IDC warns of spiralling Windows XP support costs

Windows 7 users spend a fifth of the money XP fans do on PC support, study claims.

Money

Windows XP users lose nearly eight hours a year to downtime and spend five times more on PC support than people running the latest version of Microsoft's operating system.

This is one of several conclusions published in a Microsoft commissioned white paper called, Mitigating Risk:Why Sticking with Windows XP is a Bad Idea.

Most new PCs have features that were nonexistent or immature when service pack enhancements for Windows XP were discontinued.

The report was carried out by market watcher IDC, and features responses from nine companies with an average of 3,680 employees who use a mix of Windows XP and Windows 7 devices.

According to its findings, the annual per PC support cost of using Windows XP is $870 (554), but for Windows 7 users this figure stands at just $168 (107).

Five year old computers running Windows XP cost companies around $324 (206) in lost productivity and $766 (487) in IT labour costs each year, the study added.

"These higher costs were caused by a variety of problems, not all directly attributable to the operating system, but common in older solutions that required IT labour and help desk support activities," stated the report.

"User productivity costs were driven up by higher levels of downtime caused by security woes, waiting for helpdesk support and time spent rebooting systems."

The IDC report also highlights features, such as Bluetooth connectivity, faster USB ports and high-resolution monitors, that Windows XP users miss out on by sticking with the decade old operating system.

"Most new PCs have features that were nonexistent or immature when service pack enhancements for Windows XP were discontinued," it said.

"Many of these capabilities are either poorly or not supported by Windows XP Professional."

Support for Windows XP will end in April 2014 and, as of the end of 2011, the product was still the operating system of choice for 42 per cent of commercial Windows users.

The white paper states that, if the current rate of Windows 7 adoption continues, this figure should fall to 11 per cent by the time support for XP ends.

"The termination of extended support for Windows XP SP3 is a firm, impactful deadline that should be a real wake-up call for organisations of all sizes," the report concluded.

Speaking to IT Pro, Andy Trish, managing director of Microsoft partner NCI Technologies, said promises about cost savings and productivity gains are unlikely to make users ditch XP.

"Customers know End of Life doesn't mean the software will stop or that they will get any more problems than usual," said Trish.

"For many, there is no reason to upgrade. If it works, why change?"

Featured Resources

Defeating ransomware with unified security from WatchGuard

How SMBs can defend against the onslaught of ransomware attacks

Free download

The IT expert’s guide to AI and content management

How artificial intelligence and machine learning could be critical to your business

Free download

The path to CX excellence

Four stages to thrive in the experience economy

Free download

Becoming an experience-based business

Your blueprint for a strong digital foundation

Free download

Recommended

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2021
How to virtualise Windows 7 inside Windows 10
Microsoft Windows

How to virtualise Windows 7 inside Windows 10

9 Sep 2021
Managing a late migration
Microsoft Windows

Managing a late migration

11 Feb 2021
IDC releases its IT industry predictions for 2021 and beyond
Business

IDC releases its IT industry predictions for 2021 and beyond

28 Oct 2020

Most Popular

What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

8 Sep 2021
Apple patches zero-day flaw abused by infamous NSO exploit
exploits

Apple patches zero-day flaw abused by infamous NSO exploit

14 Sep 2021
Hackers develop Linux port of Cobalt Strike for new attacks
Security

Hackers develop Linux port of Cobalt Strike for new attacks

14 Sep 2021