In a move that shouldn't be too shocking to anyone Blizzard will drop support for Windows XP and Vista in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm. Windows XP was a staple of Desktop computing for years but has been very unsupported by Microsoft since 2014. If you are on XP or Vista I seriously recommend you upgrade to 7, 8 or 10 as those offer you security updates and a more streamlined experience. With that, I imagine many people own old hardware that a modern OS just won't run on and if that's the case then i'd consider those machines a sort of retro game PC. Lots of older Blizzard games on CD will still work on XP as well as anything released from that era you have kicking around on physical media.

Curious if this change will cause any of you to lose access to any of the mentioned Blizzard games? Drop your thoughts in the comments.

"Starting later this year, we will begin the process of ending support for Windows XP and Windows Vista in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm. Microsoft ceased mainstream support for these versions of Windows in 2009 and 2012, respectively, but since a decent portion of our audience was still using them at the time, we continued supporting them. However, there have been three major Windows releases since Vista, and at this point, the vast majority of our audience has upgraded to one of the newer versions.

After these older operating systems are no longer supported, the games will not run on them, so we encourage any players who are still using one of the older OSes to upgrade to a newer version. We’ll be rolling out this change on a staggered schedule, and will post further notices as we get closer to making the change for each game.

Travis   Admin wrote on 02/19/2017 at 03:48am

I imagine any PC without at least Windows 7 isn't getting much gaming love these days.

It's possible those old machines could still have a life in modern times, though. XP is one thing, but even crappy PCs that came with Vista run better with 7, 8, and 10. They haven't changed a ton of the functional system requirements. I upgraded a crappy Vista pc through 7, 8, and 10 and it runs better now than ever. I use it for things I want to watch on TV but can't do so in any other way than through a browser.

That said, OS upgrades from Microsoft didn't always come with a free upgrade window like they did for 10, so you may not have a cheap/free upgrade path. If you have spare licenses and you don't mind potentially wasting one on a PC that might not have much of a life left, give it a shot.

If you have a Vista PC and this is causing you headaches I don't recommend paying for an upgrade to your OS; put that money toward a new computer.

But as for Blizzard's statement that "the games will not run on them," I bet an enterprising XP holdout could figure out how to make it work. I highly doubt there's a major audience for it, though.

Will_Ball   Game Mod   Super Member wrote on 02/19/2017 at 02:55pm


jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 02/19/2017 at 05:21pm


smile It might be a smaller percentage but some people in that thread were upset about this. When we shipped Starship Rubicon XP was a target OS and I do remember a few people submitting bug reports on it(If memory serves). I respect people getting as much life out of a computer as they can. I love for things to last forever too and I have a machine or two with XP on it kicking around. I don't use it as a daily driver though.

Travis   Admin wrote on 02/19/2017 at 09:27pm

> I have a machine or two with XP on it kicking around

I hope by "kicking around" you mean "disconnected from the internet unless absolutely necessary," because there are some serious security issues with XP that will never get patched. One big reason Microsoft tries to get people to upgrade for really amazingly cheap (Windows 8) or free (Windows 10) is because of "vaccination" in a sense. Unsupported operating systems get infected more easily leading to more crap spreading around and more botnets. Don't be part of a botnet, Jon! :D

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 02/20/2017 at 04:49pm

Thanks Travis.

Connecting a insecure device to your personal network doesn't get it compromised in seconds but if I connected it direct to the Ineternet it might. That might be a fun thing to try too. Connect a Windows XP box to the net and wait to see how long it would take till it gets owned. Since I can turn it off easily enough that might be a fun experiment.

Travis   Admin wrote on 02/20/2017 at 08:35pm

Haha, yeah. I've seen that done for a laugh and it really takes next to no time at all. It's nuts!

And that was even when it was still a supported OS!

But I wasn't even talking about using it directly connected, and I wasn't saying just having it there would get it infected in seconds. Just sitting there doing nothing on your network, it's fine for the most part (not entirely), but it has a nutty amount of security holes just waiting for a malware download. Even using what you'd think is secure software. Since there's no UAC like there is in Windows Vista and above, even a responsible user with a trusty install of Firefox (not including Chrome since you can't run a secure Chrome on XP anymore) can get screwed if an ad network gets compromised, which happens. Even the most trusted ones. Microsoft was handing out malware once because the ad network they used got compromised.

If you disable the hell out of unneeded services and install an outgoing firewall (your router has you covered on incoming, for the most part but again not entirely) and only use it for old games that don't work on Vista and above, and you do no web browsing, you'll heavily mitigate the risk.

And just to be clear, it's a matter of percentages. I'm not saying XP is 100% guaranteed to get malware, not by a long shot. But it's an entirely static target now since it will never change, and it's facing dynamic threats now, and anything can happen.

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