Apple to end support for QuickTime for Windows

OS X El Capitan QuickTime Player X icon full size

Apple reportedly has plans to deprecate support for QuickTime for Windows, according to a research note issued Thursday by software security firm Trend Micro, which found a pair of new vulnerabilities in the software. Apple will no longer be issuing security updates for QuickTime for Windows, the advisory cautions.

An Apple support document provides the steps that Windows users can follow to uninstall the software. QuickTime for Mac is unaffected.

Two fatal flaws

Trend Micro during its Zero Day Initiative discovered two critical vulnerabilities that could affect QuickTime for Windows users, ZDI-16-241 and ZDI-16-242. “And because Apple is no longer providing security updates for QuickTime on Windows, these vulnerabilities are never going to be patched.”

Trend Micro notified Apple of the flaws last November.

These vulnerabilities could be leveraged to launch attacks on PC machines if users visited a malicious web page or opened a tainted file, putting them at risk of having their sensitive data stolen from them.

“That is the only sure way to be protected against all current and future vulnerabilities in the product now that Apple is no longer providing security updates for it,” said Christopher Budd, Trend Micro’s global threat communications manager.

A spokesman for Apple declined comment.

US government recommends

Reuters says that the United States government has recommended that Windows PC users uninstall the QuickTime software following the Trend Micro report. The Register adds that Apple told Trend Micro last month that QuickTime “would be deprecated on Windows and the vendor would publish removal instructions for users.”

QuickTime for Windows was last updated in January.

QuickTime downloads

The official download webpage no longer detects when visitors use a Windows machine to redirect them to the Windows installer and instead points customers to search for previous versions of QuickTime at the Apple Support website.

Also, standalone QuickTime for Mac installers are no longer being delivered through the Download QuickTime webpage. “To get the latest version of QuickTime X, install the most recent version of OS X from the Mac App Store,” advises Apple.

Apple scaling back its Windows offerings

Windows users can uninstall QuickTime 7 from Control Panel, or use Windows Search to find “Uninstall QuickTime” and start the process that way.

This wouldn’t be the first long-standing Windows app that Apple has stopped supporting. For instance, a few years back, Apple ceased development of Safari for Windows. And before that, it had stopped bundling the Java software and Adobe’s Flash plug-in with OS X.

Moreover, Apple has also disabled Quick Time’s browser plug-in on the Mac. On Windows PCs, the media software is no longer required to use iTunes.

Source: Trend Micro via Reuters