Businesses are Desperately Clinging to XP, Why Won’t It Die?

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Earlier this week, Microsoft abandoned support for one its most popular operating systems of all time. In the months leading up to the inevitable end date, XP users were urged to upgrade their computers to a newer OS if they still wanted to receive security updates and technical support. Although millions of people heeded the call, there is still one group that refuses to get with the times: businesses.

According to Computer Weekly, Crown Commercial Service (a cabinet office part of the UK government) paid Microsoft $9 million to extend XP support for 12 more months. The support will spread across the whole UK public sector and will provide security updates for all central and local governments and schools.

The Dutch government has also followed suit and struck a “multi-million euro” deal that will impact 40,000 civil servants. Considering that Microsoft charges around $200 per desktop for support services, this deal is probably valued at around $8 million.

Europeans are not the only ones forking over large amounts of cash. Here in America, where 95 percent of ATMs are powered by XP, JP Morgan has also purchased a one-year extension for an undisclosed amount. Our money is still safe and we don’t have to withdraw our accounts just yet, but should we be concerned that banks are using 12-year-old software to store our cash?

“XP design and engineering started in the late 1990s. Technology travels in dog years, so that’s a long time ago in technology terms.”
–Tom Murphy, Microsoft’s director of communications for Windows

Although the XPocalypse won’t destroy these antiquated computer systems overnight, these businesses that are still clinging to XP will have to eventually upgrade. And with so much money being spent to extend support, it makes more sense to use that money for new systems instead.

There’s no reason to keep avoiding the issue. Technology is completely embedded into our way of life and those that don’t adapt will have to suffer the consequences. You can’t just run an outdated OS and expect everything will work fine. Eventually, something will break. Let’s just hope it won’t involve our hard-earned money.

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If you’re one of the many who upgraded and are frustrated with those that refuse to change, Microsoft has created a new browser game where you can poke some fun at the luddites.

In Escape from XP, you’re a soldier whose mission is to kill XP once and for all. The pixelated hero scrolls from left to right as he battles against the evil “e” logo of Internet Explorer, burning Recycling Bins, and minions of My Computers. The only way to save yourself is to jump on the Microsoft chopper and “hit the button to kiss XP goodbye.”

This may be a novelty but the message is serious: UPGRADE OR DIE.

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If you’re a business and haven’t upgraded from XP, visit NeweggBusiness.com where we make IT simple.

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27 Responses to Businesses are Desperately Clinging to XP, Why Won’t It Die?

  1. Satan April 12, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    ****** just mad that XP is still the shining example of what real technological fans a Perfect OS.

  2. PSO2LOVE April 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    There is a simple explanation… XP just works. :) The reason why M$ keeps making new OS’s is for one reason only, $$$. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. You don’t have to have the latest OS to do something as trivial as Inventory, or in this case, management of money. Businesses require stable workstations/severs/etc. Newer software just means newer features, not necessarily more security/stableness. Windows 7 alone has more security flaws than any other Windows OS to date, and now they are being FORCED? nah… it’s just not the case.

  3. Unknown_User100782921 April 12, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    The biggest problem is… (if we can call it that) is that businesses use software, and for the most part these programs were either designed for an earlier OS and then patched to an XP version, or designed for XP.

    To then recode those essential programs for a new OS is expensive. (Not all vendor’s have done this, and many are no longer in business.) So for a business to make the jump from Windows XP, to say, Windows 7 Enterprise, or the 8.1 Variant… The cost to each business is more than just buying a new OS, but also includes having to negotiate and purchase new software licenses for their essential programs. (and for those businesses using their own proprietary essential programs–They’ll have to skimp by using Windows XP without support as they either hire developers to recreate the program for a newer OS or skimp by without XP support.

    The total cost is very high, but many have seen it was necessary to move onto newer Operating Systems while keeping their older programs. Can you imagine the costs JP Morgan and the financial industry are facing with just upgrading and replacing their ATM’s? That’s a couple BILLION dollars alone. They should’ve planned for the future… And slowly modified their ATM’s to work with newer Operating Systems. (The old Apple based ATMs were so darn funny… you could connect to the ATM with a serial cable and intercept the query for the withdrawl and enjoy some free $$$ if you were inclined to do so…)

  4. Beppo April 12, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    I work with a lot of hospitals and seemingly all of their desktops run XP. I’ve had CIOs of these hospitals say to me, “What do you mean, support for XP is ending?”

  5. Ryan April 12, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    To be honest, I think Microsoft should be happy that Windows XP is still very popular and very successful. One of the best, long lasting Operating Systems in history I should say. Who wouldn’t miss this OS? It brought great advances and opportunities.

  6. joe ruva April 13, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    Another way to make more money. It is always was and will be about money. When I was a lad I thought what better marketing it was for cars to come out with new models every few years. Well since the X286 and windows 3.1 that has been surpassed. Nothing spoils faster value wise other than fresh food.

  7. Howard Goldman April 13, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    Upgrading for many of us means an entire hardware upgrade. Nothing is left over. I built one new 64 bit computer with 8.1 as my main computer. The other 5 computers can wait. There is no way to upgrade those old DDR2 (expensive RAM) 32 bit XP machines. Every component has reached a dead end. I suspect this is why businesses are holding off as long as possible.

  8. NYHusker April 13, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

    For businesses at least, the reason so many were clinging, was because xp was so stable and it worked. Plus I think Vista left many with a bad taste about upgrading so they just stuck with what worked!

  9. TK April 13, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

    Why are people clinging on to Windows XP? It works…

  10. Jon Huckins April 13, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    i can’t upgrade from xp to windows 7, need to upgrade my cpu & Graphic card first then i will upgrade to windows 7

  11. Trifler April 13, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    As a computer repair technician, I have to say the reluctance to upgrade to Win7 a long time ago is baffling. Win7 is vastly more reliable than WinXP, and its networking capabilities are 1000% better. All that saves on maintenance and operational costs. I could understand if they were reluctant to upgrade from Win7, but WinXP makes no sense.

  12. Danno April 13, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    In my experience, businesses are still clinging to XP because they are using 10 year old machines that could not possibly ever upgrade even to vista. certainly not 7 or 8. These same people who complain that your technology is outdated a month after you buy it, are the ones still running 10 year old machines with an 12 year old OS. A couple other factors are proprietary software that will not support anything after XP, and the other is the dramatic change from XP to 8.

  13. Austin Range April 13, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

    I can easily see the ATM concern as those are embedded systems, a factory I had an internship at used XPe and they mentioned they had no expectation of switching due to costs. I know for a fact that there are programs that are required to interface with older systems that stopped being supported in new releases so you get stuck on a version that is outdated. If one were to look at power plants they sometimes use older versions of Windows and cannot update them as various aspects of the plant control software gets broken when updates get installed and close exploits used by the software, in these cases they have very strong and very restrictive firewalls so the systems can connect to the internet without infection and similar could be done elsewhere. Some of these places would be better off switching to a less vulnerable system but do not since the software they need is only developed for Windows due to various regulations and standardizations in the industry as well as very slow software updates.

    • Trifler April 14, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

      Seems like a place like a power plant could afford to have a permanent software programmer on staff who would know the ins and outs of the software system and could update software for newer systems over time.

      • Call Me Luddite April 15, 2014 at 10:31 am #

        It seems even more likely that Microsoft could continue to provide reasonably priced ongoing support, since it is not just “a power plant” that is impacted. If it were just a power plant, this wouldn’t be news. It is hundreds of thousands of businesses, including many which provide vital public services such as hospitals, utilities, and emergency services, that are being effected. The fact that so many people didn’t know it was going to happen proves that MS didn’t do an effective job of getting this message out to everyone. Call them morons for not knowing, but you’re talking about the bulk of humanity, and MS knows who they are dealing with. They have no problem getting the message out about something when they want to.

        • Trifler April 15, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

          Call me Luddite, you seem to have taken my comment as a generic reply. It wasn’t. It was in direct response to Austin Range, above. Thus putting “a power plant” in quotes in not appropriate.

  14. DJ Stiff April 14, 2014 at 12:20 am #

    Thats right,people who still use XP should be made fun of. Just like those that still use beepers and cell phones that are the size of bricks.

  15. noname April 14, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    Why pay money to change? They paid for the licenses long ago, and in my case, most work computers are just used for email, office suite and light internet use.

    Explain the financial benefit to paying to switch to windows 8, where people will be confused, lower their productivity trying to accomodate the radical, useless changes and it departments will be forced to have more robust equipment to handle all the demands of a bloated OS.

    Don’t get me wrong, I loves me some windows 7, and its what I put on everything I own. But when it comes to regular office work, Microsoft is just trying to reinvent the wheel, and when a business purchases a software license seperate from their hardware you have to actually prove to them the software needs to be changed.

    • Brandon Cook April 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

      XP was good for it’s time. Windows 7 is vastly superior in it’s security (XP was notorious for viruses even after the service packs) and networking capabilities. If these companies are unwilling to change from XP that means they are also running software that is way too old and open to security breaches as well. This opens them up to much larger costs if a worm or trojan were to infect the PCs.
      As much as I love XP about half of the software I use does not work on XP any longer. There is no excuse to be cheap in a world where millions can be lost in a matter of seconds because of a security hole in an antiquated OS.
      This is why I want to smack the living shit out of any business owner that refuses to upgrade to at the very least windows 7. I can understand skipping windows 8 (Metro is really bad for desktop use) but skipping 3 generations of OS is unacceptable.

    • Brant April 14, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      If the computers are just used for email and no special Windows-only software. Look into alternatives, such as Linux. If cost is an issue, it’s a low-cost solution and it will run on older hardware. I’ve run Linux exclusively for the last 6 years. It wasn’t until this year that I changed to Windows 8.1. Linux works, and is an option. Especially if you think people will be confused with the new Windows anyway.

  16. Kevin Kreilein April 14, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    It’s not always the business that is to blame. Short-sighted software developers(particularly in the medical industry) refuse to spend the money to write Win 7 compatible versions of their software.

    Community Hospital here in Indy, CANNOT AFFORD to upgrade to Windows 7 because it would require MILLIONS of dollars to re-purchase the Win 7 version of current licenses of all the medical software or to change to a different vendor, which would incur additional tens of millions in costs.

  17. Call Me Luddite April 14, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    Regardless of snobbery, if people want to keep using XP, what’s the harm? I understand it costs money to support, but I’m sure a lot of businesses would be willing to pay a reasonable price for support contracts rather than have to revamp a perfectly fine OS. Despite the smug posts on here, in the real world, we all know what to expect whenever our company “upgrades” any software. It works. It’s solid. People are used to it. And reasonably priced paid support was a viable alternative.

  18. Galen Kenyon April 17, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    Thank you, Microsoft, for making me upgrade to APPLE.
    I followed from 3.1 to 95, then 98, then ME (what a disaster), then, finally, XP Pro SP3. EVERYTHING WORKED almost as well (in XP, that is) as my work computer, which was a MAC. Now nothing works in 7, so everything – hardware included – must be replaced.
    Due to the COST of this experience, thanks for the help in deciding….Goodbye, WinTel.

  19. auximenies1972 April 21, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    For the blue intro screen to Escape From XP, I would think it more appropriate to say XP rose from the ashes of Windows ME. Or maybe from the ashes of Windows 98 (where ME represents those ashes). XP was derived from the success that was Windows 2000, and the NT kernel.

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