Since Microsoft has decided to cease support for Windows XP on April 8 (which means it’ll no longer receive updates), the company has gone on a campaign extolling the virtues of its newer OSes, especially Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, with the latter receiving a major update just last month.
Still, many people are hanging onto Windows XP. And they probably will continue to do so now that BetaNews has posted a trick to make the 13-year-old OS to continue to receive updates all the way to April 2019. In short, it involves a registry hack to trick Microsoft’s update servers into thinking that the Windows XP system is running Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 (a.k.a. Windows Embedded Industry). The reason why this works (verified by ZDNet) is because Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 is based on Windows XP Service Pack 3. This registry hack works only on 32-bit systems, though there’s another workaround for 64-bit ones.
Naturally, Microsoft doesn’t approve of this hack. In a statement to ZDNet, a Microsoft spokesperson warned that the ‘security updates that could be installed are intended for Windows Embedded and Windows Server 2003 customers and do not fully protect Windows XP customers’, and those who use this method to keep their XP machines updated may also ‘run a significant risk of functionality issues’ since they aren’t designed for Windows XP in the first place.