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Windows XP lives again? Registry hack grants security updates until 2019

By now, you’re probably well aware of the fact that Microsoft decided to end support for Windows XP on April 8. But what if there was a secret way to get around Microsoft’s refusal to continue providing support, and receive Windows XP security updates anyway?

It appears that such a workaround may indeed exist.

Though the consumer oriented versions of Windows XP are no longer officially supported, there are still many systems running on a version of the OS dubbed Windows Embedded Industry, which continues to receive updates. Windows Embedded Industry is made for devices like retail kiosks, point-of-sale terminals, and similar devices. If you’ve ever run into a frozen train ticket vending machine and wondered why the on-screen image looks like Windows XP, it might have been running Windows Embedded Industry, which is based on Windows XP Service Pack 3.

Using a fairly simple registry tweak, you can allegedly pull the updates meant for use with Windows Embedded Industry to your Windows XP PC. These updates are more or less the same ones that you’d receive if Microsoft were still supporting the consumer-focused flavors of XP, so with these updates, your PC may be pretty well guarded on the Web.

By using such methods, you could provide your Windows XP PC with a form of support until April 9, 2019, according to this Microsoft life cycle fact sheet (here, the OS whose updates you would be pulling is officially called Windows Embedded POSReady 2009).There are two versions of this hack available: one for the 32-bit versions of Windows XP, and another for the 64-bit variants.

Keep in mind that using such trickery always comes with risks, so we can’t by any means say that this is a fool-proof measure, which will allow your system to run free through the Internet while going unscathed by malware and other cyber-ickyness. Therefore, you should use these hacks, and these updates, all at your own risk. 

Could Microsoft simply plug this hole and make it impossible to use these hacks? Perhaps, and only time will tell whether Redmond will choose to take such actions.

However, by doing so, they’d only upset consumers. Then, you might begin to find cheaper Chromebooks a bit more appealing.

We’ll follow up shortly with how-tos that will tell you how to get your hands on these updates.