Microsoft’s Ed Gibson has insisted that Windows XP is secure enough to continue as an active Operating System, as the debate goes on about whether it should be phased out.

XP will continue for low cost sub-10.2 inch screened laptops, but Microsoft’s major selling point for its successor Vista was the enhanced security that makes it suitable against the increased threat of cybercrime and malware.

However, Gibson – who is the security advisor for Microsoft in the UK – believes that the constant patching of XP has ensured that it also a viable alternative.

Significant difference

“Service Packs One and Two made a significant difference,” Gibson told TechRadar. “And with SP3 on its way, this isn’t something that will be a problem if XP is used for computers sold in the developing world.

“Service Pack Three ties together all the updates that people need. They could have been getting those updates through the auto-downloads, but I still talk to people, and companies for that matter, that say they don’t really update their operating system.

“I hate to use car analogies, but I will in this case. It’s like someone getting their MOT and then driving with bald tires. They are still under MOT but that doesn’t mean that their car is safe.

Dangerous drivers

"It’s a danger to both themselves and others, and that is the case with compromised computers as well.

“What is really important is that people realise they need both a fully updated Operating System and anti-virus software.

“One person can do untold amounts of damage because their computer can be used in botnets, for propagating spam or viruses or other criminal activities.”