What happens when you press the XP Panic Button

What happens when you press the XP Panic Button

April 8th 2014 marks the official end of Microsoft’s support for Windows XP. Which means if you haven’t taken the steps to migrate off this dying OS yet, well….you’re panicking (and we don’t blame you – you’re putting your whole organization at risk).

Whatever prompted the decision to wait doesn’t really matter anymore. What matters now is focusing on keeping your data and environment safe. That’s why we’ve outlined the next steps you need to take.

[Read more…]

Not Dead…Yet: Accepting the end of Windows XP

Not Dead…Yet: Accepting the end of Windows XP 

Windows XP has been a dominant operating system in the enterprise for over a decade. Finally, though, it’s time to say goodbye.

In April 2014, Microsoft is ending its extended support for Windows XP, which means enterprises that haven’t migrated to a new platform by then will be immediately exposed to a plethora of zero-day exploits. While most businesses are taking steps toward more modern operating systems, such as Windows 7 and 8, they need to be making far greater strides.

Not Ready to Let Go?

Our recent audit of nearly half a million corporate PC devices, featured in our recent Shadow IT in the Enterprise study, found that 58 percent of those devices are still running Windows XP. This is just a 10 percent improvement from a year ago.

The slowest to react are mostly large enterprises with tens of thousands of PC devices in their IT environment and some small businesses whose owners are likely unaware of the risk involved. The next time you’re in your doctor’s office, or some type of small business, take a look at their computers. More likely than not, you’ll see that classic Windows XP Start button in the bottom left corner.

While the XP end of life is more than four months away, this slow year-over-year transition is nevertheless alarming. Microsoft estimates that a full OS transition can take anywhere from 18 to 32 months, which means plenty of organizations will not succeed in migrating all of their necessary devices at their current pace. [Read more…]

As Support For Windows XP Ends, A Majority Of PCs Still Run The Aging OS

Retirement

As the clock ticks down to the end of Windows XP support, a majority of business machines are still running the aging operating system, suggests a new Softchoice-led study.

Sixty-two percent of desktops and laptops continue to operate on Windows XP or older operating systems, according to aggregate data gathered from over 620,000 PC’s of hundreds of Softchoice clients. Just 38 percent of surveyed machines were running a newer OS, including Windows 7 and to a lesser extent, Vista.

Although this is an improvement from last year (a previous Softchoice study showed that as of August 2011, 71% of PC’s still ran XP), the new numbers indicate two thirds of North American businesses are running an OS that will soon be obsolete, as Microsoft plans to cease support for XP as of April 2014.

In November, Softchoice will kick off its latest Discovery Series, an informative seminar hosted by our team of Microsoft experts where we’ll explore the business challenges of upgrading – and the real value of Windows 8.

[Read more…]

Softchoice study finds ‘floodgates’ opening on Windows 7 [Infographic]

Data. Softchoice sure gets a lot of it – from about a million computers a year in fact. When you look at the guts of a million computers a year, you start to see some trends. One trend we’ve been tracking is the surprising longevity of Windows XP — an operating system that has been the ‘comfortable pair of jeans’ for corporate North American desktops for the better part of a decade. It’s an interesting history, but based on our analysis, Windows 7 fever is gripping corporate North America, and things are finally beginning to change.

Now there have been many studies on the ‘intentions’ of organizations to deploy Windows 7, how they planned to do it and when (here’s one, for example). But a chasm often exists between intentions and reality. Another frequently cited data point is Windows 7 shipments. But shipments are just that – shipments. Often the computers that Windows 7 shipped on, particularly in late 2009, were retrofitted with Windows XP to remain compatible with existing corporate infrastructure.

This study is different. What you’ll see in the infographic below is a healthy cross-section of ‘in the wild’ data we gleaned over the course of hundreds of customer IT asset management service engagements. Looking at this data in aggregate provides a much clearer picture of the real state of the union in corporate North America.

After a decade of the status quo, it now looks like change is firmly afoot. The migration to Windows 7, while not complete for most organizations, is underway at quite a clip. Many organizations, it seems, had been taking the ‘wait and see’ approach, as is quite common with desktop operating systems. Well, they waited – and they saw – and now they’re acting.

So is 2011 the “Year of Windows 7”? As we sit here in December, that’s an easy thing to proclaim – at least until 2012 rolls around.

FEATURE: Widespread Security Risks due to XP Support Retirement

A research note issued by Softchoice highlights widespread security implications as Microsoft ends support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2).

Windows is ending support for XP SP2Softchoice’s analysis of 278,498 corporate and public sector PCs reveals that almost half are still running Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2. Support for this service pack, including security updates, officially ends on July 13th 2010. It is estimated that nearly eight out of every 10 organizations have a high enough prevalence of SP2 in their environment to warrant immediate action to update their systems. Failing to do so could create unnecessary security risks as hackers continue to look for vulnerabilities knowing that software updates will no longer be forthcoming from Microsoft.

[Read more…]