Diehard Windows XP fans are having a hard time bidding the legacy operating system farewll -- by the numbers, it's estimated that some 15 percent (StatCounter) to just under 25 percent (Net Applications) of desktops are still running Windows XP. Save for businesses that pay a fee, Microsoft killed off support for Windows XP back in April, though one developer is determined to keep it alive with a new (and unofficial) Service Pack.
Known as "harkaz" on on the RyanVM.net discussion board, he's been working on the Service Pack since September of last year. It contains official Windows XP security updates and patches intended for ATMs and POS systems running a specialized version of XP. You may recall that earlier in the year, it was discovered that XP users could continue to receive such updates via a registry hack -- the unofficial SP4 releases applies the hack by default and installs all of the fixes released up to this point.
Naturally Microsoft cautions against installing these updates on regular versions of Windows XP, saying that they're "intended for Windows Embedded and Windows Server 2003 customers and do not fully protect Windows XP customers." They also haven't undergone testing on Windows XP. Instead, Microsoft advises that Windows XP users upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.1.
Should you decide to throw caution to the wind -- bear in mind we know nothing about this developer, his coding skills, and how much testing he's done on XP machines -- you can grab the unofficial Service Pack here.