Windows XP Just Keeps Hanging On

It was announced last month that the UK government has paid Microsoft £5.5m to extend the support of Windows XP for an additional year. Given that the support deadline date has been known since 2007 it’s not surprising that many are questioning the government’s IT strategy. A study just last autumn showed that 85% of the National Health Service’s machines were still running Windows XP. It will be interesting to see where trusts manage to get to by this time in 2015, given ever squeezed budgets.

Almost more worrying is that the newest version of Internet Explorer that Windows XP can handle is IE8, which was now released over 5 years ago. With many prohibited from using alternatives such as Firefox or Chrome, it’s clear that any private business wishing their website to be used by government departments will need to ensure backward compatibility. Not ideal given the increasing expectations of a website being responsive across desktop, mobile and tablet platforms.

Last week Microsoft announced that the zero day vulnerability in Internet Explorer would also be fixed in IE8, given the close proximity to ending support. With this development it feels like XP will just keep hanging on, however, barring another vulnerability in the next few weeks it is likely that this will have been the last fix public users will see.

As a Dell registered partner, we’ve assisted businesses in upgrading their machines from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8 and also helped customers getting used to the new OS layouts. With an OS upgrade a new version of Microsoft Office usually follows and for those still using Office 2003, this can come as a bit of a shock, so again help or training can be provided.