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650,000 XP desktops at risk in India as support ends

Sanil Nadkarni

On Monday 8 April, Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft, leaving an estimated 650,000 PCs in India without operating system support.

The company decided to withdraw all its support for Windows XP, despite it still holding 29% of market share globally.

The software giant has left no choice to its customer but to migrate to its Windows 7/8 operating systems if they want continued support.

Windows XP is ever present in Indian enterprise and small companies.

Today around four million enterprise desktops in India run XP.  

Microsoft's managing director in India Karan Bajwa recently said that out of the four million users in India, about 16% (650,000) of computers are using XP without any upgrade plans as of now.

Gartner said globally that more than 15% of medium and large

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enterprises will still have Windows XP running on at least 10% of their PCs after Microsoft support ends. Gartner is advising businesses to ditch the operating system quickly because of the security risks.

IT budgets are shrinking, making it harder for companies to migrate from Windows XP. Enterprises in the banking and financial services (BFSI) space lead the list of those yet to migrate, followed by manufacturing companies and telcos.

According to recent media reports, there are around 100,000 ATMs in India, many of which run Windows XP.

IT and BPO companies have gathered pace to migrate from Windows XP as their customers need to be compliant with laws such as data protection act, SOX Compliance and HIPPA.

Companies are also running risk of its antivirus not supporting Windows XP. Antivirus Giants such as Symantec have announced they are withdrawing support for Windows XP.

Originally launched in 2001, Windows XP is Microsoft's most successful operating system. Once the company revamped security and hardened the bug-ridden Internet Explorer (IE) web browser in 2004, XP evolved into a stable platform with the Service Pack 2 (SP2) release.

Microsoft tried to convince enterprises to refresh their desktop OS with Windows Vista in 2005, but many had just upgraded to Windows XP SP2 so did not have the stomach, or the cash, to refresh PCs again.

Even Windows 7, which was released in 2009, has been a bit of a slow burner for Microsoft.