Widows XP – Soon To Be A Legacy

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Widows XP – Soon To Be A Legacy

On April 8th 2014 Microsoft will end support for Windows XP.  An event of planned obsolescence, yet many computers still run XP as it really was one of MS’s best operating systems.

So what is the big deal?  Well, here are some quick numbers assembled from quasi reliable sources on the current usage of Windows XP in the United States on computers that still use Windows XP.

15% ± of Federal Departments
20% ± of businesses
30% ± of city and counties
95% ± of ATM (Automated Teller Machines)
18% ± of all Windows based PC still using XP

Why kill it off?  Force operating system up grades for revenue, sure.  Deal with the estimated 30% of all XP operating systems are not licensed, sure.  I get why they need to kill it off, or!!  You can buy custom support from Microsoft if you choose but that too costs money.

The reality is that XP is in the autumn of its usage.  It is the last Windows system I could fathom without all of the “$%^&^%$” windows and playing hide and go seek for what I want the machine to do.  (Yes, I also still have a yearning for Word 5.1).  But all that does not matter.  Unless you are paying for support, you need to migrate away from XP.  This is especially important for all critical interfaces with the outside world – in particular ATM’s which have already shown they are a big fat juicy dripping roast at the hack fest.

Windows is losing market shares across the board. Beginning in 1999, Linux started to be used by the top 500 super computers displacing both Windows and Unix.  Now 95.2% of all supercomputers use Linux.  It is only a matter of time before Linux grabs a bigger share of the desktop market.  Based upon user agent information on market share of browsing, Windows has 60%, OSx has 16% and Linux 15% – also Linux Mint has been chosen by several people I have spoken to replace XP on their machines.  While this does have some inherent errors as many machines surf the web through networks run by Linux – it is guessed that Linux now occupies about 4% of the desk top market.

So what does the future hold?  Serious security holes for XP unless one changes, if one can, also serious issues with audit and continuity support for all of the public companies that have to deal with the changes in operating systems.

This is a case of needing to address the issue. .  However, it is not too complex.   It is nothing that cannot be solved by the liberal application of lawyers, guns, money, and IT professionals.

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