NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Microsoft (MSFT) disclosed on Saturday that a third-party computer security firm found a flaw in their Internet Explorer Web browser and that hackers have already cyber-attacked some U.S. companies. This could become a widespread problem as the company prepares a software patch to close the holes.
According to Reuters, 55% of all personal computers use some version of Internet Explorer. In addition, computers still running Windows XP will not be provided with a fix for this potential security breach.
On April 7, I wrote Will Investors Support Microsoft After It Ends Windows XP Support? The answer to this question turned out to be yes as the company reported better-than-expected earnings when it reported quarterly results after the closing bell on April 24. The company beat analysts' earnings per share estimates by 6 cents, earning 68 cents a share. The stock traded as high as $40.68 on April 25 but stayed below its multiyear intraday high at $41.66 set on April 2. It is currently at $41, up nearly 10% for the year to date.
My opinion on Windows XP is the same as it was on April 7. "Microsoft should reconsider suspending support due to the continued wide use of Windows XP...I say they risk class-action lawsuits given potential significant breaches." This new security flaw makes in more important for Microsoft to renew support for XP.
In my article I mentioned that Window XP is still widely used by 44% of businesses and that 30% of all PC computers still use Windows XP. I don't believe that these statistics have changed much. It is not a prudent business decision to stop supporting such a popular product given the cyber-security risks Microsoft chooses to ignore.