Microsoft support for Windows XP officially expires in April 2014.
Tech Pro Research did an online survey of 641 respondents to find out
the future plans of organizations that use Windows XP. The survey sought
to uncover what is driving the decision to stick with Windows XP, if
that is the case. Or, if they’re moving away from Windows XP, what
operating system will they be using next?

In the resulting report, The end of Windows XP support: Concerns and upgrade plans,
it was a bit startling to find that 37 percent of respondents do intend
to continue using the venerable OS despite the fact that Microsoft will
no longer develop security patches or updates for it.

Windows XP survey

Windows
XP has maintained a dominant share of the desktop OS segment for more
than a decade. Windows 7 is now the leading OS, and the use of Windows
XP has been declining during the past year, but according to data from
Net Applications it still makes up almost a third of the desktop OS
market, and has nearly three times the market share of Windows 8 and
Windows 8.1 combined.

The results of the survey in terms of the
mix of desktops versus laptops and other form factors, and what
organizations plan to purchase as they migrate from Windows XP to a new
OS are surprising, and don’t reflect the prevailing perception that
desktop PCs are a dying breed.

The survey focused on the following areas:

  • Plans once Windows XP support ends
  • Reasons for sticking with Windows XP
  • Reasons for leaving Windows XP
  • Preferred OS
  • Plans for desktop PCs
  • Replacement choices for desktop PCs

Plans for machines currently running Windows XP

With
so many organizations reporting Windows XP in use on 81 to 100 percent
of the PCs, you might expect an equally large percentage planning to
abandon Windows XP as support expires. That does not seem to be the
case. The below chart illustrates that more than 60 percent of
respondents either don’t have Windows XP in the first place, or plan to
upgrade to another operating system. However, a significant percentage
of respondents plan to simply stick with Windows XP—second only to
upgrading to Windows 7.

Reasons for sticking with Windows XP

There
are three prevailing reasons respondents cited for choosing the risk of
continuing to run Windows XP over upgrading to a new operating system:
Cost, critical software that requires Windows XP, and the “if it ain’t
broke, don’t fix it” mentality. A frequent choice among survey
respondents was, “It works, so there’s no need to change,” with 40
percent choosing this option. The next most popular reason for sticking
with Windows XP, at 39 percent was “Crucial software depends on Windows
XP.” Cost came in third with the remaining 21 percent.

To read more on the subject, download the full Tech Pro Research report, The end of Windows XP support: Concerns and upgrade plans. The report is free to all Tech Pro Research subscribers.