“Prepare Now” for the Death of Windows XP [Gartner]

Research firm recommends users to prepare the transition to a newer Windows version

Microsoft confirmed earlier this month that it would stick to the April 8, 2014 retirement date for Windows XP, but it appears that only a few users got the message.

What’s worse, approximately 15 percent of midsize and large enterprises will still run Windows XP beyond this date, research firm Gartner warns, which will basically make their computers vulnerable to attacks.

“New vulnerabilities are always being found, and new vulnerabilities that are found in more current products could affect Windows XP and Office 2003. Any unpatched device can be vulnerable to attack,” Gartner said in a statement that pretty much reiterates Microsoft’s comments from early April.

The press release then goes on to provide companies with some recommendations on how to start the Windows XP migration, emphasizing that organizations must conduct a series of analyses to find out which applications can be used on the new operating system.

“Most organizations have far too many applications. Organizations where users are administrators typically have one application for every 10 users, with about half of these requiring Windows to run,” Gartner explained.

“For critical applications that can run on Windows 7, consider moving these users first. If Windows 7 can't be used, prioritize these applications and users so that you can move them as soon as possible.”

At this point, Windows XP remains the world’s second most popular operating system, with a market share of 38.73 percent, fairly close to Windows 7, which continues to top the rankings with nearly 45 percent.

Windows XP, on the other hand, has started losing users and its decline can mostly be tracked by analyzing the falling market share. The problem is that Windows XP users seem to choose Windows 7 over Windows 8, Microsoft’s flagship operating system that barely jumped over the 3 percent threshold last month.

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