23 Jul

Still running Windows XP?

I saw a statistic today stating that 68% of the devices currently managed with Spiceworks are running Windows XP. I was certain this number would be lower by now! So the question is why?

Last week, Aaron Suzuki, SmartDeploy CEO, discussed the end of extended support for Windows XP and what our customers have said about their Windows migration plans. But we also wanted to hear from users outside of the SmartDeploy circle to get a better idea of the Windows migration landscape overall. So Heidi, our marketing manager, reached out to the Spiceworks community of over 2.5 million IT pros to find out why companies are still running Windows XP:

May 22, 2013
HeidiF (SmartDeploy):
I saw a statistic today stating that 68% of the devices currently managed with Spiceworks are running Windows XP. I was certain this number would be lower by now! So the question is why?

Why are you still running/supporting Windows XP?
What are the biggest hurdles keeping you from migrating to Windows 7 or 8?
When do you plan to migrate to Windows 7 or 8?

You can read all three pages of responses here.

While a majority of respondents indicated they are in the process of migrating to Windows 7, many people explained that some devices will never move off of Windows XP, or at least not any time soon. Here’s why:

Windows migration budget doesn’t exist
The companies that are currently migrating expect to complete their Windows migration between the end of 2013 and the end of life for Windows XP. But there are other companies that do not have the budget to upgrade. Many companies have hardware that works, and Windows XP still works for them, so funds are not allocated to the IT department to purchase new hardware or software. As Kris7191 suggested, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Application compatibility
There are also several companies that have legacy applications that need to be tested on Windows 7 or won’t run on Windows 7 at all. Testing and compatibility issues greatly increase the Windows migration timeline. This means that until the applications are updated, companies will run and support Windows XP to support those programs.

The same principle applies to hardware. Many companies have old hardware that can’t support Windows 7. As the hardware dies, devices are replaced and they will be able to run a current Windows OS. Additionally, old hardware in places such as shop environments that run simple programs posing little risk to the company will most likely never be replaced.

What it all comes down to is this: Windows XP isn’t going anywhere. Will Windows 7 eventually be on a majority of enterprise devices? Yes. But, the legacy software and hardware issues elongate the life of Windows XP to a time long after Microsoft stops supporting it.

What are your Windows 7 migration plans? Do you still have devices running Windows XP? Why?

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About the Author

Spencer Dunford
As General Manager at SmartDeploy, Spencer Dunford applies over 12 years of creative IT wisdom to find solutions that solve the most complex and unique challenges for customers. When he isn’t leading our stellar sales and support team, Spencer can be found exploring the mountains on skis or two wheels with his family, and finishing his day behind the grill in his never-ending pursuit of the perfect steak.

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