Windows XP runs on borrowed time

Enterprises still prefer the XP operating system, but it won't last forever.

The use of Microsoft's venerable Windows XP operating system still predominates in enterprises, with XP powering "71 percent of PCs within North American and European enterprises," according to a report published by Forrester Research.

Microsoft's current flagship OS, Windows Vista, has been released as a product for two years, but just less than 10 percent of enterprise executives surveyed by Forrester said they had deployed Vista company wide. Forrester interviewed "962 IT decision-makers" from August to September for the study.

The report, "Enterprises Warming to Windows Vista," interpreted those findings to mean that enterprises are migrating to Vista. In addition, Forrester researchers found that almost half of its respondents planned to start their Vista deployments by the end of 2009.

The end of 2009 could be when Windows 7 becomes available, although Microsoft consistently estimates "early 2010" for Vista's public release. Just 15 percent in Forrester's study planned to skip Vista for Windows 7.

This study was led by Benjamin Gray and team, which have recommended against skipping Vista in past Forrester studies. In this study, the team acknowledges that it's possible for enterprises to skip Vista for Windows 7. However, the difference between Vista and Windows 7 is mostly in the user interface, since the two operating systems share the same code base, according to the report's authors.

Windows XP is entering the mature stage of its lifecycle. The availability of XP for new machines depends on OEM vendors continuing to support downgrade options, the authors cautioned.

In deciding between migrating to Vista or skipping it for Windows 7, the question for IT professionals is really just how much support for Windows XP remains. Last month, I asked Microsoft about the remaining days of XP.

First, XP can't be purchased from Microsoft or its vendor partners as of June 30, 2008, according to a Microsoft spokesperson by e-mail. You can still get XP via Vista downgrade rights when purchasing new machines. Microsoft makes a distinction between OEMs such as Dell and HP and smaller shops called system builders. System builders have through May 30, 2009 to "take delivery against those [downgrade] orders."

Forrester's study adds what appears to be new information: OEMs have through July 2009 to take delivery on Vista downgrade orders.

Microsoft's "mainstream support" for XP will end in April of 2009. Microsoft defines mainstream support as "no-charge incident support, warranty claims and support for design changes and feature requests."

After mainstream support ends, XP enters its "extended support" phase, which will expire in April of 2014. Microsoft will offer security updates free of charge during the extended support period through its Microsoft Update Web portal. You can also buy other forms of support during this phase, as described via this Microsoft help page.

In other words, some sort of support for XP will continue for another five years. However, IT professionals who still want to hold onto XP will face a more impending deadline of mid-2009, when they likely won't be able to buy new PCs with Vista downgrade rights.

For more details on Forrester's "Enterprises Warming to Windows Vista" study, which describes other options such as Mac OS X and Linux OSes, go to Forrester's Web page here.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.