ALMOST ONE IN FIVE small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) are still running Windows XP, despite it's deteriorating protection from malware attack.
A three-month study by security software house Bitdefender has found that eighteen percent of companies have carried on without upgrading Windows XP systems, despite the lack of provision for the service since it reached end-of-life on 8 April.
One web marketing business included in the study received almost 800 million malware attacks over the survey period. Bitdefender chief security strategist Catalin Cosoi suggested that Microsoft's zero-day U-turn in May was part of the reason for the ambivilence.
"A few weeks after the end of support announcement, a new Internet Explorer zero-day vulnerability turned into a permanent threat for [Windows XP] users," Cosoi said.
"That was until Microsoft issued a patch that was made available for Windows XP users as well. However, this was an exception that shouldn't make enterprises believe it will happen again, so the swift migration from [Windows] XP is a must for all users."
Mikko Hypponen of rival security firm F-Secure recently said, "I can't wait for Windows XP to die.
"I'm glad Microsoft stopped shipping updates. I'm mad at Microsoft for shipping updates after end of support, it should try and kill this beast. But it's not dead yet."
The Bitdefender study found that 53 percent of businesses migrated to Windows 7 Professional, with "few" moving to Windows 8. This is echoed by the most recent figures from Net Applications, which showed Windows 7 achieving 50 percent market share, with Windows 8 growth almost stagnant. µ
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