Breaking up with dead operating systems is harder to do than Microsoft thought it would be. Microsoft announced on Thursday that it was issuing a critical patch for Internet Explorer that would be compatible with Windows XP versions of the Internet browser. The new patch for XP users comes even though Microsoft swore last month that it would stop issuing patches for any XP software unless users paid the company additional money to help keep support up.
As for the patch itself, it fixes a key vulnerability in Internet Explorer that’s been found to affect IE versions 6 through 11. Microsoft says that the vulnerability “may corrupt memory in a way that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user within Internet Explorer” so that “an attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the website.”
Even though Microsoft has decided to patch this vulnerability for Windows XP users, the company still insists that no further support for the platform will be forthcoming and is encouraging users to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Microsoft will host a webcast giving more details about the vulnerability on Friday at 2 p.m. ET.