Microsoft: No ‘stampede’ away from Windows XP despite imminent deadline
by Dan Worth
Despite the support cut-off for Windows XP being less than two weeks away, there is no sign of any last-minute move away from the platform, according to Microsoft.
There are currently millions of PCs online still running XP, despite repeated efforts by Microsoft to urge businesses and individuals off XP and onto new platforms, due to the myriad security threats that are expected to appear.
But despite these endless warnings David Rodger, commercial lead for the Windows Business Group at Microsoft UK, told V3 there was no sense of “panic” from firms about moving off XP.
“We’re not seeing a stampede. Many organisations will have looked at this from a ‘T-minus’ perspective and are probably now seeing their plans come together. People have to deal with contingencies and the realities that brings.”
However, because of the approaching deadline some organisations are no doubt considering custom support for XP from Microsoft to ensure they remain protected. The NHS is embarking on this strategy at present.
However, Rodger advised firms against seeing custom support as a viable solution to the end of XP. “We have had discussions with large organisations and that is one of the options, but it is a last-case option because it is not a long-term solution,” he said.
Instead, Rodger said firms should look at new platforms, chiefly Windows 8.1, as the way forward, even over the more standard Windows 7 offering. “Windows 7 is a great operating system but for benefits around productivity, mobility, security and connectivity Windows 8.1 is the best by far.
“It also offers the ability to support touch for a mobile workforce but also brings best-in-class capabilities to support desktop environments.”
However, despite this upbeat assessment of Windows 8.1 – given the fact it occupies just 4.3 of the market for operating systems, compared with XP on almost 30 percent – it seems many firms are unconvinced.
With the cut-off date just a few days away, though, it could well be the case that many firms finally start to assess how they could move away from XP and onto new platforms such as Windows 8.1. Microsoft will certainly be hoping so.