HP has collaborated with Microsoft to provide hardware and software tools to simplify businesses' transition from the Windows XP operating system (OS). Microsoft is ending support for the widely-used OS and its Office 2003 suite in April 2014.
Although Windows XP support will end in less than 10 months, as many as 40% of businesses have not yet deployed an alternative OS, according to a study by HP.
Research firm Gartner has predicted that more than 15% of medium and large enterprises will still be running Windows XP on at least 10% of their PCs after Microsoft support ends next year.
In April this year, Microsoft posted a warning on its website: “If your organisation has not started the migration to a modern desktop, you are late.”
The average enterprise deployment can take 18 to 32 months from business case through full deployment. Analysts have warned that companies without a Windows XP migration plan risk facing compliance issues.
“Many businesses have been avoiding the XP migration, fearing lack of compatibility and loss of productivity during the transition process,” said Enrique Lores, senior vice-president and general manager, commercial PCs, at HP.
More guidance on migrating from Microsoft Windows XP
Rising costs of sticking with Windows XP
Organisations that continue to use Windows XP past its end-of-support status will incur additional IT costs to develop software security patches to prevent breaches as Microsoft will not support the OS, HP warned.
Migrating to a newer platform such as Windows 7 can help businesses reduce their technical support needs by up to 70% per PC and save as much as $700 (£463) annually per user from reduced support and power costs, HP’s study showed.
According to an IDC whitepaper titled Why sticking to Windows XP is a bad idea, the research firm estimated that businesses can halve their lost productivity costs per PC by migrating away from Windows XP. For every 230 supported PCs, a move to Windows 7 frees up the equivalent of one full-time resource, the paper showed.
Financial and practical help for Windows migrations
While HP’s products will help businesses migrate to a more current version of Windows, HP Financial Services (HPFS) will help businesses do it for a “minimal upfront investment”, Lores added.
The financial services offerings provide customers easy payment plans to simplify their Windows XP transition. The HP service offers payment deferrals for up to 90 days, or cashback options to encourage users make the transition.
The company is also offering consulting and support services to enterprises for all stages of the Windows XP transition.
By working with a company such as HP, which has hardware and services solutions in place, businesses can immediately start realising the benefits of Windows 8 and Windows 7
Erwin Visser, Microsoft.
When transitioning to a new OS, organisations must take a holistic view across hardware and software to achieve full optimisation, according to HP. This means they must factor in newer working trends and changing work styles to accommodate a bring your own device (BYOD) policy.
Microsoft welcomed HP’s investment in enabling customers move from the popular XP system.
“By working with a company such as HP, which has hardware and services solutions in place, businesses can immediately start realising the benefits of Windows 8 and Windows 7,” said Erwin Visser, general manager, Windows, at Microsoft.
Some UK enterprise customers such as Jaguar Land Rover and Centrica have already started migrating to Microsoft Windows 7.
The upgrade is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s multi-million pound five-year IT project, its CIO told Computer Weekly.
Meanwhile, Centrica is set to complete migrating its 26,500 staff from Microsoft Windows XP to Windows 7 before the end of 2013.