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Microsoft support for Windows XP officially expires in April 2014. Tech Pro Research did an online survey of 641 respondents to find out the future plans of organizations that use Windows XP. The survey sought to uncover what is driving the decision to stick with Windows XP, if that is the case. Or, if they’re moving away from Windows XP, what operating system will they be using next?

In the resulting report, The end of Windows XP support: Concerns and upgrade plans, it was a bit startling to find that 37 percent of respondents do intend to continue using the venerable OS despite the fact that Microsoft will no longer develop security patches or updates for it.

Windows XP survey

Windows XP has maintained a dominant share of the desktop OS segment for more than a decade. Windows 7 is now the leading OS, and the use of Windows XP has been declining during the past year, but according to data from Net Applications it still makes up almost a third of the desktop OS market, and has nearly three times the market share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 combined.

The results of the survey in terms of the mix of desktops versus laptops and other form factors, and what organizations plan to purchase as they migrate from Windows XP to a new OS are surprising, and don’t reflect the prevailing perception that desktop PCs are a dying breed.

The survey focused on the following areas:

  • Plans once Windows XP support ends
  • Reasons for sticking with Windows XP
  • Reasons for leaving Windows XP
  • Preferred OS
  • Plans for desktop PCs
  • Replacement choices for desktop PCs

Plans for machines currently running Windows XP

With so many organizations reporting Windows XP in use on 81 to 100 percent of the PCs, you might expect an equally large percentage planning to abandon Windows XP as support expires. That does not seem to be the case. The below chart illustrates that more than 60 percent of respondents either don’t have Windows XP in the first place, or plan to upgrade to another operating system. However, a significant percentage of respondents plan to simply stick with Windows XP—second only to upgrading to Windows 7.
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Reasons for sticking with Windows XP

There are three prevailing reasons respondents cited for choosing the risk of continuing to run Windows XP over upgrading to a new operating system: Cost, critical software that requires Windows XP, and the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. A frequent choice among survey respondents was, “It works, so there’s no need to change," with 40 percent choosing this option. The next most popular reason for sticking with Windows XP, at 39 percent was “Crucial software depends on Windows XP." Cost came in third with the remaining 21 percent.

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To read more on the subject, download the full Tech Pro Research report, The end of Windows XP support: Concerns and upgrade plans. The report is free to all Tech Pro Research subscribers.