So here we are. The last day of updates and support for Windows XP… at least from Microsoft. Surely there are many IT shops and consulting firms still making XP work as well as ever. Personally, I think I am down to about 18 computers needing an upgrade, out of about 100 I don’t think that is too shabby. Hearing people talk about the end of support as though it is the day before the computer apocalypse is a bit much though.
Sure the computers won’t be patched any longer, but all told, how many computers in corporate use are completely patched every day all the time? A large number likely are a few cycles behind and may not be caught up. I cannot say I condone that idea, but it surely happens.
And then there is the upgrade
So now that XP is over… and I am going to move PCs to something newer, Windows 8.1 is the best… wait no… Windows 7 is still the likely best choice to get things going and not freak out the masses. However, if Microsoft is indeed getting on the rapid release train and things will be coming out more frequently, isn’t it only a matter of time before support cycles shrink to accommodate releases? And if I push to Windows 7, sometime over the next 18 months or so, an upgrade will be needed to Windows 8, 8.1, 9 or whatever is next by then.
All in all I like the faster release cycle and am a fan of Windows 8 on the whole (both 8 and 8.1… and as of today update 1) and would love to jump right in, but moving this out to a corporate environment where XP has been for a long time and 7 is just now the order of the day might cause more panic than it is worth. This doesn’t take into account at all the applications which may need shims or rewrites or tons of changes to the standard Windows 8 configuration to function in a usable manner.
Good and bad, but necessary
I think that many large organizations have decent PC flipping practices using imaging and other things to keep everything on a fairly even cycle of upgrade, but smaller organizations may be chasing the dragon on the upgrade to something post XP (and hopefully post Vista) for quite some time. Will they get there? Sure, but it will take a while and by the time they complete this work and all the work / testing / and things that go into an OS roll out, Windows 9 will be here and we will be opining the good old days of Windows 7 (and hopefully 8.1).
In addition to Windows XP, what about all of the organizations still hanging on to Windows Server 2003… especially in a role facing the Internet (mail) or for a Domain Controller. That concerns me a bit more than XP in the overall sense, even though I realize that Windows XP is much more likely to encounter Internet surfing than a server machine might.
Is your company completely off of Windows XP? If not, what is your plan to get there, if there is a plan or need at all?
I found an interesting post over at donjones.com about organizations trying to spend money to keep support alive… Yikes.