The Windows XP Nightmare Continues

Old 21 Comments on The Windows XP Nightmare Continues 76

A few weeks ago Eli the Computer Guy did a great blob video on dealing with issues concerning Windows XP Security, particularly AFTER April 8, 2014 when Microsoft officially sticks the knife in the back of what is arguably the largest and most-consumed Microsoft Windows Product ever constructed, outselling Windows 7 (by a narrow margin) and Windows 8 (by a HUGE margin)effectively ending it’s 13-YEAR life cycle run. So, what can be learned from this, and how does this affect us in the REAL WORLD of IT?

Glad you asked…

First, let me make the statement that all mentions of Microsoft Products, or for that manner, any copyrighted works mentioned in my articles, are wholly owned subsidiaries and property of their respective owners, in this case, Microsoft. Now that that legal junk is out of the way, let us move on to the analysis of REAL WORLD TECH.

Your still running XP……..(sigh)

1.) Yes, it is true. Approx. 30% of all computers in the United States of America (and a HUGE portion of PC’s as I understand it overseas) are STILL running Windows XP. The real question, is what does this affect? How can we, as IT Professionals take advantage of this opportunity? IS IT WORTH IT? (The big ROI question…)

Let me start by giving credit where it is due. Even by today’s standards, the easy-to-use, friendly, low overhead OS that is Windows XP probably was the MOST SUCCESSFUL Microsoft OS to date, bar none. HOWEVER, times have certainly changed. Windows XP related to us easily. The internet era was really kicking into high gear, computers were expensive, we had just broken the 1Ghz (1024 mhz) processor barrier that just 2 years earlier, Intel and AMD BOTH said would be an impossibility. We learned that email could be sent a lot faster than back in the days of compuserve, and although glitchy at first, Windows XP really turned us onto what we techs refer to as the ‘golden age’ of computer repair. But, things do change, and have changed in the last 13 years. I was at the reveal event here in Houston, TX in October 2001 (I was a Microsoft Developer Partner otherwise known as MSDN subscriber). I remember when project Longhorn was revealed to be Windows XP. The pro’s were in awe, the media was in awe, it was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience. That was then. Fast-forward 13 years. Tablets, cell-phones, smart-phones, VOIP, IR tags, bar codes, and even PC’s are so much different. This begs the question…WHY ARE YOU STILL USING WINDOWS XP?

So above, I proposed 3 questions that I will now answer in order.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion. Everyone is subject to their own, and everyone has one. Feel free to disagree, discuss, etc. but, let’s do it in a tactful way, please.

——What does this affect? Why Should I care?——–

Well, really, this affects everything. On April 8, 2014 the last second hand will tick and Microsoft Windows XP (which originally stood for Windows eXPerience for those of you who weren’t aware) will die, for real this time. The trouble is, tons of people are still using it, and there are tons of known exploiters out there, ready to take advantage. I fully expect on April 9, 2014 for there to be more reports of XP related problems, viruses, etc. then there have probably been in the last 5 years combined. Since part of EOL (end of life) for Windows XP means no more security updates, this is a HUGE concern for SECURITY issues.

Vulnerabilities in Windows XP as with any 13 year old OS, can and WILL be exploited, especially since Microsoft will no longer provide support, updates, patches, etc. This has the potential to threaten the security of MANY businesses and consumers, as it is estimated that as much as 25% of the major retailers in the US use SOME FORM of Windows XP. (Embedded or Server for instance) For instance, if you shop at a retailer store that is using Windows XP based systems, after April 8, those systems can be compromised. Why does this matter?-simple. Most retail POS systems store a copy of all transactional data (credit card, pins entered, checks, cash flows, etc) in a local copy, as well as a copy that usually goes off to their corporate office(s). IF these type of systems do indeed become compromised, it means every time you use your Credit Card, you are a potential victim of identity theft, money theft, bank fraud, etc. Granted, there is no such thing as 100% secure in any system, however, the systems running on Windows XP based platforms will be exceptionally vulnerable to attack, and COULD cost you some unwanted issues down the road. There are many more reasons you should NOT be running XP in this day and age, (more on that later) but suffice it to say for now, that you should certainly be concerned most with the security related issues. In the REAL world, this is the catalyst from which every argument to upgrade, either residential or commercial MUST be made. I loved thee with an everlasting love….or at least a 13 year long one, but XP my friend….it’s time to close the casket. You should care about this, simply because as an IT professional, you will very, VERY soon have the ability to convert XP users into new solutions that will make you TONS of money.

Question 2: How can we, as IT Professionals, capitalize off of this reality..?

Okay, so at the end of the day, I am an UNABASHED capitalist. I have employees, stores across the nation, and a huge infrastructure, cost, etc.

I have to be able to make money, and I would argue to all of those reading this, that weather we admit it or not, one of the reasons we watch Eli the Computer Guy in the first place is that he does a great job of teaching not only the technical aspect of things, but in addition, focuses on ‘how to make money’ with these things. This is an important piece of information, and for the record, here are my two cents:

1.) Sale on Security. Especially for businesses, (although certainly for residences as well) you NEED to show the guy in charge that it cost MORE for him to remain insecure, than for him to upgrade. Also, you will need some great talking points on exactly where he should go when he upgrades.

2.) Argue from a needs-stand point, and a monetary benefit: At the end of the day, COO’s, CEO’s, Presidents, etc, they are all concerned with one thing: ROI. Dollars and Cents. IF you cannot talk to these peoples, and convince them, not only based on security, but also on productivity, that they NEED to upgrade, you will likely not be making money either now, or ever. (For the record, we have several stores in our system that do as much as 25,000 USD per month, as an example) The numbers don’t lie, if you do the numbers, and make a visual for a simple presentation, (I usually do them in PowerPoint) you will have an easier time getting the guy with the checkbook to start signing checks made out to you. One example is this: If a small company of say 10 employees is still using Windows XP, it can easily be argued that the replacement cost of new computers, (probably around 6-8,000 USD, depending on how good of a machine they need) and productivity software, (quickbooks, office, etc) and learning a new operating system, (we STILL recommend Windows 7 Ultimate by a long-shot for end users, business or residential, and server 2008 R3 or server 2012)topping a cost of around 10,000.00 total is EASILY negated by the fact that those 10 employees, getting say 15.00/ hr , 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year = $312,000, now imagine that you could save those same 10 employees 1 hour a day because of increased productivity, thats 10 hours a day, at 15.00 / hr, for 5 days a week, for 52 weeks a year, for a total savings of: $39,000.00 USD. The boss gets the same amount of work done, and the total cost of your updates for the business, because of increased productivity, has actually off-set the entire cost of your project. If your total, including all labor, maintenance, etc. came to 12,000, but you save the boss 39,000 over the course of the year, then he actually GETS MONEY for spending money with you. This is called a simple cost analysis, or cost recovery instrument, commonly used to calculate ROI. (return on investment.) In this case, the boss spends 12,000 with you, but then nets a savings of 27,000.00, from a sales perspective, you can easily say, Mr. Bossman, YOU NEED THIS, because I can save you X dollars a year, and that savings will actually pay you for paying me. Folks, in the REAL world of IT it’s all about efficiency. Save them time, show them their needs, offer them additional add-on services, perform the work great, save them time, save them money, and you will get jobs. (Unless your just a goof and don’t know what your doing, in that case, GOTO COLLEGE, then go back to ‘start’.) Hopefully, you as fellow IT professionals can see how worthwhile this opportunity is. Remember that, even though XP is dying, and that certainly gives us a great opportunity, these principles apply at any time. If you have clients now, and you want to do a cost analysis for them as a means of preparing to open the door for a future relationship, apply some of the principles I mentioned above to take advantage.

Question 3: IS IT WORTH IT?

That is to ask, is it worth it for IT pros to upgrade clients. Simply put, YES. ESPECIALLY such as businesses are concerned. With security concerns right around the corner, it is at the very least our duty as IT Pros to inform the people we serve, residences or businesses, that it is time to put the old dog to rest. Farewell Windows XP, we hardly knew thee….

In closing, let me say, there are TONS of other ways to capitalize from both the residential and business side of migration away from XP. (Data transfers, cloud migration, server virtualization, new hardware, new software, upgrades, new PC/MAC sales, recurring consultative services, just to name a very significant few.) First and foremost, always do what is best for the customer, recommend the appropriate migrations, and make sure the customer realizes, as is a good business practice, that if they choose to not migrate from XP, you simply don’t advise that, and cannot in good conscience warranty any items still using it. Thanks for your attention to this blog.

Do you agree? Disagree? Have other ideas? Please comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Adam Johnson

Some data shared in this blog is the property of Nerds To The Rescue, Inc. Unconditional license for public viewing and fair use is hereby granted. All other products mentioned are property of their respective owners.

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  1. Conor Hanley February 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Considering its rather late in the day, the state of the PC market and world economy, I have my doubts there’s “TONS of money” awaiting the IT professionals cobbling together power point presentations on ROI. Sure, some will, but don’t be shocked if XP lives on in humongous numbers for years to come both in the enterprise and private home till either PC’s or owners drop off this mortal coil.
    The real world of inertia mitigates the hoped for cash cow and probably signifies a long term weakness for Microsoft. Big enterprise using virtual instances of OS’s on super fast flash memory servers with less and less reason for those OS’s to be windows and the home user (certainly the user who still feels XP to be sufficient for need and this being just about everyone in fact if not deed) will eventually migrate to tablet or chrome boxen and the like. Windows 8 being Microsoft’s realization and failure to counter the inevitable. Not today, week or year but ten years is a long time and no time at all.

    • ADJ February 13, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      I agree with alot of your comments, however I would like to point out what I mentioned in the article. So, SO, SOO much of how successful these migrations are comes down to the individual presenting them. I am a GREAT salesperson, always have been. I’ve sold $500,000 jobs with no issue. SOME people are good at that, and those people are reporting not having any issues migrating people from XP. Others, like you’ve mentioned, cling on to their old ‘tank’. Fact is, cheap as it is to provide a new PC to a customer these days, or even to custom build one, there is just no legitimacy to the ‘i don’t have the money’ excuse. Truth is, they don’t have the money NOT to. Just my thoughts, but I certainly agree with alot of what you said. Thanks for commenting!

  2. mohab February 12, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    I agree but sometimes as a student we have old hardware for example doing research about zigbee module and that module is old and if I wanted to buy the new module it will cost a lot so I need windows xp

    anyway I hope they do support the old hardware and provides driver for it
    I personally using windows 8.1 working very well much better than xp

    R. I. P XP we will never forget you are in our hearts

    • ADJ February 13, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      Yep, there are still some uses. I found a website the other day dedicated to keeping Windows 98 running. If Windows XP after April is insecure (to say the least) could you imagine in 2014 running Windows 98? lol.

  3. Cle Jons February 12, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I’m just getting on the mailing list. Love the site and I will contribute is I have something.

  4. Tim February 13, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Windows XP was not code named Longhorn. Windows Vista was code named Longhorn. Also, your article is too long.

    • ADJ February 13, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      You are correct, I sent an edit to my article already, that was my bad. The codename for Windows XP was Windows Whistler. Thanks for pointing that out!

  5. Michael Forgette February 13, 2014 at 6:07 am

    After watching Eli discuss this topic, I was able to add those “buzz words” to my vocabulary to try and convince my business clients to upgrade. This has created a ton of discussion between myself/company and my clients. It has opened the door for new business as we are bringing the issue to them. Thank you Eli for bringing this to me in a manner so that I can knowledgably bring this to my clients.
    Click Computers Utah

    • ADJ February 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      I agree! Eli did a great job of giving voice to a very serious issue. I agree with some of the other comments here in spirit, but not necessarily in practice. With more than 20,000 customers accounted for, we find that people ARE willing to change, however it has ALOT to do with weather YOU are able to convince the guy with the checkbook. Sure there are many more options aside from Microsoft products, and by all means, if that is an efficient solution, you should certainly offer it, but in our experience customers buy what they are familiar with. They buy Windows because they know Windows. Do I see that changing…ABSOLUTELY, do I see that changing right now today, this moment? NO. CEO’s like them some Windows….Thanks again to Eli for showing the downfalls of maintaining WinXP machines, particularly after April.

  6. Nick February 16, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Windows XP’s was only allowed to exist this long to create a market and nothing more. The so called security issues will always exist no matter which MS OS you use (95. 98, XP, Vista, etc). MS will never issue an OS that is fully secure because it would reduce sales and dependency.

    A completely secure Windows XP does exist and it was created for the military. On the darker side, the newer OS’s are more government friendly (WWW stands for World Wide Wiretap).

    • Adam Johnson February 22, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Always gotta watch out for big brother for sure!!

  7. Archer February 17, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I really would like to point out that and ask as well. Why is it on Win XP that microsoft hammering stopping patches and updates for ? When Win 2000 and the likes were left behind the noise wasn’t this much. Does that mean they are still not getting to the edge of their target as thousands still stick to WIN XP? They are only thinking about their own wallet asking everyone to upgrade to latest OS. Security wise it worth by the idea but its easier said than done. When the IPv4 was announced to have reached maximum space and seems no room for more addressing IPv6 was developed. How many companies on IPv6 yet? The bottom line is: They should stop being thinking about themselves alone and take into consideration the satisfaction of their clients and let them upgrade whenever they see the need for it and not impeding them. Eli you remain my Guru mentor for life, thanks and thanks for impacting the IT world, how i wish you were the Bill Gate lol

    • vns990 February 22, 2014 at 8:52 am

      oo goody how many companies are using IPv6?
      1 2 3
      I think we have a couple ISP’s with dual stack here in Oz.
      It seems with globalisation came an IPv6 intolerance?
      Viva la moderation
      IPv6 needs deployment acceleration captain!

  8. vns990 February 22, 2014 at 8:43 am

    XP will still be used for legacy as Mot R.S.S unless run in an emulator or virtual environment of the right description (probably even older OS setup) ect can’t be run any other way.

    It and a lot of the software of the era is just getting to dated to the point the hardware was an issue already twenty years ago.

    The software went CPS and so on but there is still a lot of legacy units out there in service to this day which such technology is still dependant on.

    Or in the case of one workshop here my CPS was more recent the only thing they could do was use old lab software with limited functionality.

    The lab software was RSS and no doubt warez.
    But it states in the workshop manual that once updated older versions can’t work with modern CPS.

    Moral of story if they didn’t have dos they would be doomed.

    The units in question are still in service by emergency services here and are P25 this is why the US govt has such a high legacy OS count due to such technologies of the time.

    • Adam Johnson February 22, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      I agree!

  9. Danny DeFoor February 22, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Good article! I think it’s a shame so many are still using it…but I don’t see it changing over night. There is a lot of opportunity, but it could be limited to some degree by the fact that the PC market is falling down the tubes, but in the mean time, seems like there is at least some money to be made.

  10. Shelby Ann February 23, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I know i still run across it from time to time. I am a little worried about some people not wanting to change/migrate, but I think once the issues start happening they will jump onboard.

  11. Conor Hanley February 25, 2014 at 11:58 am

    The Register reports today that China’s web giants have co-joined to support XP for a few years more. XP has 50% share in China, and is unlikely to diminish much any time soon. Doubtless, the bean-counters of MS have twiddled the numbers but pissing off an emergent market the size of China doesn’t seem sensible long term. Rock & hard place, perhaps, when inertia on all sides is the reason Microsoft can still count on OS dominance in the years to come.

  12. Steve C. March 30, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Good article.

    • Adam Johnson April 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Thanks a lot Steve, I appreciate that.

  13. Chris Moore March 17, 2015 at 8:43 am

    We not only still have a few systems running Windows XP, we also have systems running Window NT and DOS 6.22
    Just because it is old, does not indicate that it is no useful.
    The people that can still support old hardware and software stand to make money too. But, it is a narrow market.

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