Are we too cheap and lazy to move on from Windows XP?


Not surprisingly, yet another survey released this week pointed out how a disproportionate number of Windows XP systems have been found to be infected with rootkit malware. Despite numerous pleas by Microsoft to retire Windows XP systems, market share of the decade-old operating system continues to dwarf that of the far more secure Windows 7 OS released in 2009.

What caught my attention this time however was the explanation by Avast Software that the Windows XP infection rate could have been skewed by a large number of computers running on Windows XP SP2, an edition of the Windows OS that is no longer maintained by Microsoft. So why not just switch to Windows XP SP3, a simple update away?

Avast thinks that piracy could have a hand to play here. Users of pirated editions of Windows XP may be reluctant to upgrade for fear of triggering anti-piracy measures from Microsoft. This would force them to buy the real McCoy, which would kind of defeat the trouble taken to pirate Windows in the first place, right? In the absence of any other explanation for why users continue to cling to Windows XP, we're left with this: Windows XP won't die because we are just too cheap.

But what of the many enterprises still running Windows XP SP2? They aren't pirating their Windows XP installations too, surely? Reading through various commentary out there relating to XP, it is clear that many companies are stymied due to legacy software compatibility, as well as the lack of incentive to upgrade. On top of being cheap, are we also lazy?

Agree, disagree? I would to hear your thoughts and suggestions on moving away from Windows XP for good. - Paul Mah (Twitter @paulmah)


Update: Many TechWatch readers have responded with emails and comments on this topic. I've put together some of the most insightful feedback in a new article: TechWatch readers respond: The real reasons we are not upgrading from Windows XP.

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