Windows XP: How fast can companies unwind it?

Windows XP: How fast can companies unwind it?

Summary: About 40 percent of companies are still running Windows XP, but IBM's Fiberlink expects that figure to fall quickly.


The end of life date for Windows XP has come and gone, but many companies are still running the dated operating system. How fast companies can upgrade off of XP---after all we're talking about enterprises that are slow movers anyway---will go a long way toward minimizing the security hit.

The end of XP support: The complete guide for stayers and switchers

Microsoft issues final Windows XP, Office 2003 patches

Windows XP support end: 10 steps to cut security risks

End of Windows XP support slowing PC industry bleed, says Gartner

How we got from Windows XP to Windows 8.1

According to Fiberlink, an IBM company, about 40 percent of companies are still running Windows XP. Of that percentages, two to three large banks are contributing a big chunk of the total. Fiberlink doesn't track ATMs, so the data represents PCs and laptops.

Excluding those large enterprises about 25 percent or so are still running Windows XP.

Chuck Brown, director of product management at Fiberlink, said that companies are actively migrating or planning to jump from XP. "These companies have a lot of proprietary software and haven't converted over," said Brown. "Even if Microsoft won't support XP what third parties like Oracle with Java and Adobe with Flash will do."

Nevertheless, Brown said he expects XP totals to go down almost weekly. Federal is the industry migrating away from XP the fastest. Financials are also expected to come down at a decent clip. Airlines and utilities also are heavy XP users. Most companies will move to Windows 7---Windows 8 is too much of a leap. 

A quick poll of more than 100 IT pros and Fiberlink customers show that 44 percent plan to move off of XP in ` 1 to 5 months and another 6 percent plan to jump in 6 to 12 months. Sixteen percent plan on leaving XP when it breaks down completely.

Add it up and the best we can hope for is that XP users upgrade in a year where no major security event occurs. As for the 16 percent that are waiting for XP to completely blow up they'll get what they deserve.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Windows, Windows XP and the Future of the Desktop

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  • Which, of course, was

    The entire point. Not enough people were buying a new OS from Microsoft, so they needed a little push.
    • What kind of push?

      "Not enough people were buying a new OS from Microsoft, so they needed a little push."
      • Do you really want people

        to think you are this stupid?
        • Yes, I do.

          So please answer the question.
    • Dude, its been 12 freaking years

      That's one long slow push don't you think?
  • What happens when XP does not get attacked?

    So this so called end of support dooms day senario we have been reading about. What happens if it does not happen? Or its significance can be handled and controlled by third party security?
    Its not like upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8 will make you 100% secure. Considering XP has always been a security issue even with updates. That has not bothered a whole lot of XP users so far. I think Microsoft can only cry wolf so many times on XP and then it has to let it go.
    • the reality

      if you have an up-to date firewall, anti virus and don't execute random downloaded crap...nothing will ever happen.
      • Why Should Companies Have To?

        If the boxes are not on the Internet then they are relatively safe.

        Even if you are on the Net, if you have antivirus and Malwarebytes you should be okay.

        However, ANYONE surfing for porn, visiting other risky sites, and downloading virus laden fake torrents is in trouble.
        • This could be said of any OS...supported or not.

          "However, ANYONE surfing for porn, visiting other risky sites, and downloading virus laden fake torrents is in trouble."

          As already stated it's not like supported operating systems haven't been compromised. How many XP installations have been compromised despite it having been supported up until last week?
      • but will it run new software?

        Well, there's also the lack of new drivers and whether new software will be supported to be considered too.
      • Not quite

        While what you advocate is good advice you are overlooking that XP is in a perpetual 0-day exploit status because no patches are being issued. How severe is this problem, truthfully it is hard to tell because to many factors come into play. For example, 25% of the computers connecting to the Internet are running XP. Of these, I have not seen reliable data about how many of these are already infected as undoubtedly some already are.
    • Wolf crying is all MSFT can do

      Let's look at the facts:

      1. Well over 50% of big business is still on XP, including the Federal Government. Even IRS migrated only half its systems by the deadline.
      2. These big houses have a lot of proprietary software already protecting the OS. They have whole IT departments, dedicated to the problem.
      3. Their risk is really in the smaller parts of their operation, where individual employees have laptops and dedicated workstations, for whatever reason.
      4. They already have lockdown procedures in place.

      So what is the risk? Really, minimal. And what is the problem? MSFT could have made its newer OS versions, have the same interface as XP, but be upgraded under-the-hood for whatever alleged security patches, were needed. This would have made migration far less painful, and many (including me) would have jumped to 'upgrade'. But MSFT instead made migration totally onerous, by eliminating drivers, backwards-compatibility, and creating a disturbing interface with worse file management and other functions which make using the later OS, very painful and expensive.

      So it's MSFT's fault. No one else's. MSFT cheated its shareholders, its developers, the OEMs, the user. All for no good reason. For the interface doesn't have to change, when the under the hood security changes, do. The changes can be rerouted subroutines for whatever alleged 'holes' had existed. Conceptually simple to do: just target the 'holes', write a subroutine which redirects outside the kernel or wherever is 'safer', and done. But MSFT didn't do that.

      Further, each OS iteration post XP, is not compatible with each OS iteration after it: Win7 is not compatible with Vista, 8 is not compatible with 7, and each iteration removes whatever was good in the prior one. So the client ends up going through this pain over and over and over.

      And now, with Update 1, everyone who was loyal anyway and went to 8.1, is now shanghaied -- must upgrade by May 14, or no more security patches.

      If this were any other product, the customers would be writing their Congressmen asking for a law against it. Were this a car, everyone would sue the manufacturer. Not that I believe in suing, mind you -- but it's a good analogy to how CLUELESS we are, when it comes to MSFT cheating us.

      I want MSFT to make money. I don't want it penalized. But clearly the company cannot be trusted to do the right thing, which is to offer PAID SUPPORT to everyone who wants it. A large audience in the millions, means MSFT could make a ton of noble profit by supporting XP and later OSes beyond the five years, for a basic security-patch annual fee of $50 per machine. That would make them more money than if the client migrated. Year after year.

      But of course, this SENSIBLE solution, is refused by MSFT. Because, let's face it: they hate us. Or are completely seed-pod people at the top, take your pick.
      • What... Are you talking about?

        Vista programs work on 7, and 7 programs work on 8, and 8 programs work on 8.1.

        The only thing different are drivers, and even then, only GPUs or proprietary hardware really have an issue.

        Also, Update 1 is a FREE update that is automatically distributed through WINDOWS UPDATE.

        If you're angry about operating systems being abandoned, then take a good look at Apple, not Microsoft.

        If you don't like either, then switch to Linux and code your own OS.

        XP has had its run, just let it die already. Software gets old, sometimes you need to move on.
        • Forever Cookie, you are quite disingenuous

          All you would have to do is google in 'Win8 problems' or 'Vista problems' or 'Windows 7 problems' to see how INCOMPATIBLE is each OS iteration versus the one prior. Since you don't do that, you are prevaricating, pretending to something well known and documented on the internet for YEARS.

          So your comment proves you worthless.
          • I've gone from Vista -> 7 -> 8 -> 8.1/8.1.1 with a single computer.

            Real life experience trumps random articles on the internet.

            If an application is coded correctly, then it works.

            Office 2007 for example, continues working fine for me.

            Are there compatibility issues? Of course, every OS has them.

            Is it as horrible as you make it out to be? It depends on what you're using.

            Besides that, my comment may be worthless, but yours is more so for replying to it in the first place.
        • One point

          brainout had 1 point, backwards compatibility. MS did remove 16 bit (Windows 3 / 95) support in Windows 7 64 bit. so the old software from the 90s makes problems. That said, the companies have had nearly 2 decades to work on a more modern replacement.
        • Windows 7 Sucks

          You can move on. Stop worrying about us XP users. We're happy. Ain't that all that matters.
      • Funny

        What a ludicrous, funny post.
    • Nothing

  • ticking time bomb?

    Sure in the near future we will hear tech reports of XP computers sending out malware but windows computers have always done that no matter the patch revision.

    Some companies can not upgrade or find similar or alternate solutions.

    Either the hardware the pc is connected to is out dated and the company no longer is in operation so they must keep it at XP and Windows 7 crashes on the old hardware so it is unsupported.

    From what I read elsewhere that xp support will double each year and if you have over 4,000 xp machines then in 4 years it can come close to a million dollars to support then also when you are trying to stay in SOCKS compliance so you are also being dinged there as well.