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.


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.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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

Featured Resources

How inkjet can transform your business

Get more out of your business by investing in the right printing technology

Download now

Journey to a modern workplace with Office 365: which tools and when?

A guide to how Office 365 builds a modern workplace

Download now

Modernise and transform your sales organisation

Learn how a modernised sales process can drive your business

Download now

Your guide to managing cloud transformation risk

Realise the benefits. Mitigate the risks

Download now


Microsoft Windows

Windows 7 security patches officially coming to an end

21 Mar 2019
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

30 Jan 2020
Microsoft Windows

The IT Pro Podcast: Farewell Windows 7

17 Jan 2020
Microsoft Windows

Windows 7 ends: what do you do next?

4 Jan 2020

Most Popular

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft pulls disastrous Windows 10 security update

17 Feb 2020

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
Business operations

HP shareholders invited to come dine with Xerox

17 Feb 2020
operating systems

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

12 Feb 2020