Microsoft has not put a number to XP's current corporate share, but the Redmond, Wash., software developer knows it's large: In January, during the company's last quarterly earnings call, CFO Peter Klein said 60% of all enterprise PCs were running Windows 7. Since few businesses adopted Windows Vista and even fewer have yet to jump on Windows 8, the remaining 40% must, by default, almost all be running Windows XP.
Microsoft's given no hint it will extend the deadline, but instead has repeatedly said it will end support and stop security updates in less than a year. If that's the case, hundreds of millions of PCs -- by Computerworld's calculation using Net Applications' data, 450 million -- will be running without the safety net of Microsoft's patches.
Schare simply couldn't believe Microsoft would expose that many of its customers, and by extension, the entire Windows ecosystem, to potential security threats. "They have time to change their mind," he noted. "If, with just three months to go [to April 8, 2014], there's 25% or 30% still running XP, maybe they would."
Not likely, others have declared. "I think they have to draw a line in the sand," said John Pescatore, at the time an analyst with Gartner, in a Dec. 2012 interview. "They've supported XP longer than anything else."
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