Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Why are you still using Windows XP?

windows_64There’s an interesting discussion at Slashdot about the reasons some consumers and  enterprises have not upgraded their desktops from Windows XP.  Speaking from experience, aside from the obvious, I can give a few additional reasons why an organisation might still have a large Windows XP estate:
  • Different management priorities.  Resources are always finite and as a stable mature operating system, Windows XP was not necessarily seen as something that needed changing.  Upgrades to servers, networks and enterprise applications may have absorbed the time and money available, especially as these components often continued to support the aging OS.
  • Loss of skills. With the perceived failure of Windows Vista, the last large upgrade of Windows was probably more than eight years ago for many enterprises.  The skills and experience to conduct a large rollout of Windows may have dispersed from the organisation, transforming what was once more routine into a major project.
  • Alternative technologies.  Some organisations were early adopters of remote desktop solutions based on VDI or terminal services.  They may have thought that these solutions would be a panacea for the “desktop problem”, allowing them to phase out their desktop estate, to be replaced with thin client devices.  Vendors of these solutions often oversell the advantages of these technologies without highlighting the limitations.  When it turned out that thin clients weren’t suitable for a large number of their users and applications, they were stuck with large numbers of Windows XP desktops and no budget or business appetite for an upgrade.
But the tide is turning and the evidence suggests that remaining users of Windows XP are finally upgrading.

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