The Inquirer-Home

Microsoft does not expect rush off Windows XP after support is cut

But custom support is not a long-term solution
Fri Mar 28 2014, 17:35
Microsoft will end support for XP on 8 April 2014

DESPITE THE CUTOFF of support for Windows XP being less than two weeks away, there is no sign of any last-minute move away from the obsolescent release, according to Microsoft.

There are millions of PCs online still running Windows XP, despite Microsoft's repeated efforts to urge businesses and individuals away from it and onto a later release.

But despite these endless warnings David Rodger, commercial lead for the Windows Business Group at Microsoft UK, told The INQUIRER there was no sense of "panic" at firms about moving off Windows XP.

"We're not seeing a stampede," he revealed. "Many organisations will have looked at this from a 'T-minus' perspective and are probably now seeing their plans come together. People have to deal with contingencies and the realities that brings."

However, because of the approaching 8 April deadline some organisations are no doubt considering custom support for Windows XP from Microsoft to ensure that they will remain protected. The NHS is embarking on this strategy at present.

However, Rodger advised firms against seeing custom support as a viable solution to the end of regular Windows XP support. "We have had discussions with large organisations and that is one of the options, but it is a last-case option because it is not a long-term solution," he said.

Instead, Rodger said firms should look at newer releases, primarily Windows 8.1, as the way forward, even over the more standard Windows 7 release. "Windows 7 is a great operating system but for benefits around productivity, mobility, security and connectivity Windows 8.1 is the best by far.

"It also offers the ability to support touch for a mobile workforce but also brings best-in-class capabilities to support desktop environments."

However, despite this upbeat assessment of Windows 8.1 - given the fact it occupies just 4.3 percent of the market for operating systems, compared with Windows XP on almost 30 percent - it seems that many firms are unconvinced.

With the cutoff date just a few days away, it could well be the case that many firms finally start to assess how they could move away from Windows XP and onto a later release such as Windows 8.1. Microsoft will certainly be hoping so. µ


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