Windows XP will soon fade into the distance

This coming Monday will mark just one year until Microsoft ends extended support for Windows XP. Vista was a joke – but Windows 7 is quite good, and companies are being urged to upgrade their OS before exposing themselves to unnecessary risk.

Microsoft has itself advised companies to upgrade to 7 or 8, but according to a report from 1E, under a quarter of surveyed companies had migration in place. Just under half said they were in the process of upgrading – meaning headaches for IT departments if they do not get their upgrades guaranteed in time. 1E warns that with just a year left to complete that migration, it won’t be long before budgets are complicated by costly extended IT support.

In a statement, Sumir Karayi, CEO of 1E, said businesses will be under threat of security risk unless they upgrade their IT systems in time – and the migration should be done with as little disruption to the business as possible.

“Organisations that are not yet off the starting blocks or only a little way down the track are highly unlikely to complete before the Microsoft deadline,” Karayi said. “Whether the delay is because they misunderstood the sheer scale of the project, or that they are coming across technical hurdles, it means they cannot confidently predict when they will finish or how much it will cost them”. The prospects, Karayi warns, are a little grim – “few IT teams will have ever experienced such a complex migration,” he said.

Karayi said 1E leans toward fully automating the process on as many as machines as possible instead of partiallyautomating the process for every machine, because it can lead to 80 to 90 percent less desk visits. Using a totally automated approach “means organisations can deploy literally thousands of machines per day,” which is the “only way to get migrated within the available time”.

Camwood, a migration services company ‘s CEO Adrian Foxall said IT knows full well that the end of Windows XP is around the corner, but business isn’t paying as much attention.

“In these tough economic times, it is not surprising that business leaders do not want to invest a substantial amount of money in something that essentially isn’t broken, as is the case with Windows XP today,” Foxall said. “But with an estimated 40 percent of business desktops still running Windows XP and with the clock ticking, IT and the board need to join forces and work together to migrate to a new OS that will support their organisation now and into the future”.

If they don’t, companies will be putting themselves “in jeopardy”.