It seems that every IT analyst and tech writer has foretold the end of the world as we know it for many months now. It has fallen on slightly hard of hearing ears, though. As April 2014 looms, there's an air of discontent among IT pros. Many don't want to change from Windows XP. XP is just too good. The only Microsoft alternatives are Windows 7 or Windows 8 but for many who face the challenge of upgrade and migration, neither of these are great choices. To be sure, this is the winter of our discontent.
Spiceworks just released survey results today covering the issues with moving away from Windows XP.
An astonishing 76 percent of IT professionals run Windows XP on some devices today, and of those, 36 percent will leave Windows XP on at least one device as the operating system EOLs.
"The data clearly illustrates how prevalent Windows XP remains 12 years after its initial release," said Kathryn Pribish, Voice of IT program manager at Spiceworks. "The next four months will be a busy time for the majority of IT professionals migrating XP-based systems and for the vendors who can provide professional services and support for resource-strained IT departments."
I converted away from Windows XP years ago but not right away. IT pros want to be on the leading edge of technology but are very conservative when it comes to their spheres of responsibility. They want to feel comfortable with the new technology before converting the masses to it.
Windows Vista was not a good choice, so we all waited for something better. When Windows 7 hit the market, we were all still skeptical about it and let it smolder for a while before taking the full leap. But twelve years later, we're kind of at the point of ridiculous as far as moving to a newer operating system.
Windows 7 has proven itself. But, unfortunately, Windows 7 isn't getting any younger either. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 are the new kids on the block and they want to play. It's already nearly impossible to find a system that doesn't have Windows 8.x on it.
It's time to convert to something newer. Actually, the window for intelligent conversion has passed. If you were going to convert to Windows 7, the latest time to have completed conversion was eighteen months ago. If you convert to Windows 7 now, you're likely to have very unhappy users because Windows 8 has arrived and a lot of users on the personal side are using it.
Because so many users have Windows 8 on their personal devices and feel somewhat comfortable with it, they will naturally want that same experience at work.
The answer to the dilemma for IT pros is to allow users to bring their own devices to work. Yep, you guessed it: BYOD is the answer to the ultimate question.
The ultimate question: How do we, as a company, convert everyone to a new operating system?
The answer: You don't. But you don't stay on Windows XP either.
Return the old computers. Surely they're off lease by now. If you purchased them, sell them off to your employees, transfer the warranties (if possible), and rid yourselves of the problem entirely.
Goodbye Windows XP. You served us well for many years. It's time to let your life force slip away into oblivion and to allow your legacy (no pun intended) to follow you into the annals of history. Let us speak fondly of you and refer to your reign with us as "the good ol' days".
"You had a good run."