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Study: Windows XP Still in Use by 28 Percent

Less than a third of organizations still need to move off Windows XP, according to an industry study.

The study conducted by Flexera Software, with input from consulting firm IDC, drew its findings from 750 respondents. Of that number, 28 percent had not yet moved half of their applications to Windows 7. On the other hand, more than half of the study's respondents (52.1 percent) said that they had moved 75 percent to 100 percent of their applications to Windows 7.

The study, "Application Usage Management Survey: Software Migrations & Application Readiness" (PDF), combined the results of three separate surveys of independent software vendors (455 respondents), intelligent device makers (127 respondents) and enterprises (169 respondents). More than half (56 percent) of the respondents were from the United States. The data were collected via Web surveys in the summer, closing in August, according to a Flexera spokesperson. Chicago-based Flexera is a provider of application use management solutions.

The 28 percent still stuck on Windows XP in Flexera's study is higher than the 21 percent estimated by Kevin Turner, Microsoft's chief operating officer, during Microsoft's Financial Analyst Meeting last week. Turner said that Microsoft hopes to reduce that 21 percent number to 13 percent by April 8, which is when Windows XP loses product support by Microsoft. Organizations still using Windows XP after that date likely will face potential security issues.

Another view is offered by Web data sampled by Net Applications, which showed that Windows XP's worldwide use was at 33.7 percent in mid-August. Net Applications' data comes from Web traffic sampled across 40,000 sites.

Very few (3.7 percent) of the respondents in Flexera's study said that they were moving to Windows 8.

Some respondents had plans to use desktop virtualization and application virtualization in the process of migrating to Windows 7. The study found 20 percent of respondents had plans to use virtualization for 26 percent to 100 percent of their desktops over the next one or two years. On the application virtualization side, 28 percent of respondents had plans to use that technology for 26 percent to 100 percent of their applications over that same time period.

The study found little use of automated solutions among the respondents to assist with the application migration process. Typical steps taken before an OS migration include identifying apps for migration, app rationalization, compatibility assessment with the new OS, migration planning, app fixing and packaging, and deployment. However, the highest use of automation found in the survey results was 22 percent at the app identification stage. Automation was also implemented by the respondents for app rationalization (15 percent), compatibility (16.6 percent), migration planning (15.9 percent) fixing and packaging (14.5 percent) and deployment (16 percent).

Lack of automation can lead to added burdens in a migration, according to IDC.

"As a result, relying on manual processes to ensure proper software utilization often adds unnecessary workloads and increased costs for already overwhelmed IT organizations," said Robert Young, research manager for enterprise system management software at IDC, in a prepared statement. "In addition, manual processes for software asset management can be highly error prone resulting in application misutilization, over/under procurement, and failure to comply with auditory and/or regulatory compliance."

For more on Windows XP migrations, see this summary article.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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