Windows XP migration worries exaggerated by 'dead' applications

Survey reveals heap of unused applications

Many organisations exaggerate the difficulties of migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 by over-estimating the importance of little-used applications, a survey from consultancy Centrix Software has suggested.

The firm's research of project managers responsible for Windows migrations at 50 large organisations discovered that the level of application incompatibility when moving from XP was around 20 percent.

However, of these applications at least three quarters were never used anyway, reducing the migration problems to a smaller and more manageable subset. A surprising fifty percent of applications on XP were not used at all, a huge degree of software redundancy that underlines the way that newer applications hold more productive value.

Nine out of ten applications were used less than 10 percent of the time with unused (but licensed) applications costing an estimated $500 (£322) per desktop, the firm said.

According to Centrix - which markets its own migration analytics software - companies contemplating migration from XP should do so after carrying out usage analysis.

"It is critical for IT departments to be in possession of these facts, when they are already so overwhelmed by the scope and challenges of migration, that they typically put off projects as long as they can," said Centrix Software's director of product marketing, Richard Pegden.

One of the firm's customers had identified 525 applications that were incompatible with Windows 7, which sounded like a cause for worry, said Pegden. But only 14 of these applications were actually being used by employees, meaning that that the migration worries were being exaggerated.

"This type of information dramatically reduces both the upheaval and cost of migration."

Last month, the size of the XP challenge started to become apparent after a clutch of surveys found that many UK organisations had barely even started their migrations.

A sizable number appear to feel that there is limited benefit to migration for certain kinds of desktop once the costs are factored in.

With Microsoft's XP support deadline set as 8 April 2014 it is starting to look as if many firms won't meet the deadline. Some even seem happy to continue using XP beyond that deadline on the basis that most serious security flaws are now found in applications rather than the OS itself.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Centrix Softwaresecuritysoftwareoperating systems

More about Microsoft

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by John E Dunn

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts