IT Begins Shift Away from Windows XP, Survey Suggests

Dennis Faas's picture

When Windows Vista failed in 2007, it was the average company's Information Technology department that killed it. Well, not entirely, but IT has in the past proven reticent to move beyond the well-established Windows XP. According to a recent report, however, that's finally starting to change.

"Over the years, IT has had a real love affair with XP," notes analyst Diane Hagglund of Dimensional Research. She's the author of a recent survey that asked over 900 IT pros what they thought about using Windows XP in the post-Windows 7 era.

Most IT Experts Still Wedded to Windows XP

Hagglund's study found that most IT professionals (60 per cent) continue to feel concerned about the cost of upgrading systems to Windows 7, including updating hardware. This majority felt that expense was more of an issue than sticking with Windows XP, which is now almost a decade old.

Still, more and more IT experts are starting to think differently. Whereas very few IT pros were inclined to make the shift to Windows Vista, Microsoft's last operating system (OS) before Windows 7, an increasing number are now starting to show concern about XP's age.

The remaining 40 per cent of respondents in Hagglund's poll said they were worried about the cost of keeping XP maintained and secure more so than the cost of upgrading systems to Windows 7. (Source:

Windows 7 Fast Start Changes Opinions

In looking at the numbers, it's clear Windows 7's impressive start has finally begun to win over IT critics. After all, a similar poll by Dimensional Research in April 2009, months before Windows 7's release, showed that only 28 per cent of respondents were leaning towards an upgrade. Everyone else was still comfortable with XP.

"Windows 7 is looking pretty good to more businesses," Hagglund noted. "Part of what's happening with XP, I think, is like when you're very wedded to the spouse you have because there's no other choice. But now, there's this other one out there."

Upgrading costs aside, it's going to get harder and harder for IT professionals to ignore Windows 7 as XP nears its 2014 retirement date. After that point, Microsoft will no longer offer updates or support for the OS.

Hagglund's survey also found that about 16 per cent of respondents were currently running Windows 7, with another 42 per cent readying deployment for sometime before the end of 2010. (Source:

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