Slow start for Windows XP, say City IT managers

Financial services: Survey finds City firms stick with older Windows platforms; Lloyds TSB delivers e-service

Financial services: Survey finds City firms stick with older Windows platforms; Lloyds TSB delivers e-service

One in two financial services organisations have no plans to upgrade to Microsoft's Windows XP.

The widespread rejection of Microsoft's flagship operating system emerged in exclusive research by Computer Weekly at the CityIT conference last month.

Almost a quarter of the 200 financial services IT directors and managers surveyed said they did not plan to start implementing Windows XP on their desktops before the middle of next year, while a further 52% did not currently envisage migrating at all.

One in five financial services companies have not yet fully deployed Windows 2000, even at departmental level, and upgrades to Windows XP will be started slowly, if at all.

Many organisations are still halfway through their Windows 2000 upgrades, according to the survey, and the bulk of the activity is at departmental level. Only one-quarter of respondents have fully deployed the operating system across their organisations on their servers, and one-third have done so on their desktops. About 40% of respondents have fully deployed Windows 2000 in some departments on both servers and the desktop.

The survey also revealed that Linux and other open source operating systems are being taken seriously by more than one-third of the respondents, who are either evaluating or piloting them in their organisations. However, with nearly 60% not doing anything with Linux or open source the open source movement has a long way still to go, despite the hype.

Separate research by Computer Weekly conducted during the CityIT conference found that for nearly 30% of financial services companies, recent changes to software licensing charges had increased their costs by up to 15%. One in five (22.7%) companies said their software costs had risen by between 16% and 30%.

Earlier this year Microsoft outraged users when it introduced new licensing arrangements which scrapped software trade-ins and increased costs significantly for many users.

However, David Roberts, chairman of Tif, the forum for large corporate users, said limited uptake for Windows XP was primarily in response to the downturn in the economy.

"Organisations are sweating their hardware and software assets and will continue to do so as long as the economic situation remains unpredictable," said Roberts.

He forecast that there would be a significant migration to Windows XP within large organisations once the economy stabilises.

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