Microsoft: Indian banks could be at "major risk" if they don't ditch Windows XP

Microsoft has been warning the world for the past couple of years that there could be serious issues for individuals and businesses who stick with using Windows XP after its support cut-off date of April 8th, 2014. This week, Microsoft India issued what may be their most stern warning of the consequences of staying with Windows XP, directed specifically at the country's banking industry.

The press release states that, according to a recent study, the use of the 12-year-old OS is still prevalent in India's banks. It says that 34,115 bank branches in that country "are at risk, thanks to their reliance on Windows XP." Microsoft claims that some branches located in rural and semi-urban areas could go down due to their continued use of the OS. The company added that even branches in urban locations could see more than half of their customers wait up to 30 minutes to handle an average transaction.

Microsoft recommends that banks in India that are still using Windows XP begin their migrations to a newer version of the OS now as this kind of transition will likely take 100 working days to complete. Expect to see more of these kinds of warnings from Microsoft as the April 8th date approaches.

Source: Microsoft India via Forbes | Image via notefashion.com

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What about all the US banks, credit unions, and medical practice sites that still use XP? You see that "XP Professional" splash screen all over the place.

Well, now that Microsoft told the world that Indian banks are still using XP, yes they are at a greater risk...

If banks have general purpose internet connections, they're idiots. They should be using point-to-point lines direct to the bank's servers.

I wonder how many of those banks have not migrated because they're running pirated copies of Windows XP.

though, it's much easier to pirate Windows 7, 8 or even 8.1 than XP.

timster said,
I wonder how many of those banks have not migrated because they're running pirated copies of Windows XP.

though, it's much easier to pirate Windows 7, 8 or even 8.1 than XP.

Huh? It's not easy to pirate 8/8.1 at all.

timster said,
I wonder how many of those banks have not migrated because they're running pirated copies of Windows XP.

though, it's much easier to pirate Windows 7, 8 or even 8.1 than XP.

There is nothing hard on pirate XP.

Even some banks here are still using XP SP2 with some garbage ancient VB6 applications. Their legacy applications are mostly from early last decade and won't even probably be compatible with Windows 7. But then it doesn't matter since the terminals aren't probably connected to the internet.

I'm not sure why India is being singled out on this. Many U.S. banks are still running XP and around here, just like Vester in the U.K., a lot of doctors and hospitals in the U.S. are still running XP.

@JHBrown, it's not only a laziness/money issue. A bank I worked for a couple years ago couldn't even upgrade to IE 7 (SEVEN!!!!) because it broke compatibility with all of their web apps. They'd have to invest a major amount of development time and money to get all their internal programs up to snuff.

Innuendo said,
I'm not sure why India is being singled out on this. Many U.S. banks are still running XP and around here, just like Vester in the U.K., a lot of doctors and hospitals in the U.S. are still running XP.

@JHBrown, it's not only a laziness/money issue. A bank I worked for a couple years ago couldn't even upgrade to IE 7 (SEVEN!!!!) because it broke compatibility with all of their web apps. They'd have to invest a major amount of development time and money to get all their internal programs up to snuff.

Many US banks are still running OS/2!!!!!!!! I'm not even kidding!

Not just Indian banks.. I was in several of the major UK banks over the last few weeks (buying my first house) and all of the ones I visited to go through a mortgage application process, were all still running XP on their computers.

You could only hope that a Windows 7 rollout is imminent for them all!

pmbAustin said,
File that under 'criminal negligence'...

Yeah - pretty sure they were using an old version of IE too. I suppose the only positive thing to take from it is that the systems are pretty locked down, and no doubt on a very secured network going through some kind of site to site VPN - I was watching them using the computers and it's not like they use them for email, or web browsing or anything else - they're used to run the bank applications and nothing else.

The banks are not the only issue. Our health care system in the UK seams be to ran on XP every doctors and hospital i have been in it has always been Windows XP. I have actually never seen anything above Windows XP.

Worst of all most the systems are not that old (less than 5 years) so they must have asked for Windows XP to be installed on them.

Upgrading to Windows 7 should be an easy transition. Money shouldn't be an issue, it's a bank. Lazy management/IT?

pmbAustin said,
Or even just to Windows 7.

Which has a shorter support life, which is bad when you're talking about upgrading for long term security purposes.

Indian banks knew this was coming years ago. They only have themselves to blame. Same as with any other goods - at some point the manufacturer is going to stop support and people who still have those goods are going to have to either get new equipment or go it alone.