UK businesses sticking to Windows XP despite support EOL and cyber-attacks fears

One year from now, Microsoft will end all support for its Windows XP operating system, one which was launched back in October 2001 and remains one of the company’s most popular OSes.

According to web analytics firm Net Applications, Windows XP still accounts for nearly 39 per cent of the desktop operating system market share, with the majority of these likely to be in businesses.

In comparison, Windows 7 accounts for 45 per cent while Windows Vista stands at five per cent and Windows 8 (both versions) reaches four per cent.

The countdown to the date when Microsoft will withdraw support for XP, will end on 7 April 2014 but a number of surveys published in the wake of the start of the one-year countdown shows that many firms might be caught napping by the 2014 deadline.

A survey carried out by application migration specialists Camwood found that while 82 per cent of CIOs, CTOs and IT Directors (from large UK enterprises with over 2,000 employees) were aware of the impending EoL of Windows XP, only 42 per cent had started to migrate from XP.

Of these, more than half (nearly a quarter per cent of the overall number) said that they had reached at least 50 percent of the migration process.

It’s worth mentioning that Microsoft says that successful migrations could take anything from 18 to 30 months, which mean that even if companies start the migration now, the odds are stacked against them.

The three biggest obstacles to migration mentioned during the survey were the business itself (25 per cent), concerns about the migration process (21 per cent) and a lack of business (16 per cent).

Surprisingly enough, around 20 per cent of those questioned say that they will carry on using Windows XP even after the free end of support period even if that could potentially leave them dangerously exposed to cyber-attacks.

For those who had actually started the migration, the biggest hurdles they encountered were hardware issues, lack of budget, migrating Office data and Internet Explorer 6.