Windows XP: Microsoft Sends Out a Gentle Reminder

window xp

New Delhi, Nov 19: Software giant Microsoft has rolled up its sleeve to push as many as public banks and government departments to migrate from the usage of Windows XP to its latest versions like Windows 7 and 8 within the next 100 days.

Since Windows XP support will no longer be provided by Microsoft from April 8, 2014, the company has come out with attractive upgrade programs including significant discounts on the purchase of Windows 7 and 8 packages, a senior official said.

“We have been advising our customers to move off Windows XP for a long time now. There are a significant number of PCs out there that still need to be moved per a plan. The move to a modern OS like Windows 8.1 will not only alleviate the risks for users and businesses but will also open up opportunities posed by modern technology, like the cloud, for them”, said Amrish Goyal, General Manager, Windows Business Group, Microsoft India.

He further said, “Over the last one year, our team has made lots of progress in this direction. Most of the companies have already moved from Windows XP with 70 percent of commercial entities like government, banks and companies shifting to Windows 7 and 8. The remaining 30 percent are still using XP operating software.”

The company is super concerned on this fairly large portion of the pie. This 30 percent comprises public sector banks, where almost 50 percent of their IT infrastructure is running on windows XP. In the recent past, Microsoft and other research organizations have come out with various reports to quantify the risks that banks may face, when Microsoft withdraws the XP support.

According to Ascentius Consulting, a total of 34,115 bank branches of PSU banks continue to rely on Windows XP for which Microsoft is revoking customer support from April 8, 2014. The study also shows that Windows XP penetration in banks continues to be in the region of 40 to 70 percent.

“We have launched few programs that will support them to move from XP to new versions. These programs include heavy discounts, support in installing and testing Windows 7 and training to employees and many others,” Goyal said.

“We want to support PSUs bank in next 3-6 months. Under the upgrade program especially for Indian banks can avail discount to the tune of 50-70 percent. To boost the demand, we are giving upgraded version so that they can make use of this time, and become safer, secured and up- to-date. Banks can get these benefits till end of January, 2014,” he said.

Besides this, the other program for banks include pilot testing and proof of concepts. “We will align our solution providers and OEMs partners to test their applications running on Windows 7. We will do the complete testing and make sure everything works, when these companies go for broad based installations. For our premium customers, our engineers will support and ensure smooth transition at the backend.”

So far Microsoft has started 50 such programs and plans to do another 50 in the coming months. The company claims there are 2.5 million computers presently running on Windows XP. Microsoft has set a target of achieving 90 percent conversion before the deadline.

When asked about programs for SMBs, Goyal said, “For reaching out to small and medium business, our OEMs are giving attractive offers. Moreover, we are seeing hardware refreshment at SMBs. As per our estimates, 40 percent of SMBs are due for hardware refreshments, of which 20 percent of them are planned to get refreshed.”

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