Ovum claims users should not feel pressured into Windows 7 upgrades.
Windows XP users should not feel under pressure to ditch the aging OS, just because Microsoft is pulling support for the software next April.
That’s the view put forward by market watcher Ovum, who claims around 28 per cent of corporate Windows users are still on XP.
Richard Edwards, principal analyst at Ovum, said the time and cost that goes into a company-wide rollout of a new OS could be better spent elsewhere.
XP is the daddy and I don’t understand why Microsoft just don’t release a SP4 and charge for it.
“The cost of upgrading hundreds or thousands of desktop and laptop computers to a new operating system is significant in terms of time and money, so organisations should consider how their IT budgets might be invested in more innovative projects,” Edwards suggested.
“If we assume that Windows XP systems have the latest patches, fixes and up-to-date security software installed (and Internet Explorer 6 has been replaced with a more modern web browser), there is no reason to believe that life after [April 2014] will be any different than before it," added Edwards.
Final countdown There were renewed calls this week for business users to upgrade to Windows 7, as Monday marked the start of the one-year countdown until Microsoft stops rolling out XP security and technical updates.
According to recent industry estimates, around 600 million of the world’s PCs are still thought to run the software more than a decade after its release.
XP users will be given the option to pay Microsoft for custom support of the platform post-April 2014, but some IT Pro readers think the software giant could do more to help those that want to stick with it.
An IT Pro reader, going by the name of Shakeel, said Microsoft should consider offering other forms of paid-for XP support once it reaches End of Life.
“XP is the daddy and I don’t understand why [Microsoft] just don’t release a [service pack 4 patch] and charge for it, if they want money from businesses [using] XP,” Shakeel commented.
“People don’t want to have to reprogram their software for Windows 7 and Windows 8 [and] it’s just not [financially] feasible in the current [economic] climate.”
This view won the backing of another member of the IT Pro reader community, Petrolmaps, who claimed upgrading to Windows 7 was a cost few users can justify.
“I know for certain that one of the software packages that I use regularly at home will not run in Windows 7 and will cost another £200 to upgrade or replace,” Petrolmaps added.
“There are freeware alternatives...but I can't say that I am anywhere near as productive with it as I am in the XP-based package. So, essentially, Microsoft's decision is costing me the thick end of £1,000.”
However, the official line from Microsoft is, "using XP after April 2014 is an 'at your own risk' situation for any customers choosing not to migrate."