CIOs may not wish to carry on running a 12-year-old desktop operating system (OS), but many have no choice. Support for Windows XP will end on 8 April 2014, but there are thousands of applications that cannot be moved to a newer OS because they are incompatible. Originally launched in 2001, Windows XP is Microsoft’s most successful operating system. Once the company had revamped security and hardened the bug-ridden Internet Explorer (IE) web browser in 2004, XP evolved into a relatively stable platform with the Service Pack 2 (SP2) release.
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Microsoft tried to convince enterprises to refresh their desktop OS with Windows Vista in 2005, but many had just upgraded to Windows XP SP2 so did not have the stomach, or the cash, to refresh PCs again. Even Windows 7, which was released in 2009, has been a bit of a slow burner for Microsoft.
But unlike Vista, many businesses have bought into the upgrade path and are migrating from XP to Windows 7.
“With Microsoft withdrawing support in April 2014, there won’t be any more patch Tuesdays for Windows XP,” warns Grant Tiller, senior product manager at RES Software. “Rather than take a straight upgrade to Windows 7, people are looking at alternatives, one of which is to stick with XP.”