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Mac users must decide whether to keep running the old, stale Windows, or upgrade


For many Mac users, their Windows version of choice is likely to be Windows XP. And with the conjunction of Microsoft this month orphaning XP (the XPocalypse), and the vulnerability announced by Redmond over the weekend, Mac users must decide whether to keep running the old, stale Windows, or upgrade.

Microsoft said the exploit was still being investigated and the company hasn’t worked out a fix.

All versions of Internet Explorer from 6 through 11 are listed as vulnerable as well as all supported versions of Windows other than Server Core. Windows Server versions on which IE is run in the default Enhanced Security Configuration are not vulnerable unless an affected site is placed in the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone.

But is this such a problem for Macs running Windows? Not so much.

The latest version of Boot Camp, Version 5.1, supports Windows 8.1 and also comes with drivers for 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8. The previous Boot Camp 4 supported only Windows 7, including Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional and Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate. Windows XP and Windows Vista are not supported with Boot Camp 4, however, older Macs running Mac OS X versions before Lion can run Windows XP and Vista.

The latest security issue announced this weekend concerns running Internet Explorer on any version of Windows. So, Boot Camp users should move to a more modern browser, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

However, there are no XP restrictions in Parallels Desktop for Mac and VMware Fusion 6 lke there are in Boot Camp. Both can run any version of Windows from XP on up.

At the same time, there are fewer security problems running XP in a virtual machine. And especially on a Mac. I was interested to find that one of the new features of Parallels 9 is its Security Center, which helps customers manage installations of security subscriptions for their Windows virtual machine and for the Mac itself.

Still, like the rest of the PC users in the world, Mac users face this choice about XP. The Mac preference for XP doesn’t stem from a great love for old-fashioned software. But just as some 29 percent of current PC users still find, XP is inexpensive and readily available. So, their choices are the same.

Source: Associated Press


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