Windows XP still used by nearly one in five SMBs

A new report has indicated that almost one in five small and medium-sized businesses are still using Windows XP despite official support having ended for the ageing operating system over two months ago.

BetaNews reports that security experts Bitdefender found during a three-month worldwide survey that almost 19% of SMBs still actively use XP, launched in 2001, on a daily basis. Many appear to have a noticeable sense of disregard for the potential security implications of doing so.

Bitdefender's Chief Security Strategist, Catalin Cosoi, explained how the continued usage by so many firms could be derived from Microsoft's decision to release a patch for a critical zero-day vulnerability in the company's Internet Explorer web browser for XP users just weeks after the end of support. As Microsoft does, Cosoi warns that users should not count on this happening again, saying

"this was an exception that shouldn’t make enterprises believe it will happen again, so the migration from XP is a must."

The study comes after the recent discovery that a Windows XP registry tweak can be used to trick the Windows Update servers into allowing the download of new updates past the end of support.

Another interesting fact uncovered by Bitdefender's report, undertaken from March to May this year, is that 13% of employees are still able to login to computer systems at companies they worked for in the past using old credentials as accounts are not deleted.

The study looked at over 5,000 SMBs and found that 18.7% of them still run Windows XP. The majority, at 53.4%, ran Windows 7 Professional which has long-term support from Microsoft until 2020 whereas only a small minority had Windows 8.1, the newest version of the operating system.

Bitdefender themselves are amongst many antivirus software providers who are going to continue to support XP with their own products for several years to come. Bitdefender will end support for their products on XP in January 2016 and January 2017 for business users so there is a conflict of interest here but the statistics are still considered representative of the SMB market.

Source: BetaNews

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Geee I'd love to..... however I have older hardware..is Microsoft going to supplement my having to purchase a new system for their O/S? I have multiple programs that I need for work that work well on XP but won't on Win7 or above. Is Microsoft going to supplement my conversion for software? {oh one of them is approx 300.00} I have a printer that works nicely on XP is Microsoft / HP going to make drivers so that it works with Win7 or above? Most all of the patches went for their "swiss cheese" Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. So I think I'll use Firefox and Thunderbird for internet and email. Hole plugged. I'll add Zone Alarm software firewall and hardware router. {which I will change default password} Hole Plugged. Add AVG for AntiVirus, Spybot and Malware Bytes for Malware protection. Hole Plugged. I really wish I could update, but the total cost of the conversion would be EXTREMELY costly.

Well, I still seen PC's running Windows 98, so XP will die very slowly. Probably 10 years from now it will still used on some machines.
And about Bitdefender support for XP - it's crap. It works, but very bad - it seems it's not anymore optimized for it. on Same hardware - Bitdefender has no impact on the sistem in 7 or 8, but can make XP unusable by using too many ressources.

The place I work at still uses it to control the bowling machines and for POS purposes. I plan on asking the owner why he hasn't updated to something newer when I see him. I'm guessing compatibly problems.

I'm a IT at my workplace and I am upgrading users to brand new computers with Windows 7. For compatibility problems I install XP in VMware, or use XP mode. :)

A lot of those critical 16-bit applications are still going strong and doing just what they need to do. As for upgrading them to 32-bit or 64-bit versions, why pay a huge amount for marginally increased functionality and a lot of needless flash and folderol? [Our 16-bit AutoCAD LT 95 is just perfect for our needs.]

TsarNikky said,
A lot of those critical 16-bit applications are still going strong and doing just what they need to do. As for upgrading them to 32-bit or 64-bit versions, why pay a huge amount for marginally increased functionality and a lot of needless flash and folderol? [Our 16-bit AutoCAD LT 95 is just perfect for our needs.]

One day, you will have to. You're delaying the inevitable, and the more you do, the bigger hole you'll be in.

Strangely enough AutoCad LT is the only legacy program we now have, since upgrading to Windows 8.1 / Server 2012 R2.

Been a fairly small company we simply cant justify the massive cost per licence for a piece of software we use a fraction of the functionality on.

The two employees that actually use this simply have a locked down XP VM running on Hyper-V. In an ideal world we would have a modern version, however despite been 20 year old the version of AutoCad LT still does the job it needs to do perfectly.

I was at Heathrow airport a couple of weeks ago and every computer I saw was running XP. The checkin desks, the security desks and passport control. I highly doubt they have direct internet connectivity but still that is several thousand machines running XP.

i still use xp on my old machines, and i wont move to anything above until i get a new pc, if it works then why change and mess it up. plus the fact that its not free...

the problem its microsoft not wanting to patch xp, when they can they are patching those embed windows xp so there are no excuse in not to do it for all.

Windows XP and Windows XP Embedded are 2 different things. You make it sounds like supporting Windows XP is something they can do in a couple of minutes, just because they have an OS that shares the same name.

eilegz said,
.... if it works then why change and mess it up.....

As long as you're not connected to a network and you are the only person with physical access, I'd agree.

Getting hit by your first 0-day exploit will answer the question for you otherwise.

Studio384 said,
Windows XP and Windows XP Embedded are 2 different things. You make it sounds like supporting Windows XP is something they can do in a couple of minutes, just because they have an OS that shares the same name.

You should do some research.

Hum said,
I noticed Sheetz stores use XP.

Whatever wprks.

Sheetz uses embedded XP on a Radiant POS system, they have very little control over it right now until Radian updates their POS systems....

their POS systems are also on a closed network that is not accessible on the internet

neufuse said,

their POS systems are also on a closed network that is not accessible on the internet

Then really, what's the problem...

Dot Matrix said,

Target could tell you many problems with that, I'm sure of...


I won't disagree there, but when an internal only system is in place and working, there's no reason to change for changes sake.

Add external access or simply an upgrade of the system, then it's a different matter.

Dot Matrix said,

Target could tell you many problems with that, I'm sure of...

Target used a wireless system that was easily hacked from a distance, and they didn't learn when TJX (Marshalls) was hacked in the same way, Sheetz is all closed network via wired Ethernet..

XP wont be disappearing for a while. No surprise here. We still have 60 some odd systems at my work with WinXP. I just have not had the time to replace/upgrade them. I do have an intern now working on that, but it is slow going.

We are a small business (local owned architectural paint store) and started out with Windows Server 2012. Windows 8 Embedded on the thin clients. I worked at Lowe's last year (Florida, USA) and they utilize an old Linux distro.

xrobwx said,
We are a small business (local owned architectural paint store) and started out with Windows Server 2012. Windows 8 Embedded on the thin clients. I worked at Lowe's last year (Florida, USA) and they utilize an old Linux distro.

Lowes... not just an old Linux setup, they use terminal sessions to a text server to do everything