Microsoft this week continued to push for the demise of Windows XP, arguing that it is more expensive for businesses to remain on the aging OS than it is to upgrade to Windows 7.
Pointing to a report it commissioned from IDC, Microsoft's Erwin Visser wrote in a blog post that "staying on Windows XP is an expensive investment when Windows 7 provides dramatic savings."
Specifically, IDC said that base IT and end-user labor costs associated with Windows XP are about five times as much as those for Windows 7. "That's a significant amount of money IT shops could put towards modernizing their departments and adding value to the businesses," Visser said.
Those prices are also still on the rise. "IDC found the longer you wait, the pricier supporting Windows XP gets: IT labor costs go up 25 percent in the fourth year of continuing to run Windows XP past deadline, and user productivity suffers as well, with an increased cost of 23 percent," he said.
Microsoft celebrated the 10-year anniversary of Windows XP last year, and promptly called for its demise. Support for the OS will end on April 8, 2014, so Redmond is making a push for businesses to switch to more modern versions of Windows. "10 years is a long time to have the same old technology," the company said back in October.
Anything before Windows XP Service Pack 3 is already out of support. In an effort to encourage upgrades, Microsoft's own Internet Explorer 9 only runs on Windows 7 or Vista because of graphics acceleration support. Other software, like some of the latest video editors, are starting to have similar requirements.
As of April 2012, 46.08 percent of PCs in the world were running Windows XP, followed by 36.67 percent on Windows 7, according to data from Net Applications. That's only a slight drop from December, when Windows XP closed out 2011 with 46.52 percent of the global OS market, followed by Windows 7 with 36.99 percent.
Microsoft is currently putting the final touches on Windows 8, which is scheduled to be released later this year.