or tell the to stfu).

BajiRav said,
This is news?

Go to the Windows forum after 04/08 and see how many will be complaining about this and even more inane things, too many dumb people still running that mess

Why would XP Mode in a 5 year old version of Windows stop working when even the full-blown, 13 year old version of Windows itself won't stop working, just because the support ends? People nowadays are really stupid.

felrefordit said,
Why would XP Mode in a 5 year old version of Windows stop working when even the full-blown, 13 year old version of Windows itself won't stop working, just because the support ends? People nowadays are really stupid.

My guess is people are rightfully concerned about the activation story for Windows XP. If you can't activate it post the EOL date that will be an issue. This is an ongoing issue that will paint the road for Windows going forward as XP was the first version with activation. I'm assuming MS will cut the server support for it at some point. The question is when and if they will release a patch to remove the activation requirements when they do.

Secondly, since Windows 7 isn't EOL and XP Mode is an officially supported feature in Windows 7 (so much so that it doesn't require a separate license). So although XP Mode follows the same support life cycle of XP. I can see this as a valid question since Windows 7 was the first version of Windows to embed a legacy copy in any form.

They could have turned off the activation servers. If you didn't install XPMode yet and they shut down the servers, I assume it wouldn't work properly if it can't activate.

giantpotato said,
They could have turned off the activation servers. If you didn't install XPMode yet and they shut down the servers, I assume it wouldn't work properly if it can't activate.

The image is pre-activated for XP Mode. You don't have to activate it anyways so unless they removed the feature or deleted the image from their servers there isn't any reason for it to stop working even if the activation of XP in general was disabled. The only reason that image might need activated is if you used it on VMWare or Virtualbox like some have as the activation may not be valid anymore.

LogicalApex said,
...... I'm assuming MS will cut the server support for it at some point. The question is when and if they will release a patch to remove the activation requirements when they do......

Paid incident phone support to activate when the servers are turned down.

cedroid09 said,
So sad for people still using it. Even for Windows 7 users, Windows XP will remain "...the easiest Windows yet..."

said the people of 2001

cedroid09 said,
So sad for people still using it. Even for Windows 7 users, Windows XP will remain "...the easiest Windows yet..."

It's sooo fast too! It flies on my hexacore 8 GB RAM system!

/s

PmRd said,

said the people of 2001


Actually the people in 2001 hated it and the childish UI and the messed up start menu and why can't we have Windows 98 again?

Sound familiar to anyone?
The only thing that hasn't changed in 12 years is that there's luddites everywhere.

cedroid09 said,
So sad for people still using it. Even for Windows 7 users, Windows XP will remain "...the easiest Windows yet..."

Nah, Windows 95 wears that crown!

cedroid09 said,
So sad for people still using it. Even for Windows 7 users, Windows XP will remain "...the easiest Windows yet..."

To be honest, that is only because it has been in use for so long. Its become the norm. Everyone knew how to use it. For the most part, I have seen users use Vista/7 with no problems. Every one in a while tho you run in to someone who is a lost cause.

cedroid09 said,
So sad for people still using it. Even for Windows 7 users, Windows XP will remain "...the easiest Windows yet..."

There is no excuse to be using it anymore. It's very old. Those using it deserve the security holes that open up.

Nashy said,

There is no excuse to be using it anymore. It's very old. Those using it deserve the security holes that open up.


If you don't want users using it anymore, then go out and buy a "New" copy/license of 7 or 8. You would be content until 7/8 became "very old". if you want XP users to "deserve the security holes that open up." then you could open yourself up to those security holes and say "I deserve the security holes that open up". /s

soldier1st said,

If you don't want users using it anymore, then go out and buy a "New" copy/license of 7 or 8. You would be content until 7/8 became "very old". if you want XP users to "deserve the security holes that open up." then you could open yourself up to those security holes and say "I deserve the security holes that open up". /s

None of that really made sense, but I'll attempt to reply with what I think you were trying to convey to me.

When Windows 7/8 are unsupported, I'll update, so no, I won't ever say that.

soldier1st said,

If you don't want users using it anymore, then go out and buy a "New" copy/license of 7 or 8. You would be content until 7/8 became "very old". if you want XP users to "deserve the security holes that open up." then you could open yourself up to those security holes and say "I deserve the security holes that open up". /s

what are you on about mate?

siah1214 said,

Actually the people in 2001 hated it and the childish UI and the messed up start menu and why can't we have Windows 98 again?

Sound familiar to anyone?
The only thing that hasn't changed in 12 years is that there's luddites everywhere.

The messed up start menu at least had the option for the classic menu.

Childish UI?? One would argue Win8 has the childish UI. Blocks/tiles, colors, and the touch based design of the os.

Case in point, folks, right there:

Jlobb2 said,

The messed up start menu at least had the option for the classic menu.

Childish UI?? One would argue Win8 has the childish UI. Blocks/tiles, colors, and the touch based design of the os.


Nashy said,

There is no excuse to be using it anymore. It's very old. Those using it deserve the security holes that open up.

I know of lots of businesses running XP because they have to. They have software that specifically requires XP otherwise production comes to a halt. Heck, I know of some businesses that still have Windows NT boxes in their production lines.

And I also know for a fact that there are still some NT servers running in various military locations and even aboard some battleships that are running mission critical stuff.

In the real world there are 100's of millions of users and businesses running obsolete software.

Nashy said,

There is no excuse to be using it anymore. It's very old. Those using it deserve the security holes that open up.

You are correct, sir. There are plenty of Linux distros that will run on that old harware...like Lubuntu.

Steve121178 said,

I know of lots of businesses running XP because they have to. They have software that specifically requires XP otherwise production comes to a halt. Heck, I know of some businesses that still have Windows NT boxes in their production lines.

And I also know for a fact that there are still some NT servers running in various military locations and even aboard some battleships that are running mission critical stuff.

In the real world there are 100's of millions of users and businesses running obsolete software.

There is no excuse. They've had years to make new software.

Steve121178 said,

I know of lots of businesses running XP because they have to. They have software that specifically requires XP otherwise production comes to a halt. Heck, I know of some businesses that still have Windows NT boxes in their production lines.

And I also know for a fact that there are still some NT servers running in various military locations and even aboard some battleships that are running mission critical stuff.

In the real world there are 100's of millions of users and businesses running obsolete software.

It is true that businesses have had ample opportunity to update their software.

However, some military applications run fine on outdated software. The new AWACS will be running on Windows XP (I said they should have used Linux like the BCS 3 system a lot of ground radar sites use). Since the computers on AWACS have no network access, security holes aren't a concern.

Nashy said,

There is no excuse. They've had years to make new software.

And if they are not connected to the internet, what does it matter?

As far as I am aware, no one's tried to take down a battleships NT server, Mission Impossible style.

Steve121178 said,

And if they are not connected to the internet, what does it matter?

As far as I am aware, no one's tried to take down a battleships NT server, Mission Impossible style.

Yeah, because the military only rely on Microsoft updates. Let's keep this real.

not exactly ground breaking info. Microsoft isn't just going to let people have Windows XP for free just because they aren't updating it anymore.