Research: 37 percent continuing with Microsoft XP post support

Summary:Microsoft support for Windows XP expires in April 2014. Tech Pro Research's recent survey uncovered future plans of organizations that use the venerable OS.

Microsoft support for Windows XP officially expires in April 2014. Tech Pro Research conducted an online survey of 641 respondents to discover the future plans of organizations that currently use Windows XP. The survey sought to uncover what's driving the decision to stick with Windows XP, if that is the case. Or, if they're moving away from Windows XP, what operating system will they be using next.

In the resulting report, The end of Windows XP support: Concerns and upgrade plans, it was somewhat startling to find that 37 percent of respondents do intend to continue using the venerable OS — despite the fact that Microsoft will no longer develop security patches or updates for it.

Windows XP survey

Windows XP has maintained a dominant share of the desktop OS segment for more than a decade. Windows 7 is now the leading OS, and the use of Windows XP has been declining during the past year. Even so, according to data from Net Applications, it still makes up almost a third of the desktop OS market, and has nearly three times the market share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 combined.

The results of the survey in terms of the mix of desktops versus laptops and other form factors, and what organizations plan to purchase as they migrate from Windows XP to a new OS, are surprising, and do not reflect the prevailing perception that desktop PCs are a dying breed.

The survey focused on the following areas:

  • Plans once Windows XP support ends
  • Reasons for sticking with Windows XP
  • Reasons for leaving Windows XP
  • Preferred OS
  • Plans for desktop PCs
  • Replacement choices for desktop PCs

Plans for machines currently running Windows XP

With so many organizations reporting Windows XP in use on 81 to 100 percent of the PCs, you might expect an equally large percentage to be planning to abandon Windows XP as support expires. That does not seem to be the case. The below chart shows that more than 60 percent of respondents either don't have Windows XP in the first place, or plan to upgrade to another operating system. However, a significant percentage of respondents plan to simply stick with Windows XP — second only to upgrading to Windows 7.

windows xp chart 1

 

Reasons for sticking with Windows XP

Respondents cited three prevailing reasons for choosing the risk of continuing to run Windows XP over upgrading to a new operating system: cost; critical software that requires Windows XP; and the "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it" mentality. A frequent choice among survey respondents was, "it works, so there's no need to change," with 40 percent choosing this option. The next most popular reason for sticking with Windows XP, at 39 percent was "Crucial software depends on Windows XP." Cost came in third with the remaining 21 percent.

To read more on the subject, download the full Tech Pro Research report, The end of Windows XP support: Concerns and upgrade plans. The report is free to all Tech Pro Research subscribers.

TechRepublic, which is ZDNet's sister site, and its premium site Tech Pro Research, provide information that IT leaders need to solve today's toughest IT problems and make informed decisions. Visit Tech Pro Research for information on becoming a member.

Topics: Microsoft, Windows

About

Teena Hammond is a senior editor at TechRepublic. She has 20 years of journalism experience as an editor and writer covering a range of business and lifestyle topics. More than 2,000 of her published articles have appeared online and in books, newspapers and magazines around the world.

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