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If you're willing to pay more and more, Microsoft might extend support a year or two

Ding, dong, Windows XP is dead.  After nearly a decade and a half kicking around as the world's most used operating system, Microsoft announced today that it was finally pulling the plug on support as promised.
 
But that ultimatum was softened by Microsoft's concession that for a few select enterprise and government users worldwide, it would continue to support the dying platform, IF they paid massive fees.
 
Some have already committed to that offer.  The UK's government offered up £5.5M ($9.1M USD) in British taxpayer money (on top of existing bulk enterprise licensing fees) to provide one additional year of support on Windows XP.  It is estimated that the deal will cover a couple million machines at UK government agencies.  The UK government claims £20M ($33.2M USD) in taxpayer money will be saved by a more gradual transition away from the aging platform.
 
The Netherlands government entered into a similar multimillion dollar contract to cover 34,000 to 40,000 aging Windows XP machines.  These deals will cover the costs of providing additional security updates to Windows XP, Office 2003, and Exchange 2003.

Windows XP
Some aren't quite ready to "Turn Off" their beloved Windows XP.

Regardless of how taxpayers and tech observers feel about these deals, one thing's for sure -- they're a win-win for Microsoft.  If users upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 Microsoft will score licensing fees.  If they don't upgrade they will have to pay a quickly escalating ladder of premium fees, boosting Microsoft's profits.

Estimates of Windows XP's market share vary wildly and are skewed by certain segments that have seen higher upgrade rates -- or alternatively slower progression.

For example recent desktop PC statistics suggest Windows XP to be barely behind Windows 7 with over 40 percent of desktop PCs running it.  Likewise an estimated 95 percent of ATMs are thought to be running XP.

Kurtis Johnson, an "ATM expert" at U.S. ATM-maker Triton tells CNN Money:

This isn't a Y2K thing, where we're expecting the financial system to shut down. But it's fairly serious.

He argues that the high rate of ATM holdouts may leave customers vulnerable if hackers use malware to attack the machines.  The financial service sector has been slower than most to upgrade, not necessarily because it dislikes Windows 7 or Windows 8.  Quite to the contrary, many have expressed enthusiasm for these platforms.  However, they simply were unable to justify the costs, as it can cost between $1,000-3,500 USD to upgrade an ATM given the necessary modifications to the hardware and software and the expert support needed.

Windows XP
ATM makers have until 2016, or in some cases 2019, to get their machines off Windows XP.
[Image Source: funnpoint]

The "problem" of Windows XP on ATMs may be somewhat overstated, as most run Windows XP Embedded, a product which Microsoft plans to provide ongoing support for until 2016.  Additionally, some SKUs of Windows XP Embedded will receive support all the way until 2019, as they were released later.  Hence in the banking sector Microsoft understands the difficulties upgrading and won't be pulling the plug too soon, although there may be some odd exceptions.
 
Globally it is estimated that 25-30 percent of PCs (including laptops) are running Windows XP.
 
The shuttering of support is most dangerous for individual consumers and small businesses clinging to Windows XP.  Despite media coverage a significant percentage of both groups don't even realize they're running a dead platform and the danger they may be subjecting themselves and/or their business to, by not upgrading.  
 
To that end Microsoft has released a tool to let customers know if they're running Windows XP, in case going into the Control Panel proves too technically challenging.  It's also offered up to $100 USD in discounts to customers trading in Windows XP PCs.

Sources: Microsoft [TechNet], The Guardian, Webwereld [translated via Google], MSDN



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RE: fixes
By robinthakur on 4/10/2014 6:48:00 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, that it is a different market with the consumer. The fact is that Apache, (along with PHP and MySQL) runs 60% of the world's websites, which you might be oblivious to if you've only used IIS/ASP.Net at work as many have, and which give you a distorted view of Microsoft's power. It is much easier to work with for the Unix crowd because Apache is built in (which does actually include those that use OSX as most non MS web-designers/developers seem to)

I think *nix based devices have only been very successful in the consumer space when they have abstracted all the complexities of the OS behind a shiny exterior and where they don't need to maintain compatibility with the desktop equivalents. E.g. even iOS is a completely different app model to OSX and Android is likewise different to Chrome OS. MS attempted this with Windows RT. Very few people will be looking in the filesystems of these devices, but if they do, it is nice that they will see a standard *nix layout of folders rather than some proprietary MS arrangement.

Coming to Unix having worked with MS systems throughout my working life, I found it utterly terrifying, but really it is something we shouldn't put out heads in the sand about, and I'm glad I took the time to learn about it and conquer my fear. I now use OSX as I find it a nice environment for doing most regular tasks, but powerful enough under the hood if you need to use Terminal, PHP and MySQL and the like. I still use Windows only when I need Visual Studio, Project or Visio in a VM, it's not a case of all or nothing.


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