Windows XP users dismiss concerns over April 2014 End of Life

News 10 Apr, 2013

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."

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I gave up on Windows a few years ago...every time I bought a laptop, I would have to buy Windows, and then I couldn't swap my HDD into the new laptop as the licence was not valid for another computer. I've opted for open source, free Linux uBuntu. It is enough for most of the users...without paying anything to Redmond

If Microsoft needs money how about offering Windows XP second edition like they did with Windows 98. Windows XP does everything I need an OS to do and I dont want to give it up as I've heard horror stories about the other operating systems they offer. IMO Windows XP is the best and they know it.

Use PC-BSD(Has Apple like application installer) or Some Linux Distro if you are fine with installing software over internet.

Will Microsoft's Windows 7 Pro XP emulator still be supported by Microsoft or not?

Why don't they rather realize a SP2 (possibly with dx11.2) for Win7?

Any company happy to use 15 year old technology tells me plenty about their competitive edge. I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable with having my personal data on their systems. You invest to stay competitive.

With XP I thought that blue screens had been banished for ever, but when I moved to Windows 7 they reappeared along with random freezes and a number of other seemingly intractible problems. I can live without DX11 and DXVA2 and the Windows 8 gimmicky desktop, so I intend to stick with XP for as long as possible after 2014 before moving reluctantly to Linux. Untill then I shall compensate for the lack of security fixes by using a host based intrusion detection system like OSSEC.

entrepreneurs and business students note the MS example how a large multibillion company destroys it shareholder value of its own volition.

This is what happens when you have dolts running a business.

The I.T. Cloud will continue to undermine MS and other companies by killing the Desktop for most users and also killing branded servers that run "hot" [waste expensive energy]. Datacentres not run by idiots build their own Cloud servers like Google and Facebook do.

Equally, everyone uses Linux on bare-metal nowadays.

So look away as MS shoots itself in the foot for no reason. No reason because it is is withering everyday that passes.

When it gets down to a tenth of its current size, it will survive long-term, I hope.

The lesson is "marketeers are great but when they over-awe the tech guys the company is doomed".

That is why people like Steve Jobs are irreplaceable.

Win-XP can run forever without the net but users need to be aware of future hardware driver problems. I run XP OFFLINE mostly with productivity apps on 6 desktops. Linux is not an option because specialty software like Izotope-RX and autoCAD have no feature-plus-interface equivalents. Some machines have Audacity and GIMP installed but the paucity of features in non-industrial Linux software limit their usage.

XP while being easy to maintain and customize is also light and fast, tho' no match for Portable Puppy. Newer versions of Mint with LTS is perfectly acceptable for internet work and general usage, saving files conveniently in F32 and NTFS devices. Moreover I keep a dozen+ 945, 865, P55, G41, Z77 and FM2 boards for backup. I don't see any urgency to update until 2020+.

The point is: motherboard makers can continue churning out products with old chipsets and established drivers but they require the demand to justify it. If consumers just blindly buy the latest and mostest regardless of whether they need that little extra, then M$ will simply walk away with their extortionate policies.

The most infuriating feature I've noticed over the past year was UEFI being embedded ACROSS THE RANGE of motherboards just for Win-8 licensing thereby increasing costs and BIOS complexity when installers and upgraders are mostly interested to go as far as Win-7. Where's the Necessity?

If MS want to stop supporting XP, they should publish the source. Then, the geeks can sort out the remaining security issues, perhaps paste the user interface onto a secure Linux core or whatever. Then, MS can legitimately stop supporting XP. Otherwise, it looks like blackmail to me. Isn't that a crime?

a) Use non-Microsoft antivirus.
b) make sure you have a decent firewall.
c) Use common sense about what you download.
Then you should be golden with XP for years to come.

Back in 2004, the infamous "Sasser Worm" hit computer users everywhere.

Anyone who thinks that XP users will ever experience anything like that again is either on drugs, or is getting paid by Microsoft to encourage users to upgrade.

Companies upgrading to the latest version of the NSA spyware makes you feel more secure, does it?

Thank you very much for this article and all the comments. I think I will stick with XP for as long as I can. It works great for me.