Yet here we are, months past the April 8, 2014, deadline and you still have a whopping 24% market share.
Why does everyone love you and cling to you when there is much better software out there?
Why has Microsoft forsaken you?
Like most things, there are many reasons for all of these factors. No one simple answer encases all the complications associated with Windows XP migration issues. Let’s dive in headfirst, in Gonzo fashion.
Windows XP was the first truly enterprise grade Windows Desktop Operating System available. The Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) appeared much less often than in any previous desktop version of Windows. For the most part, users no longer have to reboot their entire machine when one application fails while losing work in other applications. Automatic reboots and restarts are occurring much less often, too, with this latest version of Windows – meaning, once again, that users are losing much less work due to unplanned restarts, which correlates directly to increased productivity. For this reason alone, it’s easy to understand why organizations have second thoughts why they wouldn’t want to move. Who would want to risk losing that stability after every previous version we had been through at that point?
The cost of most Windows upgrades is hidden in the price of new machines. Yet many people threw this money away, opting to stay with the older OS, which had the benefit of stability. Since very few organizations will actually upgrade the OS on a particular machine once it is shipped, the money to stay ahead of the upgrade curve and at least upgrade to Windows Vista was thrown away on copies of Windows XP, which would essentially be expiring on April 8, 2014.
The Fly in the OintmentWe all knew this day would come. Microsoft has retired many operating systems previously. With Microsoft’s recent security alert MS14-068, it really hit home. The alert highlights an exploit that is present in every version of Windows and Windows server since Windows 95 (including Windows RT). Guess which Microsoft Desktop OS is not getting patched because it’s 14 years old? Windows XP. Vista is the oldest Microsoft Desktop OS getting this patch. This is a doosy of a patch, too. Unpatched, the attack allows an inside attacker to take control of a Windows server (or any machine in the domain) as the domain administrator.
Since XP is not getting updated with this patch, this is what it means to bankers: It means if an organization has one XP machine, an attacker could exploit this flaw, gain control of the bank’s Windows domain controller and install any software he wants to on it. He could tee-off the bank’s network traffic to a destination of his choice, copying every packet sent to the organization’s domain controller. This, in turn, could have negative effects on the institution’s Internet connection, clogging it with traffic destined for a slum in some Eastern European bloc nation. There, it will be decompiled by a 13-year-old and posted on Reddit and Facebook, along with all the “unauthorized” snaps from the politically correct “Seasonal Winter” party, where people were being, er, less than politically correct.
Bankers, get those XP machines off the network! If someone told me he was going to give me a 14-year-old computer with which to do my daily work, I’d give that person a look he would not soon forget. So why is it different with software? Why is it acceptable to run a 14-year-old OS that is not even supported anymore?
Upgrade before disaster strikes and those Christmas snaps of Dave and Molly singing “Welcome to the Jungle” make it to Facebook and Twitter.
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