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Windows XP security and support issues set to plague many UK businesses

A lot of businesses (and indeed home users) are still using Windows XP, even as the deadline for the curtailment of support looms – we know that much – but a new report from AppSense has thrown some light on the extent of XP usage within the enterprise world.

The survey took in the opinions of a hundred IT decision makers, and apparently 77 per cent of companies in the UK still have Windows XP running on some systems on their network. The report did note that while XP was found in the vast majority of firms, an even bigger majority – 87 per cent – were only running the old desktop OS on less than a quarter of their computers. The overall average penetration of XP was estimated to be 13 per cent.

The more worrying prospect is that two-thirds of those organisations who were still running XP on some machines said that they didn't have any plans to pay for extended support after the 8 April deadline.

That said, 84 per cent said they intended to upgrade from Windows XP within the next year – just on their own terms, and with 70 per cent of those not wanting to stump up for extended support, apparently not concerned with security after 8 April. Their customers with data on their systems might feel slightly differently...

Simon Townsend, Chief Technologist at AppSense, commented: "While it's clear that organisations are committed to getting off the Windows XP platform in the medium term, they are opening their organisations to potential threats by leaving systems unsupported. This figure also suggests that organisations want to get the migration process right and will not be rushed as they head towards a deadline."

"From my experience and involvement with organisations to date, the priority is getting off Windows XP, but many are still planning or are unsure about how to progress. It's a balancing act between planning the migration, but also protecting whilst you migrate."

For more on the XP issue, see our article on the top 4 ways small businesses can protect themselves against the end of Windows XP.