Last Updated: 2014-04-04 13:09:40 UTC
by Rob VandenBrink (Version: 1)
Microsoft has posted their regular pre-announcement for Patch Tuesday here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin/ms14-apr
We can expect:
- The final, yes final patches for XP
- The final patches for Office 2003 also - this has gotten a lot less press than XP but is just as critical ( http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/help/support-is-ending-for-office-2003-HA103306332.aspx )
- The usual patches for other Windows and IE versions
- A couple of updates for WSUS and Windows Update. Changes to Windows Update often result in Tuesday's updates coming two parts - we'll see on Tuesday I guess
So after Tuesday, XP and Office 2003 join the ranks of the "internet of hostile things" - platforms that are no longer being patched by the vendor as new issues arise, so quickly become compromised. This includes things like your TV, your DVR or home internet router, your fridge, treadmill, IV pump, heart monitor or pacemaker - oh, and likely your phone as well - - read our stories over the last couple of months (or years really) for more on these. Unfortunately, this XP event happens all in one fell swoop - millions of hostile hosts being added to the opposing army all at once.
Fortunately, we can do something about this. Updating to Windows 7 or 8 is cheap, if your hardware is up to the task. If you've got older hardware, I'm seeing used Windows 7/8 capable desktop hardware for $100-$200 these days, and laptops seem to be in the same range. If going to a new Windows platform isn't in your future, you're probably already looking at one of the more popular Linux distributions - distros like Unbuntu, or Xubunto or Mint that try to mimic the UI that many home users are familiar with. There is a similar range of options for Office (upgrades and alternatives).
Use our comment form to let us know what you are doing or have done for your user community (or family members) that might still be on XP or Office 2003 after Tuesday.