Take-up of Windows 8 expected to be high as XP support ends
Take-up of Windows 8 expected to be high as XP support ends

Almost two-thirds of IT managers expect to roll out Microsoft's Windows 8 in the next two years.


Ahead of the expected launch of the new OS later this year, SecureData's survey asked 100 senior IT managers in large UK enterprises and found that 68 per cent expect to deploy Windows 8 in the next two years. Some respondents from the financial sector said that they expected to roll out Windows 8 within six months of its launch.


Microsoft announced in April that it plans to end support for XP and Office 2003 in April 2014. Paul Henry, security and forensic analyst at Lumension, said there is a measurable security benefit in moving off Windows XP, adding that Vista's extended support will continue until 2017.


Speaking on this research, Henry told SC Magazine that he did not find this research surprising as 'it just makes sense'.


He said: “Windows 8 has significant security enhancements that provide a compelling reason to upgrade, which is reflected in the 68 per cent of IT managers that plan to roll it out over the next two years. Further, as the Microsoft Windows 8 update is security focused in many respects, naturally the financial sector (perhaps the most vulnerable sector) will be the quickest to update as reflected in the survey in the next six months.


“Historically, with few exceptions, it simply makes sense to always run the most current version of any vendors product, as it reflects their best and perhaps most timely efforts from a security perspective. This is clearly reflected in Microsoft Windows 8 with the respective security enhancements and provides a compelling reason to upgrade sooner then later.”

The SecureData research also found that 48 per cent of companies with 3,000+ employees have no current plans to implement the Windows 8 software, whereas only 16 per cent of companies with 1,001-3,000 employees have no current plans to upgrade.


Henry said: “This is perhaps a reflection of the state of 'insecurity' we find ourselves in today, with larger organisations still continuing to neglect their endpoints and focusing their security efforts at the gateway with point solutions.”


Brian Honan, consultant at BH Consulting, said: “From my experience, a lot of large organisations are either still running Windows XP or are in the process of migrating to Windows 7. In my experience, large organisations are slow to move to a new operating system due to ensuring compatibility with legacy application and systems, concern over bugs in the new features, training costs of IT and business staff in the new environment and associated costs with upgrading hardware to support the new platform.


“On top of this the current financial slowdown means many organisations are slow to invest in new IT and are working hard to get more value out of their existing IT environments. Windows 8 will be adapted but, in my opinion, it will not be slow process with many organisations taking cautious steps along the way to ensure they are getting solid returns for the time and money that will need to be invested in the migration.”