Monday, May 5, 2014

Microsoft forced to support XP

XP keeps going, and going, and going ....
Click here for related story [Steve Ranger - ZDNet]

Microsoft [MS] has decided to once again "support" Windows XP -- the most popular, the most reliable, and the most used MS Operating System [OS] since Microsoft was founded.

Millions of XP users regarded it as perhaps the only Microsoft OS that ever functioned efficiently, and most users kept their old versions handy in the event the newer versions failed -- which occurred routinely [and still does with the latest MS OS version 8.1].

Subsequent OS versions all had major flaws that resulted in frequent crashes and reboots, and most were vulnerable to viruses, requiring almost daily patches and updates.

Thus, many users kept XP as their primary, or backup MS Operating System, foregoing the headaches of subsequent OS releases, all of which were not inexpensive.  According to NetMarketShare research, XP still accounts for 26% of the PCs connected to the Internet.  Windows 8 and 8.1 have a combined share of only 12%.

A few weeks ago, MS announced it would no longer support XP, since it was "too expensive" to support.
[Interpretation: Too many people were continuing to use XP and not buying the latest MS operating system.]

And, amazingly enough, "hackers" immediately attacked XP, crippling it, in turn, shutting down countless federal and state government sites which used XP to support their Internet Explorer apps.

And, then, Internet Explorer got hacked!
Good heavens!

Well, in reality, it had been hacked two years ago [September 2012 to be exact], but they only discovered the hack recently, meaning all that metadata has been flowing into hackers' databanks for at least two years.

Now, the implications for that hacking are pretty serious, since the federal government demanded that all job applications be processed ONLY via Internet Explorer, meaning that every, and we repeat EVERY federal job application, complete with applicants' full personal and professional history, to include social security numbers, and full security clearance data, had been HACKED, by "hackers unknown".

So, since the Internet Explorer browser was hacked, Microsoft, in a "decent and generous" gesture, decided to continue to support XP -- for just a bit longer -- and "patches" have now been issued, but ONLY because Microsoft is such a giving and loving company.
[Be still our beating heart, we're all aflutter over this generous outpouring of gratuitous support.]

NSA reads your email to
protect you from terrorism
A cynic might suggest the hackers were employed by the NSA -- which has always had a warm and fuzzy relationship with Microsoft, which could then deny Hoovering that information themselves, but merely accepted all that metadata from their contractor hackers.

[Re: Prism.  Between July - December 2012, Microsoft received up to 7,000 national security warrants, subpoenas and orders, affecting up to 32,000 consumer accounts]

But, but, but, why that's preposterous!
By Gawd!
If we can't trust our government, and particularly NSA and Microsoft, who CAN we trust!

But, we digress.

Shutting down federal government sites seemed to draw some fire from federal heavyweights, who were somewhat annoyed that such systems as federal payrolls, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security were crashing.
So now, Microsoft has decided to "support" XP again, while it officially fixes the hacks on Internet Explorer.

[Some wags note that the federal government is the only "willing" user [because it's mandatory] of Internet Explorer, and the rest of the population avoids it as if it were the Honey Badger.]  It's notable, of course, that this situation became mandatory after Microsoft was suddenly no longer the target of an anti-trust suit for it's monopolistic practices [i.e., IE was an inseparable part of the Microsoft Operating System].

As luck would have it, Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser was hacked, so Microsoft, in a "decent and generous" gesture, decided to continue supporting XP -- for juuuusssst a bit longer.
Feel better now?

One Beelion Dollars!
Remind us again who the richest man in the world is, and which company ranks at the top of the profitability list?

Why, gosh, it's Bill Gates, who made his Beelions from selling Microsoft operating systems - each one worse than the previous one.

And it's "TOO EXPENSIVE" for Microsoft to maintain its most popular and efficient system?

Gimme a break!