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Windows XP Farewell Tour Begins

Presuming running a version of Windows supported by Microsoft is a requirement in your shop, you have one year left to rid yourself of Windows XP. On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP. To commemorate -- or considering the wide proliferation of Windows XP, to give customers a kick in the teeth -- Microsoft has launched its one-year countdown.

The pending end-of-life support for Windows XP is a big issue for a lot of businesses. Anecdotally, I can't tell you how many businesses that still have Windows XP running rampant. Every time I'm at the gym, the doctor, at many restaurants and stores, and even my local Bank of America branch (which is a relatively new one), I see Windows XP on their desktops.  

A year from now, those with Windows XP, as well as Office 2003, will no longer receive security updates or tech support (at least from Microsoft). Microsoft is kicking off this countdown with a promotion that gives those who upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 8 and Office 2003 to Office 2013 a 15 percent discount though June 30. The offer, dubbed Get2Modern,  is available to customers who upgrade via Microsoft's partners for migration assistance.

But regardless of small incentives, many organizations may not feel ready for Windows 8, which Microsoft acknowledges. "For some, moving their full company to Windows 8 will be the best choice, and for others it may be migrating first to Windows 7," Erwin Visser, a senior director in the Windows division, noted in a post on the Windows for Your Business blog today. "Still, for many, it will be deploying Windows 8 side-by-side with Windows 7 for key scenarios, such as Windows 8 tablets for mobile users."

According to the latest market share reports published by Net Market Share, Windows 7 is the most deployed PC operating system, accounting for nearly 48 percent with Windows XP filling in nearly 39 percent. Windows 8 now accounts for a mere 3.17 percent, though up from 2.67 percent a month earlier. Clearly Windows 8 will grow much more incrementally than previous versions, which, given the scope of change it introduces, isn't surprising.

Research of the Redmond magazine readership indicates within the next year, 61 percent will have deployed Windows 8, though, in most cases, only to a small percentage of employees. In two years, 74 percent will have deployed Windows 8 on a much broader basis.

Currently 95 percent of Redmond magazine readers have Windows 7 deployed, while 76 percent still have Windows XP, 41 percent have some Windows 8 and 20 percent have Windows Vista. Since multiple responses were permitted, the data doesn't say to what extent these various versions are deployed. But given the survey was based on 1,178 respondents it should give a valid measure and point to the strong proliferation of the various versions of Windows.

For those of you that still have Windows XP what are your plans? Are you going to let it go down to the wire (or perhaps beyond) or are you planning to act sooner than later? Will you go right to Windows 8 or are you going with Windows 7?

Please share your Windows XP migration plans by dropping me a line at [email protected].

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/08/2013 at 1:15 PM


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