Windows optimize

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

Our poll results show that there is an accelerating trend away from Microsoft Windows XP as the primary business operating system.

Last week, I revisited a poll question on Windows XP that we have asked several times in the past few years. The basic idea is to determine if there is a trend away from Microsoft Windows XP as the primary business operating system. Since much of the TechRepublic membership is on the front lines when it comes to deploying and supporting operating systems in the organizations they work for, it makes sense that they would have first-hand perspective on the poll topic.

I also thought the timing of the poll this time would be interesting because we are on the cusp of the full Windows 8 release and the corresponding marketing blitz that will accompany it. Microsoft will be pushing Windows 8 at a time when most organizations are just now rolling out Windows 7.

Results 2011

When we ran these poll questions in August 2011, the results showed that most of the respondents were still using Windows XP at a clip of 75% or better, while an even greater percentage had implemented Windows 7 for less than 25% of their computers.

Results 2012

Last week's poll shows that slowly but surely, businesses are migrating away from Windows XP. In August 2011, 56% said that more than 75% of their desktop systems were running XP, but last week's responses show that percentage had dropped to 43%.

On the flip side of the question, in August 2011, some 69% of the respondents said that Windows 7 was running on less than 25% of their business systems. However, as of last week that percentage had dropped to 52%.

The results are really not that shocking - I think we all could have predicted that businesses are migrating away from Windows XP at a slightly accelerated rate. The year 2014 is really not that far off anymore.

The more interesting thing is that, with Windows 8 set to release next week, there doesn't seem to be much chance that enterprises just now starting to roll out Windows 7 are going to jump to Windows 8 anytime soon. It may very well be that the real market for Windows 8 is going to be those enterprises running XP that never took the plunge to implement Windows 7 in the first place.

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.

29 comments
willis0966
willis0966

why do people complain so much? There's probably an "On/Off" switch on the thing somewhere!

willis0966
willis0966

Last year, I got rid of a truck I bought on New Year's Day 1979 - yes, they were open for business that day. Let me see... that truck was 32 years+ old. It still worked but the fenders were rusty and falling apart and I decided it was too ugly (never did like the color) to drive anymore. The point is: it still WORKED!!! I also have a 1967 Mustang that doesn't work but should work again sometime soon - I think I'll install Windows XP on my next computer - it seems to work well...

crbroker
crbroker

Some things - and companies - have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the technical 21st Century. At least here in Central Florida. They might get the message when, one bright sunny morniing, it won't wake up. PS. I like pies.

wistful
wistful

These data are ordered; why not use column charts? One pie chart after another; it's quite hard to take in.

CYBERSUN
CYBERSUN

I believe anybody, thinking that Big Business will take the plunge into what I just read is a vastly different OS where people will need to retool themselves, is completely out to lunch. It may just be that people will retain WIN 7 longer and see this one through up to when MS kicks out another one. This one has all the smell of VISTA the SEQUEL.

craigc
craigc

I was recently at a customer site, and noticed a dramatic increase in Apple computers at work. It's too bad the surveys failed to ask about non windows platforms. I have a (very unscientific) suspicion that a significant number of the XP users remaining have no intention of migrating to another windows platform. Heck, I curious about Apple systems for work myself..

JimiKay
JimiKay

Over the past two decades, we have seen the pace of "change" not only in the US, but in most advanced societies around the world not just spring forward, but turn up the pace full throttle into what is becoming a nightmare for those who must keep up with the latest technologies. Not only is this true for Microsofts operating systems, but the trades that use PC's & Mac's for their jobs. The reflection on the general population is shown in this poll; that many people just hang on to their OS until updates are discontinued and beyond. Being a student over the past decade (part-time), I have seen the graphic & web design changes upfront. This is no cheap field to keep up with. Adobe's CS series now run close to $2,000 a pop for starring up with a full suite, if not a student/teacher, and not many people have that kind of cash to work with. The same holds true for many people in OS purchasing. It's time for the industry to work this factor into their advancements, perhaps setting longer updating times for older systems, or sell add-ons instead of all new systems. The impact of a slow economy is seen here, with 76% using older systems, most likely because they can't afford new machines or operating systems.

Murrel
Murrel

The interesting question that was apparently not asked was the split between Vista and Win7 for the non-XP users. With MS ending XP support, users must migrate somewhere. My guess is that at this point no one is migrating from XP, but Windows 7 is the next landing spot for Windows users. After viewing Windows 8, I can't imagine any business or desktop users upgrading there. It may be great for phones and tablets (mine still use Android) but the interface is brutal for business and home spreadsheet and/or word processing.

Wordrider
Wordrider

There's a variable in the equation that may have been overlooked: How many new PC's were added since the last survey? Those don't come with XP installed anymore. Given the choice, some of us might still opt for old reliable. (Remember when new Lenovo PC's came with an option to "downgrade" from Vista to XP?)

XoomXoom
XoomXoom

It has been a challenge to support users on the change from Win XP to 7 but nothing too out there since it still was fairly close to the windows look and feel. I've been running Windows 8 on my office laptop for about a month now, and the changes are so significant to the daily use of the windows interface that the user support is going to be very difficult. I still am struggling with how to find some of the locations where they hid stuff and I'm the tech. Personally, I'm OK with Windows 8 after a month of messing around and have found the way to beat the metro start screen is dual monitors, but rank and file users will really struggle with this change. I think that MS thought users have gotten more sophisticated with the proliferation of smart phones, but honestly, 80% of my users with smart phones really can't even operate their phones with any degree of expertise.

mckinnej
mckinnej

The ironic part of this survey and article is that we are discussing how many of us are upgrading to what is now essentially the previous version of Windows or happily churning along with software that is over a decade old. In the past upgrades moved a lot faster because there were compelling reasons like stability, functionality, etc. MS has almost worked themselves out of a job with Windows, which is a natural process when you think about it. But they have to have new sales to stay in business, so they come up with new versions and try to figure out ways to force us to buy them. Makes you wonder if the perceived good-bad cycle of Windows versions is accidental.

mathelm
mathelm

One question to all, if your pace maker were running XP, how quick would you be to upgrade? They (we) don't trust Microsoft not to screw up some tiny aspect of their setup, there by bringing the system to a halt. Or worst, exposing their or their customers data. Just as they keep the same safe for 50+ years, even though a newer one would be more secure, no one wants to take a chance. Especially on a historically untrustworthy company such as Microsoft.

terry.sanderson
terry.sanderson

It's been over two years since the relase of Windows 7, and I'm tired of IT people telling me that it's not the right time to upgrade. Get with it, Win 8 is just around the corner, and if you're not on the program, you're going to be left behind. Stop telling us you still have legacy apps that need Win 95 or Win 98. Move on.

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

With the exception of a few where our own in house created software doesn't support Windows 7...oh the irony.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

virtually impossible to get new replacement hardware that has Windows XP drivers for all of it, thus there's a FORCED migration going on.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

The poll results show that Windows 7 is steadily becoming the de facto Windows operating system of choice. Is your organization ahead of the trend or running behind it? Does it matter in the long run?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

the more sense a bar chart makes. Pies are good for a snapshot percentage of the whole, but they're not very good at comparing four different sets of data.

willis0966
willis0966

Anyone still using XP has probably exhausted all need for support. It has proven to be a fairly solid system. I run XP on three machines, W7 on another and Ubuntu on another. If MS hadn't screwed up the file explorer so badly, I wouldn't have had to install Explorer++ on the W7 machine. All of them work well and I don't see me switching any of them to W8 any time soon. I have an ancient laptop with a 8MHz processor that still only runs DOS - but it still works!

michaellashinsky
michaellashinsky

Vista was a disaster of an OS. XP was more buggy than Win'2K until SP2 came out. After SP2, XP became a really good OS. People seem to think the 100 or so patches and updates since then are a reason to switch away from XP. I see it as a reason to stay with XP. They finally got all the bugs out! No other M$ OS is as finished as XP is.

xangpow
xangpow

Now, I have heard both sides of the stories for 8, “Windows 8 sucks.” “Windows 8 is the worst OS since Millennium.” (Yes, I actually read this once. Obviously they never used Vista.) Then the other side “Windows 8 is great.” “Windows 8 is going to be the best OS.” (Until I actually use 8 on a regular basis, 7 is the best OS for PC’s) Yet, the other day I found someone that was able to show me Windows 8 and let me use it a little and I will say this. It IS different. It also looks cool but I can see where problems will come up. I can see the “learning curve” to be rather big for people that are very used to using the “Start” menu format.

Travasaurus
Travasaurus

I'm looking for more "real-world" commentary such as this, as I'm facing the same thing and I haven't even worked with Windows 8 yet. Please feel free to post more of your experiences if you would, to assist the rest of us with coping with the challenge of migration. If there's no commonality between 7 & 8 I've got some users who might be in Big Trouble! Your remark about the people with their Smart Phones has really got me worried...

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

Umm, XP is a good operating system, but it does have issue especially around security and stability. Vista introduced a new driver model that was supposed to help stability and server 2008 introduced capabilities that kept one print driver crash from bringing down every printer. As much as people complained about UAC it was a major step forward for security and a similar process is the de facto standard for Linux (sudo). Windows 7 has better search capabilities (start menu, control panel and searching indexed and non-indexed items together) and I love how it will resize windows when you touch the side or top while moving the window. Bill

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

I know of one major organisation still running a core program on a twenty-five year old mainframe as to update it to work with the new hardware is an expense of a few million dollars which they don't NEED to pay while the old gear still works. And they're right, don't change for the sake of change, have a REAL reason to do so.

DLeh
DLeh

Imagine an SMB running very expensive accounting/sales software that the entire company relies on 24/7 that doesn't support Windows 7, but only Windows XP. Stop imagining, that's where I work. I didn't write the software, and I can't upgrade the software. And the software is so cost prohibitive that changing to another company isn't possible... especially since the software we are using is the Industry standard. We use Windows XP. It's not a choice. And if you work for an SMB like mine, I will tell you that your desktop will run XP. I don't care if you are "tired", it's a fact of life and here... an immovable law of the universe that is my job. And before anyone says it, yes, we have some machines running Windows 7 with XP Mode (sort of, it's buggy, can't run fully integrated, must run XP in a full window). I just hate when people ignorantly go, "Pshhh! What's the hold up?!? Don't you like Windows 7! Why are you resisting!" It's not a choice, guys. If it were a choice, the jump to Windows 7 would already be done. From an IT perspective, Windows 7 is very attractive. It's simply NOT possible in many cases. Hell, I'm still running a couple NT boxes because they stopped making software for certain production machines. Any of you know how to snap your fingers and make everyone work by simply "moving on"... then you should work at MS and design that system that simply allows IT to hit the "move on" button.

VictorGutzler
VictorGutzler

Yes, it's time to finally upgrade, and I am glad we delayed as long as we did, since we did not have to mess with Vista and Win 7 just to have Win 8 arrive 2 years later! How can MS expect enterprises to support them when new systems come out every 2 years or so!? Our concern now is how to securely integrate BYOD. It's looking alot like the days of mainframe and terminal services, what with server farms of virtual desktops....

xangpow
xangpow

I still have people bring in a computers that are using DDR RAM, PATA drives, and XP and my first reaction is shock and laughter. Then I remember that is not good customer support. So I have to assure them I am not trying to make fun of them, its more of a since of "awe" and wonderment.

michaellashinsky
michaellashinsky

My company has more XP than 7 machines, but I see more malware on the 7 systems. I know there are other factors, and I won't get into them now, but 7 isn't a magic bullet. It gets malware too, and I have more trouble cleaning it off. (It is often easier to save the desktop and documents and delete the profile.) Add the extra work supporting drivers and software, and I think we have lost a little bit of productivity. Most people don't need more than what XP does. Sure, 7 is nice, but isn't necessary. Don't even get me started on 8! There is no compelling reason to upgrade. When the old computer dies, then they will get the latest OS on the new box. (And hopefully won't get hosed like so many did with Vista.)

michaellashinsky
michaellashinsky

Just because it is old, doesn't mean it has to be replaced. Software isn't tires!