Windows

Poll revisited: What percentage of your enterprise is running Windows XP?

We ask this poll question about once a year to see how much if any Windows XP migration has taken place.

For the past few years, I have been running a poll question about once a year asking TechRepublic members and Windows and Office Blog readers how much of their enterprise is currently running Microsoft Windows XP. I also ask what percentage is running Windows 7. The idea is to establish a trend of how fast IT professionals are migrating away from Windows XP now that it is nearing the end of its product life cycle.

Life cycle

I know, I know - "Windows XP still works and just because Microsoft deems it is time for a change doesn't mean we have to do what they say." Every time I run the poll, I get several of those arguments, but the fact remains that XP is on the way out - the writing is on the wall - it is inevitable.

According to a recent report from Dice, recruiting activity for Windows 7 pros is at an all-time high. That little tidbit indicates that we have seen, or will see soon, a measurable movement toward Windows 7 in the enterprise. So to test that theory, we revisit our poll questions. What is going out there - is your organization rolling out Windows 7 more now? Is Windows XP slowly but surely losing its hold?

Previous related poll results

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

111 comments
jmcgee55
jmcgee55

Only upgrading to Windows 7 as you replace hardware can become an expensive approach. This forces you to validate and QA any client based application in both XP and Windows 7 environments. This also lengthens development, testing and overall project timelines, effectively slowing down your organization throughput.

highlander718
highlander718

about 80 units (PC + laptops) - all replaced last year (as CAPEX project) and came directly with W7

mdbizzarri
mdbizzarri

Then I think now would be a good time to visit Linux desktops that still act the way people are use to. In reading about Windows 8 with a steep learning curve, I have no desire to even attempt to learn some completely new interface. Since Microsoft seems to be ok with changing the way users compute, and knowing that most people hate change, Linux allows users to set up their environment how they want to. If one size fits all, then why are there so many different cars on the road? I think that as IT professionals, our customers (users) need to be able to work effectively and efficiently. With Microsoft forcing people to change how they work, that will have a negative impact on our customers, and our businesses. Switching over to something like Linux Mint and configuring it so users still have the same functionality they are use to, then that will make thier life easier because of minimal change, it will make our life easier for administration and not needing to re-educate users, and it will keep the business happy because there will not be a slow down in work. Voila! Everyone wins!

wintev
wintev

As a company that maintains pabx's most being in maintenance contracts with the manufacturers who then get the local authorized repair shop to maintain them "us" we have to have certain software tools to maintain theses ageing systems much of which was written for either 98 or XP and will not run and by run I mean actually work correctly not just start, under vista or 7 we also require our laptops to have true serial ports as these old pieces of iron are only able to be programmed through rs232 and no USB to serial adapters do not work on some of these systems, so in order to meet our contractual obligations we must continue to have machines with serial ports and windows XP until such time as there are no longer any of these systems out there that we are under contract to maintain and as these old systems never say die and the fact that some are so big in terms of the number of extensions they have on them there is no modern equivalent to replace them with so it will probably be a very cold day in hell when we no longer have to have XP because the manufactures will never spend the money updating the maintenance tools for these long outdated dinosaurs that where built to never quit.

ramjet
ramjet

We have NO Vista or Windows 7 on ANY machines at my work. Because we are still running a DOS database program !!! I'll spell it out for those who don't know what it is "Disk Operating System" DOS. Woe be our IT guy. I Run 64 bit Win 7 at home and like it. I also have more computing power than my CAD computer at work. I could do my work twice as fast on my home system. I am being told I can not get the new version of my CAD programs this year because they no longer run on XP. ACK!!!!

danerd
danerd

i have been reading on various websites that windows 8 might be locked down with the new bios system so that on new computers we wont be able to install older windows systems, not even linux, if this is right then when all old computers die we will have to move on to windows 8 etc.sucks.

Santo426
Santo426

Our small drafting office has had a really tough time over the last 4 years. Money is tight. Our PCs have been XP and will remain XP due to plotters and dedicated software. We cannot afford to replace all our perfectly good equipment and "paid for" software just because a new OS is releassed. In fact, had to search out a new PC that had components with available XP drivers in order to replace a dead box.

RichardMtl
RichardMtl

I have been testing Win8 since the early Beta and really don't like it. I resent Microsoft's attitude of, 'We know better what you should use' and then they take away what we liked and are comfortable with. I don't mind innovation but why disable things that work (start button, boot to desktop, etc.). I have been complaining to Microsoft to offer users a choice, but they don't seem to listen or care. Once I saw Win8, I seriously started to learn Mac OS X and I am glad I did. I am getting more and more calls about Apple support. I even 'converted' a desktop and laptop into Hackintosh computers to go along with my real MacBook Pro. Prediction... Microsoft secretly make Windows 8 so bad that people will finally upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. Once they realize how much people hate it, Windows 9 will offer users a choice and during installation, we might get a 'classic interface option' back. Windows 8 Phone - not even 3rd on list of choice. From my experience in Canada, I only know ONE person (non-Microsoft employee) using a Windows phone and they had no choice. Their phone broke and that was all that was in stock. Richard www.compunetics.ca

derek
derek

Have just 'wasted' a whole day discovering that certain hardware manufactures e.g. Sony using audio chips e.g. Realtek HD with Windows 7 O.S have disabled certain 'features' e.g. 'Stereo Mix' or 'What you hear' access for recording. Then discover this is deliberate; an attempt to thwart recording of copyright material; but if I re-install XP I recover ALL functionality. There are a growing number of voices on the internet who are reverting to XP to recover recording functions. Wonder what else is no longer available in Vista, 7 or 8!

dogknees
dogknees

If you can define this word for me, I'll be able to answer.

Kostaghus
Kostaghus

Works fine, it's already paid for and runs like a blizzard on new machines. Why would we want to change from Windows XP?!?

SiMechanic
SiMechanic

All of the Win7 systems are PRO versions with the WINXP virtual machines to run customer remote access applications that work with WinXP, such as Cisco VPN under Citrix Clients.

DonRicoMDLC
DonRicoMDLC

If only Vista had not become unsuccessful, I would see 33% share across xp, vista, and win7.

steve
steve

Using only programs that I really require at the office, I find Windows XP to be very stable and satisfying without having to upgrade to any of the other Microsoft Bloatware Operating Systems.

Coss71
Coss71

The Linux people comment the most because most of them can't find a shop that needs a Linux Sys Admin. They are too few and inbetween. They have the extra time on their hands to comment anywhere they can. The same argument happens from the Mac Cult. I love when one of them spouts out about no viruses or malware happens to them. What rock are they hiding under? I'm down to my last 5 offices to migrate to Win7. We have 19 locations total. They were running XP on 9 year old PC's. The PC's were finally giving out, and we had just about run out of replacement units; so we had to go to something new.

fw32
fw32

never crashed even with 8-10 hours per day of running small manufacturing company and surfing legal data, case law searches, ACAD, on an ancient Dell dimension 2400. Have over 600,000 files downloaded. I use Belarc advisor, have all security fixes, and antivirus (Avira Pro), CIS Benchmark score 3.13 of 10. Very satisfied. Will not change.

FortBragg_Surfgoddess
FortBragg_Surfgoddess

...to have the unlimited funds that MS and alike think we have. I manage IT for a small city, and I still have server 2000 running. I don't think some companies realize how expensive it actually gets. I will be luck to be rid of XP when Windows 10 comes out.

danerd
danerd

hi palmetto, the US DEFENCE FORCE has recently awarded $25 million to linux to develop a program for their unmanned drones because the reason ( according to them ) is the windows program they were using was unreliable due to constant virus attacks, this is an answer to you regarding big business getting involved with linux. no i am not a linux fanboy.

lap
lap

I maintain 6x Win server - 45x WIn XP Pro -5x Win 7 Pro - 4x Linux machines. I can spend more time updateing and trying to load software on the Linux machine than it take to maintain half of our Windows machine. Yes Linux is a good operating system for surfing, but only if you have the right flavor and if you can get the drivers for all the hardware.

pbug56
pbug56

Obviously no one seems interested in Vista (a good thing). And Win 8 doesn't seem to have much of a chance in most businesses except for users who are truly computer illiterate and can only function with touch screens (think cash registers at McD's). XP still works pretty well, especially on old computers, and lots of people are afraid of upgrading and its expense and training issues. An area where this SHOULD change; Electronic Health Records. There is a huge Federal push for doctors and hospitals and the like to migrate from paper records to electronic. And privacy laws (HIPAA) mandate very tight security, and XP really isn't all that strong security wise. Also, the older PC's in many medical offices are not robust enough to move from handling bills and appointments to full blown medical record systems. So such offices will tend to need new PCs which brings the chance to more easily migrate to Win 7 while also upgrading networks and firewalls.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

We have the same problem with the retail equipment we support. We have found adapters that not only allow themselves to be set as COM1-COM4, but also communicate reliably with everything we work with at any speed from 2400 to 115200.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Remember the old thin style vendor PCs that had a card that slotted into one slot and then allowed you to put full sized expansion cards in sideways. Well some of those did had ISA expansion card slots and slotted into PCI slots. Using one of those with one of the older ISA comms cards that have the connectors on the back should allow you to use a serial link through a ISA expansion slot to a pci expansion slot. You may have to do a case mod to hold it in place, but you get the cards and connections you want. Yes it's old tech, but it still works. If you can't picture what I'm talking about send me an email and I'll take some pictures of the items concerned so you'll know what you're looking for.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

We have the same issue supporting some of the railway safety equipment we manufacture. Have you tried multiple models of adapter? We learned not all adapters are equal. We tested a half-dozen before finding a couple that worked reliably with our applications. They're all reasonably inexpensive (less than $20), so testing a lot of them is affordable. We've settled on model 26886 from CablesToGo. This is a USB to 9-pin serial model, but I recall there's a 25-pin version also. The included software allows setting the adapter to your choice of COM port.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

commercial hardware manufacturer. There's a hell of a lot of costly gear with multi-decade lifespans that have been made with Microsoft software on the controllers that the manufacturers and clients are now finding they've been royally screwed by Microsoft's refusal to keep them going for the design life of the hardware. Ask Col about all the manufacturing machines he has that run on DOS as they're computer controlled milling machines and the like - 50 plus year life span.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

What database program? I've successfully imported various dBase files into Access. CAD programs are to businesses what games are to consumers. They're the ones that are on the cutting edge, and new versions usually require the latest hardware and OS.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Whether or not manufacturers do that is another question. Vote with your wallet, only buy systems that don't have the secure boot, or allow you to turn it off.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I would have thought a company is big and powerful as Microsoft could have told the recording industry to go hang. But MS has a long trail of stupid decisions, this is just one more of many. You can always trust the village idiot to do something idiotic.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

same capabilities as XP. With Microsoft really pushing hard to get XP out of use I expect a patch near the end of the advertised life that will make using XP harder to do. Another option to look at is React OS, they're trying to do to XP what Linux did to Unix.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

That will do for a working definition. You could also substitute 'US Navy aircraft carrier' or 'Federation starship', but the results wouldn't be as useful.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

than you do for Microsoft systems. One place I worked at several years ago we had one guy who administered 25 Linux / Unix server systems but needed six guys to administer 18 Microsoft servers and 1 guy for the eight Lotus Notes servers within the four networks the company looked after. Due to the lower need for constant attention the Linux servers need less staff to look after them.

Slayer_
Slayer_

So as you replace the machine, you get Windows 7

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2012/06/09/u_s_navy_to_install_linux_on_vtol_drones among others too numerous to link. First, the contract was awarded by the US Navy; there is no 'US Defence Force'. Second, it was $28 million, not $25. Third, the contract was awarded to Raytheon, not 'Linux'. There is no company, organization, or other entity named 'Linux' to award a contract to. Fourth, the drone model in question is a new model which is being built with Linux from the beginning. This model is not being switched from Windows, since it never had it. Fifth and most specific to my original point, the Raytheon corporation itself is NOT switching it's internal systems to Linux. It's supplying a Linux solution to a government application. There are plenty of software companies and contractors that supply Linux solutions. Some of them undoubtedly use Linux as the primary OS for their internal operations. I'm still waiting for stories about a for-profit company (preferably a mid-sized or larger manufacturing firm, since that's where I work) that has successfully switched its own operations from Windows to Linux / open source.

dogknees
dogknees

They are not a "business". How can you award money to an OS rather than a company or consortium?

JCitizen
JCitizen

Their problem is related more to the Chinese contractors they award govt. satellite network control contracts to, and the hardware embedded back doors they put in the chips. Redmond - I suspect - has been trying to actually fight this on the software side - I also suspect it is a losing battle; but Linux wouldn't have a chance in that case. The whole government seems incredibly naive and fumble butts when it comes to actual "security" issues.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

not a business application. So it's not an answer.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

I do on the Linux system at home and my home system has more applications on it. The only hardware driver issues you'll ever encounter are with those made for a specific Windows version and then you have the same major issues when you switch versions of Windows. At home I've got a lot of old hardware that will not work on any Windows since Win 98 but works well on new Linux systems.

JCitizen
JCitizen

and most HIPAA organizations I worked for and visited, are loaded with Windows only applications. Maybe if they went to a virtual environment that could change. I keep reading that Win8 is rapidly advancing in embedded VM capability though; backward compatibility a breeze too(supposedly).

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

is built-in serial ports on laptops, which, as you know, are rapidly going the way of the dodo.

wintev
wintev

And like I said, they work for some but not all. One example is on certain pabx systems you are unable to upload license files to the system unless you are using true serial, however on that same system you can get away with an adapter to do basic M.A.C's

JCitizen
JCitizen

DE hit that nail on the head.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

vendor lock-in, so it's no surprise to me re their love affair with RIAA and MPAA as it helps get them support and justification for their Secure Computing outcome they used to try and sell as Palladium until it got shot down and they're now sneaking it in a little at a time by stealth.

JCitizen
JCitizen

actually probably the cheapest way to migrate! Hardware does wear out, after all.

JCitizen
JCitizen

told me that part of the satellite command and control runs through a Chinese contractor that was awarded such for their earth stations in Washington DC. All that other stuff doesn't matter if the head shed is being watched and manipulated by the actual signal coming in/out from space. My source hasn't been wrong about anything else that has come up, so far.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Nick nailed it in one. We don't have any problems in-house, where we're using legacy desktops with serial ports, or methods similar to the ones Ernest suggests. The problem we were having was in the field. As Nick notes, new laptops with serial ports are as scarce as frog fur. USB to serial adapters were the only option. It took longer to order and receive the various adapter models than it took to test them.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

small desktop to do the job may be the answer if all else fails. Or even use the items I mention to create your own intermediate adaptor.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

pushed too many away yet, so I can see why they think people will accept it in the end - it's the old slow cooking the frog concept

Slayer_
Slayer_

And pushes people back towards Macs for profressional roles, this should be the last thing MS should want. If the decision was calculated, then it was very near sighted.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

it doesn't much matter what software is used if contrary instructions are hard-coded on the chips.