I guess we can say that Microsoft does monitor the pulse of its community of users. While the pressure to continue support for Windows XP has not really yielded any practical results, it seems that the noise surrounding the “death” of Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows XP has prompted Microsoft think twice. Not long after the official announcement, Microsoft backtracked, saying the XP anti-malware support is going to continue in spite of the end-of-life date having been determined for the popular operating system.
This is certainly reason for Windows XP users to rejoice, but we cannot deny that the end-of-life date for XP is not going to disappear into thin air. That stands, and the XP anti-malware support is also on its deathbed.
For now, XP users have to be satisfied with the fact that Microsoft will continue to release signatures that will protect computers running on XP from malware. Until July 2015, that is.
These signatures covers Microsoft Security Essentials, among other things.
Again, this is but a respite for Windows XP users. Support for the widespread operating system will still end on April 8 of this year. Additionally, existing Windows XP users will NOT be able to download Microsoft Security Essentials after the said date. As such, if you do not have any plans of ditching Windows XP any time soon, you ought to make sure you have Microsoft Security Essentials downloaded before April 8. After that, you will continue to receive the updated signatures, keeping you at least safe from malware, which we know seem to favor Windows.
Another piece of positive, related news: third party anti-malware software will continue to be supported, and they will have updates on XP for the next year. Just how long that will last, we don’t really know.