Microsoft’s biggest challenge after the official debut of the new Windows 8 is to move all Windows XP users to a newer operating system, as it will end support for the 11-year-old software in April, 2014.
Preliminary data shows that some users prefer to stick to their currently installed operating system rather than to deploy a new Windows version, be it Windows 7 or Windows 8.
But as far as Atul Ahuja, director of Microsoft Alliance & Strategic Sales, Citrix, is concerned, some Windows 7 PC buyers are even going back to Windows XP.
“Most enterprises today have thick clients or PC desktops that they have been using since the last few years. Some of their laptops are still running on Windows XP. Even after buying new desktops or laptops pre-loaded with Windows 7, they are downgrading the Operating System (OS) to Windows XP,” he said in an interview.
That’s not at all good news for Microsoft, but recent figures provided by market researcher Net Applications confirm that killing Windows XP is going to be a very tough challenge for the Redmond-based technology giant.
While Windows 7 remains the number one choice on the market with a share of 45.11 percent, Windows XP comes second with an impressive 30.08 percent.
But users have no other choice than to dump Windows XP and make the switch to a newer OS, Ahuja said.
“They can continue to run on Windows XP, up to April 2014, when Microsoft stops supporting the OS, and till the hardware manufacturers continue to provide drivers for their respective hardware. Eventually they too, would stop releasing new updates to drivers for older systems,” he added.
The problem is that Windows 8 fails to excite and even though Microsoft previously said that it had managed to sell 40 million copies in just one month, unofficial reports suggest that it’s rather becoming a new Vista.