[nasional_list] [ppiindia] Microsoft to End Support Of Old Windows Versions

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**http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/30/AR2006063001587.html?referrer=email

Microsoft to End Support Of Old Windows Versions

By Brian Krebs
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, July 1, 2006; Page D03 

More than 70 million Windows users will no longer be eligible for software 
security updates under a Microsoft Corp. policy to take effect July 11, 
hastening the demise of several older versions of the computer operating system.

Microsoft will end support for Windows 98, Windows 98 Special Edition (SE) and 
Windows Millennium Edition (ME). That means users of those versions will no 
longer have the protection of software fixes issued by Microsoft, potentially 
leaving them exposed to attack when hackers exploit previously unknown flaws in 
the operating systems.

Microsoft had planned to stop supporting the older versions in January 2004, 
but it extended support to give customers and businesses more time to upgrade 
to newer versions of Windows.

At the end of 2005, licensed installations of Windows 98 and Windows ME made up 
more than 13 percent of Microsoft's user base, according to Al Gillen, an 
analyst with IDC, a Framingham, Mass., market-research firm. IDC estimates that 
about 48 million computers were still running licensed versions of Windows 98 
at the end of last year, and 25 million were running Windows ME.

Gillen said he expects machines running Windows 98 and ME to account for just 6 
percent of all Windows installations by the end of this year, and that the loss 
of security patches for those operating systems will probably not be a major 
concern for users.

"The laggards are those users who are going to keep these systems around until 
[the machines] either catch fire or simply don't turn on one day," Gillen said. 
"Generally speaking, these people who run old operating systems are probably 
not waiting on the edge of their seat for the next new Windows operating system 
to arrive."

Johannes Ullrich, chief technology officer for the SANS Internet Storm Center, 
which monitors hacking trends, said Windows 98 and ME users already have a 
measure of security through obscurity, because most malicious code created 
today will not run properly on those systems.

Still, Ullrich said, many companies that make anti-spyware, anti-virus and 
software firewall programs are phasing out support for Windows 98 and ME, 
although some older versions of those products will still run on them. Ullrich 
said he would advise users of those systems to either upgrade to a newer 
version of Windows such as Windows XP, or consider switching to a Mac.

"These systems are already unsafe to run, and while not having patches doesn't 
necessarily mean people will all of a sudden write more malware for them, I 
don't think there is a real safe way" for people to continue using older 
versions of Windows, he said.

Krebs is a staff writer for washingtonpost.com.


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** Forum Nasional Indonesia PPI India Mailing List **
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