Feeds

1 in 7 WinXP-using biz bods DON'T KNOW Microsoft is pulling the plug

Survey - Redmond so busy pushing Win 8, some IT directors didn't get the memo

Boost IT visibility and business value

A large number of Microsoft customers are in for a rude awakening on 8 April 2014.

With less than 400 days to go, 15 per cent of those running Windows XP are still unaware that that’s the date Microsoft finally turns off all support for its legacy PC operating system, according to a recent survey.

After 8 April next year, Microsoft will no longer make bug fixes or security updates for Windows XP, meaning customers will be naked and vulnerable to hackers and viruses and on their own in terms of code updates and fixes. Support for Office 2003 also finishes on the same date, with the same implications.

The findings come from a survey of 250 strategic IT types by application migration specialist Camwood, which polled chief information officers, technology officers and IT directors at organisations that run more than 2,000 PCs.

Fifteen per cent is a decent chunk of the Microsoft customer base. Windows XP is still used on 39 per cent of desktops – just behind Windows 7 on 44 per per cent.

XP was first released in 2001. Since its release, Redmond has pushed out Vista (2006/7), Windows 7 (2009) and its most recent OS, Windows 8 (2012).

Where there is awareness of the end of support, Camwood found 32 per cent of XPers still have not started migrating to newer versions of Windows.

That means this group will almost certainly end up running Windows XP past Microsoft’s April 2014 cut-off, and be in exactly the same predicament in terms of vulnerability to hackers and malware - and of course won't be receiving any code fixes.

Kevin van Heerden, Camwood’s head of software, told The Reg there’s no chance that those who have yet to begin the process will be able to migrate in time. Even a basic migration of just 1,000 PCs would take more than a year, depending on application and data complexity.

“Windows XP is the hackers port of call in terms of trying to get a foot hold and establish botnets,” Van Heerden told The Reg. “They are opening themselves up to risk. It’s like letting your car insurance expire – the car won’t stop working, but you are exposed to a lot of risk.”

The application migration specialist blamed the launch of Windows 8 and Microsoft’s frenetic push for consumer adoption of the new kit for the fact so many customers still don’t know about the end of support. The same was not true for previous versions of Windows, said Van Heerden.

Some customers are confused about whether to go with Windows 8 or Windows 7. This, of course, has implications from the perspective of the PC hardware that they will buy – whether it’s touch-enabled or not – and application migrations. This is adding another layer of decision-taking to the Windows XP migration debate.

“One customer said if you are going to push a new UI on employees, you might as well go all in and go Windows 8 rather than Windows 7,” Van Heerden said.

The software migration specialist says that in other organisations, there has been a grass-roots rejection of anything that takes end users away from their beloved Windows XP. “In a large percentage, they have had staff resistance – a grass roots saying they want to stay on Windows XP because they are familiar with it,” he said.

Van Heerden also said that there had been an absence of leadership from Microsoft on migrations, which he believed was caused by Redmond’s focus on consumers instead of businesses with Windows 8 - adding that the emphasis on product launches during 2012 had diluted messaging.

“There was a lot more buzz around the turn of the century because people were rolling Windows NT 4 and Year 2000 projects together, and there was an immense amount of IT experience. The move to Windows XP was a huge exercise on Microsoft’s part but last year was largest year in Microsoft’s history.

"With new versions of Windows Server 2012, operating system (Windows 8) and mobile, [Window XP migrations] are getting lost in the confusion,” he said. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.