May 2nd 2014
Windows XP operating system users will receive the security update that Microsoft has issued to fix a flaw in its Internet Explorer (IE) browser discovered earlier this week.
The company issued the update yesterday to fix a bug that enabled hackers to gain access and user rights to certain Windows computers. It had not been expected that the update would be issued to XP users as support for the old operating system ceased on April 8th. However, Microsoft said that it had made an exception as the flaw was discovered only a matter of days after the support for XP ended.
In a blog post, Adrienne Hall, General Manager of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft, said: "Even though Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and is past the time we normally provide security updates, we've decided to provide an update for all versions of Windows XP."
The flaw – which Microsoft said it was aware of "limited, targeted attacks" to exploit – impacted versions 6 to 11 of the browser. These versions account for more than half of the global web browser market (source: NetMarket Share).
Microsoft has also said: "This update is fully tested and ready for release for all affected versions of the browser. The majority of customers have automatic updates enabled and will not need to take any action because protections will be downloaded and installed automatically."