In one more month, Windows XP will officially be celebrating’s its first full year in retirement. Yes, for almost a whole year now, XP has been shuffling around the IT old folks home, presumably playing bingo with Netscape and winning arm-wrestling contests against its old pal Windows 98.
Yet despite this upcoming anniversary, it remains a worrying fact that more than 15% of the world’s computers
continue to run Windows XP as their primary operating system. While it’s fair to assume that a good handful of these machines are being maintained by sentimental (if not unwise) individuals, the fact is that far more are being run as part of a larger enterprise operation. This is a dangerous game for any business to be playing, placing both their security and their customers’ data at risk.
This said however, the majority of enterprises are now paying out for Microsoft’s extended support
option – at least until they get their apps migrated to Windows 7, 8 or 10. For the last year this has proved a sensible – if not costly – approach. Still, left with few alternatives, it was a price that most businesses were willing to pay.
Unfortunately however, following rumours
from Microsoft last week, it looks like this cost is finally about to outweigh the benefits.
Yes, it appears that XP’s charming retirement home is planning on doubling its fees. According to this report
on ComputerWorld, Microsoft is about to increase the cost of its extended support renewal from $200 a device to $400 a device – a staggering increase for any enterprise still hoping to cling to the out-dated OS.
For some in the market, this increase has been viewed as nothing more than a last-ditch attempt for Microsoft to squeeze more money out of the end of XP. Personally, we at Camwood think this is unlikely. If anything, the tech giant is playing a far longer and potentially smarter game.
The truth is that with each passing month Microsoft grows less patient with the ever shrinking community still clinging onto Windows XP. For them, as the number of large enterprise using the OS decreases, the time involved in maintaining post-life support grows increasingly costly – both in terms of development time and developer salaries. As a result, Microsoft is as desperate as anyone to move the remaining 15% away from Windows XP – especially if they can be convinced to switch to a similar Microsoft-based platform such as Windows 7 or 10.
From this perspective, it’s clear that the new pricing strategy is not some sinister ‘money grab’, but rather a forceful incentive for companies to abandon XP. Still, for the 14-year-old operating system that refuses to quit, will this decision prove the final nail in the coffin? Or is there still life in the OS yet? Only time will tell.