Last month antivirus firm Avast said that 23.6 percent of its over 200 million customers were still using Windows XP. Since then, less than 2 percent of the company's Windows XP customers have upgraded to a newer platform. Curious, Avast decided to conduct a global survey just days before Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows XP to see how aware Avast's customers were of the support end date.
According to the report, 21 percent of Avast's Windows XP users were unaware that Microsoft would be ending support despite the media attention and Microsoft's own warnings. Even more, only 15 percent of the company's Windows XP customers are planning to upgrade their operating system, and only 5 percent are planning to purchase a new Windows 8.1 machine.
Avast reports that 27 percent of its Windows XP users are planning on doing absolutely nothing.
"This number is relatively high considering the security risks involved with the OS and makes one wonder how many XP users are not concerned about their protection and aren't planning on upgrading their OS, buying a new PC or seeking AV that will support them," reads the company's blog. "Avast has been creating protection modules and detections specifically designed to cover Windows XP vulnerabilities and other security problems."
Because Avast will support Windows XP for another three years, the company suggests that non-Avast users download the client. The company also suggests that Windows XP customers should not use Internet Explorer, as the browser poses an even larger threat when installed on the discontinued platform. Microsoft actually retired Internet Explorer 8 last week, which is the latest version for Windows XP. Avast suggests using Chrome.
"Microsoft provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years," states Microsoft. "But the time came for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences."
In related news, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) admits that it's still using Windows XP. Actually, the firm missed the April 8 deadline, and is now paying Microsoft for an extra year of security patches. The news arrives by way of an IRS budget hearing on April 7 before the House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee.
The IRS has approximately 110,000 Windows-based desktops and laptops. Only 47 percent, around 52,000, were upgraded to Windows 7. The remainder still uses Windows XP. During the hearing, Rep. Ander Crenshaw didn't seem happy about the progress the IRS has made in upgrading its desktops and laptops.
"Now we find out that you've been struggling to come up with $30 million to finish migrating to Windows 7, even though Microsoft announced in 2008 that it would stop supporting Windows XP past 2014," Crenshaw said. "I know you probably wish you'd already done that."