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1/11/2013
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3 More Reasons SMBs Stick With Windows XP

Microsoft says Windows 8 selling like hotcakes, or at least like Windows 7. Here's why some SMBs are just saying no.

3. They Just Haven't Done It Yet.

Hey, it's not like there's a magical switch you can flip to move seamlessly from one OS to the next. Moving dozens, hundreds or certainly thousands of machines -- and their aforementioned users -- can take time. Budget's one reason. Slim IT staffs are another. There's testing to be done and a host of other tasks, too. They're moving on their schedule, not Microsoft's.

Nate6203 said: "We have around 200 XP left but will be replacing them within the next two years with Win7." Likewise, Jim9456 probably won't make Microsoft's support cutoff: "We have about 40 Win 7 and 80 Win XP. Are slowly replacing the XP machines with Win 7. At the rate we are going will probably not make the April 2014 deadline."

Sometimes, it's the nature of the business that hampers -- or altogether prevents -- an OS migration. That's the case for Eprince, who supports around 100 XP boxes and just a handful of Windows 7 machines. "We've been close to moving on Win 7 for a couple years, but business needs leave us only certain windows of opportunity to do it," eprince said. "Another issue is an IT staff of two and both positions have had turnover which upends planning. I'm hoping to finally get images and a plan in place by the end of tax season. As an accounting firm, nothing can be done between Jan and mid April, except planning."

Mobile and remote workers can cause upgrade headaches, too. "Hard to get some of the laptops scheduled for an upgrade when they haven't even been in the office for over a year," noted afeitguy. Nonetheless, his organization is "mostly" on Windows 7 now, and he takes a less rosy view on the prospect of missing that April 2014 end-of-life date. It's not so much support that worries him but a lack of security patches.

"The day XP is unsupported, I'm hoping all of you with XP machines immediately disable their Internet access. Those machines will become liabilities," afeitguy said. "I know it's not always up to us, as IT staff, to decide whether you move forward or not, but it's not like Microsoft just cut out XP with no warning. There has been ample time to plan for this. More so than any other OS in the history of computing, pretty much."

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Kyle22
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Kyle22,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/3/2014 | 9:35:08 PM
Windows XP
Just because you get a new computer that has Windows 7 or 8 (ick) on it doesn't normally mean you can't run XP.  It's only a matter of drivers.  If you search in the usual places, you can find drivers for almost anything.  I just bought a new Asus laptop with Core i7 Quad hyperthreading (very nice) and XP runs like a champ on it.  All drivers working, no problems in Device Manager.

In fact, there are places on the 'Net to download Driver Packs for XP that make it work on almost all of the new computers.

 

I have no reason whatsoever to use Win 7 or 8. They are bloated and awful.  Win 7 is bloated with all the DRM stuff, and Win8 boots a little quicker, but look at at that AWFUL Metro interface..... Yuck.

 

I routinely refurbish computers, and the ONLY thing I would even consider loading them with is XP.

 

Don't worry about the Fear-Mongers trying to scare you about end of support! A company called Arkoon has a product called Extend XP that provides security against hackers, worms, and viruses.  I think AVG will be just as good, but for free.

 

Long live Windows XP!

 

-Kyle

 
KeyWestDan
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KeyWestDan,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/19/2013 | 7:42:29 PM
re: 3 More Reasons SMBs Stick With Windows XP
Personally, I think MS should clean up XP and re-release it. I think there is a market for a simplier and cleaner operating system. Come out with a new version of XP, without all the crap in WIN 7 and 8. Isn't WIN 8 based on XP anyway? There is money to be made and I don't think it would affect sales too much for 7 and 8.
SMB Kevin
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SMB Kevin,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/16/2013 | 10:58:22 PM
re: 3 More Reasons SMBs Stick With Windows XP
TreeInMyCube - I have heard similar sentiments from other IT pros re: Vista's influence, 32-to-64 bit, and the lasting impact of the recession. The crummy economy affected not just software vendors but a wide range of SMBs, too. Speaking generally, technology refreshes/upgrades tend to get postponed when companies start slashing budgets and staff.

-Kevin C.
InformationWeek.com
TreeInMyCube
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TreeInMyCube,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/16/2013 | 7:56:06 PM
re: 3 More Reasons SMBs Stick With Windows XP
I wonder if the application availabilty question has something to do with the tepid reception that Vista received some years back. Software vendors saw lots of users (including SMBs) sticking with XP, or downgrading to XP, and thus lost their incentive to update their applications. Win7 (and Win8) represent a distinct step to 64 bit, and that step is made more disruptive because of the long life of XP. Coupled with the impact that the 2007-2008 recession had on SW vendors, we have greater number of incompatible applications in 2013 than we had when we stepped from 16 to 32bit OSes.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/16/2013 | 6:22:28 PM
re: 3 More Reasons SMBs Stick With Windows XP
You're kidding right? Probably not - as you are likely the first in line for every freebie offered to man. Your entitlement attitude is almost enough to make me turn Republican.

Nobody is forcing you to do anything. Stick with XP if you like.

fwiw - every piece of software has holes in it. Not just your XP OS. And, if it has so many holes, get something that doesn't - or has less. Good luck with that. Your Beamer is probably just as much a liability as your XP OS despite how much you patch it up.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/16/2013 | 6:16:58 PM
re: 3 More Reasons SMBs Stick With Windows XP
"afeitguy" is the only one mentioned in the article that seems to reasonably "get it". Everyone else is a crying baby. Time to move on people.
gsharpe300
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gsharpe300,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/15/2013 | 8:52:49 PM
re: 3 More Reasons SMBs Stick With Windows XP
When Microsoft is willing to replace all the applications and programs that I use (and like) that won't run on Win7 at no cost to me, then I am might consider upgrading. Sure, I can run Win7 in an XP emulation mode. But what is the point of that? I already have XP. Windows 7 has no advantages for me. And why should I be forced by Microsoft to upgrade to a new OS that I really don't need? My BMW dealer still services my old BMW. I keep it because it does what I need it to do. I have no reason to buy a new one. They don't tell me I can't use my old car because they don't want me to. WinXP is still useful and functional. As to security issues, well they are mostly Microsoft's fault, as they seem to be built into their OSs. They *should* keep supporting the older OS instead of making me buy a new OS because they can't write decent code. Win7 already has security issues. Why should I pay for yet another OS that still has issues?
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