IDC: workers will revolt if they’re left on Windows XP

Research firm IDC has warned that computer users may “revolt” if companies leave their employees on outdated technologies such as Windows XP.

IDC: workers will revolt if they're left on Windows XP

In a Microsoft-sponsored paper, which highlights the costs of sticking with Windows XP instead of migrating to Windows 7, the research firm warns of dire consequences if employees are saddled with old operating systems.

IT departments that artificially hold users hostage aboard old technology solutions are setting the stage for a user revolt

“It is likely that most consumers have experienced a modern user interface, whether it is Windows 7 or one of the many rich consumer smart devices and tablets that are proliferating,” the IDC paper claims. “IT departments that artificially hold users hostage aboard old technology solutions are setting the stage for a user revolt that could lead to loss of influence by the IT department.”

An employee-led coup isn’t the only reason to ditch XP in favour of Windows 7, IDC claims. The resesarch firm claims that XP PCs incur $701 of extra cost per year compared to a Windows 7 system, when support costs and wasted employee productivity are taken into account.

A survey of organisations running both Windows XP and Windows 7 found that “XP requires over five times more hours per PC per year of patch management than Windows 7”. IT support costs were also higher, with an XP system consuming an additional nine hours of maintenance per year per PC.

The time spent waiting for the PC to wake up is also much reduced under Windows 7, claims IDC. “For users that have upgraded to a Windows 7 PC, time lost to reboots is virtually eliminated,” states the report. “In addition, because Windows 7 tends to be more stable and less prone to compromise, the time lost waiting for help desk response is reduced dramatically, with Windows 7 leading to under an hour of time per PC per year for end users.”

Windows 8 caution

Even though the report is sponsored by Microsoft, IDC remains relatively circumspect about Windows 8’s prospects. The research firm says it will be late 2013 or early 2014 before Windows 8 makes “any impact” on commercial deployments.

“In the interim, after the release of Windows 8, we expect to see customers exercising downgrade deployment rights with new PCs they acquire that come from OEMs preloaded with Windows 8, which is common adoption behaviour among enterprise IT departments until they fully qualify and approve the use of a new product,” the report states.

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