Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st May 2014 16:45 UTC
Internet Explorer

Despite XP's end of support, Microsoft is still going to release the fix for the recent Internet Explorer vulnerability for the ageing operating system.

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 (including embedded), today. We made this exception based on the proximity to the end of support for Windows XP. The reality is there have been a very small number of attacks based on this particular vulnerability and concerns were, frankly, overblown. Unfortunately this is a sign of the times and this is not to say we don’t take these reports seriously. We absolutely do.

If you're still on Windows XP, you deserve to be insecure. Get a modern operating system - Windows 7/8, OS X, Linux, anything. XP is outdated crap, and it's time to move on.

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anda_skoa
Member since:
2005-07-07

You have two options to upgrade your OS. One is to pay the vendor a $130K NRE to port the old software to Windows 7. The other is to pay $130K for a whole new microscope.

What do you do?


The thing you do is realize that you made a mistake and ensure it doesn't happen again.

Buying expensive mission critical equipment without ensuring its maintainability over the desired usage time frame is short sighted at best, bordering on irresponsible.

Whether that is a contractual obligation of the vendor or access to technical documentation and source code (not necessarily OpenSource, lots of proprietary code has ensured availability through software escrow or similar).

It might be cheaper to buy new equipment or run it on a separated and secure network or just risk loss of confidental data, but they are not the only options

Reply Parent Score: 3

oskeladden Member since:
2009-08-05

The thing you do is realize that you made a mistake and ensure it doesn't happen again.

Buying expensive mission critical equipment without ensuring its maintainability over the desired usage time frame is short sighted at best, bordering on irresponsible.


You're assuming the buyer has a choice. I don't know much about the market for electron microscopes, but I've acted for the buyer in transactions where there's a relatively small number of manufacturers of a type of equipment, all of whom contract on a similar set of terms. You either accept those terms, or make do without the equipment.

Reply Parent Score: 3

daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

This is what I'm trying to say. Some equipment in these fields takes something like 5 or 10 years to develop, and is supported for a further 20 years, so all you can do is go with the newest OS available at the time of release and hope for the best. That's why, up until 2 years ago, I was still receiving software updates on 720k floppy disk for an instrument built around a 486 and QNX. At the time it was cutting edge, but when it takes that long to develop an instrument, you can't just knock out a new design 3 years later with a new OS. It takes at least 10 years to get your development money back, and as a result there's a 20-year gap between generations, and there's nothing the customer can do about that.

Edit: I guess it seems easier when "mission critical" means an off-the-shelf PC that can be replaced in a matter of hours if problems arise which is the case in some industries, but it's simply not possible with big, expensive, long-lifecycle instruments like my examples or the example of the electron microscope.

Edited 2014-05-04 00:12 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2