It is now 2010 and today was supposed to be the two-year anniversary from the end of Microsoft Windows XP sales.  (It was eventually pushed back several months due to public outcry and the flop of Windows Vista.)  We are coming up on XP’s ninth birthday this summer.  Most enterprises are stubbornly sticking to Windows XP, even when purchasing new machines, as about 60% of machines in businesses still use Windows XP.  Of course, vendors are also helping the operating system perpetuate its dominance as it becomes obsolete by continuing to offer Windows 7 or Windows Vista with the option of an XP downgrade.  But who can blame them?  The market is demanding that XP continues to be available.

Most agree that Windows Vista came with more than its fair share of problems.  It may have been the single worst thing to ever happen to Microsoft, as Vista hurt its reputation considerably and some users  have decided to use other operating systems (more on this in the next entry).  End users and administrators alike are hesitant to adopt Windows 7 for the fear that, like Vista, the product has too many unfamiliar features (notably security settings) that get in the way of doing business as expediently as possible.

However, it has been almost four months since Windows 7’s hyped-up release.  And while the XP downgrade is still available in many places, it will not be around forever.  Windows 7, meanwhile, has started to be adopted more steadily by enterprises.  There is no way around it:  XP is almost nine years old and it is probably time for many businesses to make the switch.  Think of it this way:  Is your automobile eight years old?  How many cars have you purchased since August 2001?  Chances are, your operating system is older than your current car, and possibly your last car.  Windows 7 has enjoyed a warm reception, and it’s not early in the game anymore.  XP is becoming obsolete, and it’s time to wonder if business will keep their death grip on XP until support is completely extinct in 2014.  It may be time to say goodbye to the familiar system and move forward.

Since 1994, GraVoc Associates, Inc. has been providing clients in Greater Boston, New England, and beyond through technology in the fields of information systems, information security, and professional services.  GraVoc is based in Peabody, Massachusetts and its wide range of services include hardware and software procurement, network infrastructure design and management, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems integration.  For more information about GraVoc, please visit

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