HP, VMware, Google Cashing in on End of Support for Windows XP

Anup Varier December 6, 2013

Tech vendors are using end-of-support for Windows XP as a marketing pitch to promote their own products.

Microsoft, as we all know by now, formally announced that it will wash its hands off Windows XP as soon the month of April is torn off the 2014 Calendar. Not only did this announcement lead Microsoft to commission a study, whose results threatened multi-crore losses for Indian banks but it also led them to use the popular micro-blogging site Twitter to warn users off XP with a #SwitchfromXP hashtag.

But another interesting development on the back of this announcement has been the promotion afforded to certain products and services from other technology vendors. HP, for example, pitched its Connected Backup 8.8 as a means to meet the needs of organizations facing large-scale data migrations. “This solution eliminates the risk of data loss during migrations, enables fast, reliable and secure migration of data to new PCs, and eliminates the need for costly and laborious migration tools and IT intervention,” said the company’s release.

Vmware’s recent acquiree in the Desktop-as-a-Service domain – Desktone – used this opportunity to showcase how IT departments tight on time and strapped for cash could leverage the benefits of cloud technology, combined with the promises of VDI (the cost and complexity), to have full Windows 7 desktops up and running in a matter of weeks, not months, accessible on any device, from anywhere.

Not one to be left behind, Google lapped up the marketing opportunity when it presented itself. The search giant has been trying hard to sell its Chromebooks and used the end of Microsoft’s support for Windows XP to highlight the vulnerability of machines running the OS and how unpatched browser bugs are often used by malware to infect such PCs. “We’re extending support for Chrome on Windows XP, and will continue to provide regular updates and security patches until at least April 2015,” claimed Google in a post.

While Google says its goal is to support organization still running application on the OS and Chrome for XP users during the transition process, analysts, however, have noted that this looks more like a ploy to get users more comfortable with the Chrome interface and ease the transition onto Chromebooks.

The company hoping to make the most out of organizations reluctance to move out of Windows XP is Paris-based Arkoon. Owned by the Cassidian security arm of European defence giant EADS, Arkoon is offering its ExtendedXP, or EXP, product to organizations that can't or won't make the move away from Windows XP before the end-of-life date.

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