Microsoft announced yesterday that it plans to continue updating signatures on the antimalware engine it uses to protect Windows XP for more than a year beyond the date from which it plans to cut off support for the operating system.

That means enterprises still running System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune on XP systems have until July 14, 2015 to find an alternative. This also applies to Microsoft’s consumer product, Microsoft Security Essentials.

For a while now, Microsoft has been spreading the word that it will stop providing support for 12-year-old Windows XP on April 8. On that date, Microsoft no longer issue security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates to the operating system, which is still widely used.

Not until July 2015 will Microsoft stop updating the antimalware engine that protects XP users from viruses, worms, Trojans, and other threats.

“Our research shows that the effectiveness of antimalware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited,” the company wrote on its Threat Research and Response Blog. “Running a well-protected solution starts with using modern software and hardware designed to help protect against today’s threat landscape.”

Windows XP is most certainly outside the realm of “modern software.” Despite this, according to the analytics firm NetMarketShare, Windows XP still commands 28.98 percent of the operating system market. Other than Windows 7, XP remains the most popular operating system in use today.

Categories: Microsoft