Software

Report: 52% of businesses still running Windows XP, despite support ending in 2014

According to the 2017 OS Adoption Trends from Spiceworks, a large portion of businesses are running at least one instance of Windows XP, with 9% still running at least one instance of Windows Vista.

According to the Spiceworks 2017 OS Adoption Trends survey, released Monday, some 52% of businesses are still running at least one instance of Windows XP, despite support for the OS ending on April 8, 2014.The survey also noted that 9% of businesses are still running at least one instance of Windows Vista, which will lose support on April 11, 2017.

Although more businesses are running XP than Vista, the impending drop in support for Vista should encourage businesses to upgrade their machines, said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks, in a press release announcing the survey.

"Although some IT departments aren't able to upgrade on time due to a lack of time or budget, it's critical for IT professionals to make a business case for more resources, given the security risks of running operating systems with unpatched vulnerabilities," Tsai said in the release.

SEE: The cost of ditching Windows XP? More than $12,000 per person

While these numbers are interesting, they don't necessarily tell the whole story, the release noted. When it comes to the overall share of the different operating systems, the percentage of each OS relative to the total number of machines it is running on breaks down like this:

  • Windows 7 - 69%
  • Windows XP - 14%
  • Windows 10 - 9%
  • Windows 8 - 5%
  • Windows Vista - 1%

So, while many businesses are still running at least one instance of Windows XP, Windows 7 is far and above the most popular version of Microsoft's OS. Windows 7 also claims the highest penetration rate, at 87%.

The adoption and penetration rates of Windows 10 are also growing, recently leapfrogging the penetration rates of Windows 8 and Windows XP, the release said. Only about 54% of businesses are running at least one instance of Windows 10, up from 38% in July 2016. However, that number is supposed to reach 73%, with 17% overall system share, by July 2017, the release said.

Running unsupported systems presents its own unique risks, and some 90% of IT professionals are concerned about those risks, the survey found. Sticking with Windows XP ended up costing the London police department some $2 million. If you're looking for tips on how to move away from Windows XP, check out this article on our sister site ZDNet.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. According to a Spiceworks survey, 52% of businesses are running at least one instance of Windows XP, even though support for the OS ended in early 2014.
  2. A smaller portion of business systems Windows Vista, which is set to lose official support on April 11, 2017.
  3. The adoption of Windows 10 is low, but could see a boost this summer after support ends for Windows Vista.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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