Windows XP continues to find a home among a hefty number of businesses, at least according to the results of a new survey.
Among more than 100 businesses that recently attended the TechEd North America 2014 conference, a full 53 percent admitted to still running XP within their organization. Polled by IT systems management provider Adaptiva, 29 percent of those surveyed said their inability to move away from XP at this point stemmed from issues of application compatibility, 15 percent said it was because of the time involved in migrating, 4 percent cited the cost of a migration, and 2 percent pointed to the demand for user training.
In April, Microsoft officially cut off support for XP, meaning no more bug fixes, security patches, or other updates for consumers or businesses. That means those running XP face increased risks as any overall vulnerabilities discovered in Windows will get patched in Windows 7 and 8 but will be left alone in XP. Microsoft has cautioned users about the hazards of running XP. And while most individual users may be able to upgrade without too much agita, large and even small businesses face a host of challenges as expressed by the reasons cited in the survey.
Still, that doesn't mean businesses are unaware of the hazards and just doing nothing. Among those still on XP, 25 percent expressed concerns about security. And 15 percent said they had taken advantage of Microsoft's extended support, an option in which businesses pay the software giant to provide critical updates while they migrate to a more modern version of Windows. Individual consumers have no such option.
Among those polled who are trying to kick their XP addiction, 17 percent said they were migrating to Windows 8 or a mixed Windows 7/Windows 8 environment.
Meanwhile, 80 percent of the businesses said they use Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager. Designed for large enterprises, the SCCM tool automates the deployment of a new operating system and software so that IT staffers don't need to physically visit every PC in their organization in order to perform the upgrade.
Around 43 percent of the companies polled have to support more than 10,000 PCs (desktops, laptops, and servers). Another 13 percent grapple with more than 100,000 PCs in their enviroment. So even with automated tools, the move away from XP can be a time-consuming task for many businesses.