You know what I love about Windows XP? That’s right I said Windows XP. Do you know what I love about XP?
It isn’t ostentatious.
Yeah, yeah – I recognize that many have lampooned this antiquated OS calling it volatile and ancient. And even the cool kids at CollegeHumor.com crafted a hilarious parody that engendered a few laughs; however, there’s a reason why Windows XP is still holding on and why over 95% of the world’s ATM’s are still running the popular program.
The answer is a patent fact: Windows XP just works.
Windows XP just freggin’ works.
I contend that you’ll have a hard time rebutting my assertion if you really consider the evidence.
For one, old systems have a symbiotic relationship with Windows XP. There are thousands of mission critical applications running Windows XP on legacy hardware. These obsolete systems can’t get upgraded because of budget constraints or poor planning. Ultimately, the ramifications of taking these dinosaur systems down for an upgrade would be catastrophic to organizations who depend on them for their lifeblood. Think of all the public schools, hospitals and retail companies still clinging to XP. Upgrading isn’t a viable option for them.
Admittedly, bluescreen’s happen occasionally but neither Windows 7 nor Windows 8 are immune to that problem either so that’s a vacuous objection.
Secondly, upgrading Windows XP entails upgrading your staff’s skill set too. The cost of new equipment coupled with the time supervisors need to allot for training employees often obviates the possibility of a migration.
In addition, people are predisposed to resist change; therefore, getting everyone to adopt a novel idea such as going to Windows 7 won’t be easy.
XP is a solid operating system. People are used to it. They’ve got other software that’s compatible with it. And all their stuff is on it. I still have computers running XP in my shop.
It’s my conviction that Windows XP has a 30% adoption rate because it simply works. It’s purely a utility thing.
When Microsoft created XP, it wasn’t dreaming of a touch-enabled universe with goofy Start Screens and silly swipe gestures to close Apps. When Microsoft envisioned Windows XP 12 years ago in the autumn of 2001, it sharpened its attention on making a great user interface and superior networking functionality.
Everyone loved it and flocked in droves from Windows ME and 2000.
Now, i’m no math wiz and I don’t work for Microsoft so all I can do is speculate – but I think there are probably about 488 million computers still living on XP today.
That’s half a freggin’ billion computers running Windows XP.
And you want to know the really scary part?
According to a 2013 Camwood survey of 250 CIOs, CTOs, IT directors and IT managers from UK businesses with over 2,000 employees, only 82% were cognizant of the cataclysmic event assigned to happen next month…
Next month is Doomsday
Have you seen the morbid clock on the Microsoft website featuring a countdown ticking away seconds until it abdicates support for XP?
Next month could amount to something of computer cataclysm for every organization still relying on Windows XP for business operations.
So now what?
First we need to recognize the scope of the problem.
In less than two weeks, literally tens of millions of systems will be running unpatched Windows XP systems connected to the internet.
Myopic organizations who fail to upgrade by the deadline will unwittingly create a treasure trove for hackers to exploit their vulnerable systems.
Furthermore, the purview of the problem doesn’t end with XP. Hackers will undoubtedly use compromised Windows XP systems as a launch pad for infecting other non-XP systems on the network.
Sagacious users unable to upgrade can contain most threats by installing solid antivirus and antimalware programs on their systems.
Some of the best anti-badthing programs such as Malwarebytes, AVG and Avast are free; however, even the most comprehensive AV solutions can’t plug the most egregious vulnerabilities in the lower level system files.
The bottom line is that if you want to stay safe you need to upgrade.
There’s really no way around it. Fortunately there are a bunch of resources out there that can get you going in no time. Check out the 6 minute CNET Youtube video on upgrading Windows XP to Windows 7.
What do you think of the Windows XP fiasco? Let me know in the comments!