Enterprise CIOs and individual users will not get any support from enterprise software vendor Microsoft to continue to run Windows XP from 8 April. Gartner shares some tips to handle the new situation.
Microsoft will end support for Windows XP next week, on April 8, 2014. Leaving Windows XP unsupported will expose organizations to a growing risk as the number and severity of security exploits grow, and continued support from Microsoft will be costly.
Michael Silver, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said almost every organization will have some XP left – there’s lots of Windows 95 running in hospitals, for example. But overall, when support ends, we estimate that 20-25 percent of enterprise systems will still run XP and that one third of enterprises will have more than 10 percent of their systems remaining on XP.
Gartner said the risk of security breaches on systems running Windows XP beyond April 2014 is high.
1) Have a plan to get rid of it ASAP.
2) Reduce user rights on the machines, restrict the PC to run only known good applications, and minimize web browsing and email use on the PCs.
3) Move critical applications and users to server-based computing. Where users or applications can’t be moved for regular use due to licensing, cost, or capacity issues, have the applications installed for server access in case of emergency.
Even in organizations without Windows XP, a user that puts an unpatched Windows XP machine on the network can introduce problems.
While most applications now support Windows 7, it’s possible an organization has very old applications or versions that don’t. Application testing is of paramount concern. Organizations need to decide whether to deploy Windows 7 or Windows 8.
A migration to Windows 7 will likely be faster, but one to Windows 8 will have more longevity – Windows 7 support ends in January 2020, less than 6 years away, and organizations that are so late on Windows XP should not get into the same situation with end of Windows 7 support.
For many, the best alternative would be to deploy Windows 7 for the most critical users and applications now and working to be able to start deploying Windows 8 starting early in 2015.
On 16 March, Microsoft India urged the IT users to migrate to Windows 7 or Windows 8 from Windows XP or spend $300.Around 50-60 percent installed PC base in the enterprises are still running Windows XP, Microsoft said in 2013.
Microsoft said the cost of upgrading (assuming no enterprise license agreement and three-year amortization period) will be $95 against the cost of non-migrating which will be $300 per user followed by almost a double the cost in the subsequent year, should they choose to opt for a custom support contract to stay on Windows XP post April 2014.