Organizations Likely to Stick with Windows Even as Support for XP Ends in 2014

Anup Varier December 4, 2013

Depending on the risk appetite of organizations in general and their CIOs in particular, end of Microsoft’s support for XP could end up being a big deal.

With the end of Microsoft support for Windows XP looming large over enterprises both small and large and Microsoft losing no chance to warn its customers about the problems they’d face if the stick with XP, we spoke to some analysts to check if organizations, currently on XP, have an option of moving out of the Windows ecosystem altogether. The short answer seems to be a resounding no.

Kiran Kumar, Manager-Client Devices, IDC India makes it clear that end of support for Windows XP only means that PCs running the OS would no longer receive patches from Microsoft for security vulnerabilities and not that systems will drop dead come the April 2014 deadline. But depending on the risk appetite of organizations in general and their CIOs in particular, this detail could end up being a big deal.

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Ovum points out that the reality for most enterprises is that Microsoft still offers the most compelling office productivity environment for desktops and laptops.  Alternatives such as Linux and Apple OS X occupy only small niches of the overall market. “Microsoft is also investing in Azure and Office365 to ensure that it offers a path towards cloud services, so we expect to see most XP customers eventually ‘bite the bullet’ as their old hardware is refreshed and the risks of running unsupported software start to become more evident,” said Steve Hodgkinson, Research Director IT, Ovum.