Windows XP patches on the black market?
Despite what several reports say, Windows XP is still an operating system that is widely used, all over the world. And now that Microsoft has stopped its official (and free) support of this succesful OS, a lot of people find themselves in need of a scarce good: XP patches. So what happens when you need a scarce good: a black market!
An official date for the first black market is already known: May 13, 2014, since that would be the first day the formerly regular patch distribution will be no longer be initiated for Windows XP.
At least for those who don’t have that expensive contract with Microsoft. Microsoft offers these custom contracts only for sites that have at least 750 computers and are willing to pay at least $150k per year for maintaining the OS and other Microsoft software.
But a lot of small organisations weren’t able to make to step up to a more modern OS compared to Windows XP. They probably weren’t willing to pay $200 per computer for the extended support, but would be willing to pay $25 or so, as rumors say some custom contracts are settled for.
There’s no doubt that certain people will start distributing patches using the BitTorrent or NEWS channels, so predicts Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols in an opinion post on the Computerworld website. The obvious problems emerges that you don’t know the validity of these “new patches” since they’re not coming from Microsoft directly.