Spiceworks today announced the results of a new study examining the current landscape of operating systems running on laptops and desktops in businesses worldwide. The study "2017 OS Adoption Trends" revealed that 52 percent of businesses are still running at least one instance of Windows XP and nine percent are running at least one instance of Windows Vista. However, support for Windows XP ended on April 8, 2014, and support for Windows Vista will end on April 11, 2017. The findings indicate that although many businesses are upgrading their PCs to newer operating systems like Windows 10, some are still running outdated systems that can leave their corporate networks more vulnerable to security threats.
"Windows Vista isn't nearly as common in business as Windows XP, but the approaching Vista end of support date serves as a good reminder to upgrade PCs still running unsupported operating systems," said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. "Although some IT departments aren't able to upgrade on time due to a lack of time or budget, it's critical for IT professionals to make a business case for more resources, given the security risks of running operating systems with unpatched vulnerabilities."
Windows 7 remains most common operating system in business
According to Spiceworks network data, Windows XP (52 percent) and Windows Vista (nine percent) penetration rates, defined as the percent of companies running one or more instance, are still relatively high. However, their overall share within the business environment is much lower. The data shows Windows XP is running on 14 percent of all PCs in businesses worldwide, while Windows Vista is only running on one percent. By contrast, Windows 7 has the highest share, running on 69 percent of business PCs. Windows 10 currently has nine percent of the overall share, followed by Windows 8 at five percent.
More than half of businesses worldwide have adopted Windows 10
In addition to having the highest share, Windows 7 also has the highest penetration rate in organizations at 87 percent. However, Spiceworks network data shows Windows 10 adoption is catching up and recently surpassed Windows 8 and Windows XP penetration rates.
In fact, as Windows 10's two-year anniversary approaches on July 29, 2017, the data shows 54 percent of businesses across the globe have adopted the operating system, which increased from 38 percent since July 2016. According to a separate Spiceworks survey, Windows 10 is expected to have an adoption rate of 73 percent and an overall operating system share of 17 percent in businesses by its two-year anniversary at the end of July 2017.
IT professionals worry about security risks of running unsupported operating systems
When examining why some businesses are slower to upgrade to newer operating systems like Windows 10, IT professionals have cited no immediate need, lack of time, and budget constraints as the top reasons. However, nearly 90 percent of IT professionals are concerned about the risks of running unsupported operating systems, such as Windows XP and Windows Vista. In a survey of more than 450 IT professionals, 68 percent said they're concerned about the end of security patches and bug fixes.
Additionally, 45 percent of IT professionals believe unsupported operating systems are more vulnerable to cyberattacks while 43 percent believe they're more susceptible to malware. Thirty-four percent are also concerned sensitive corporate data will be more at risk when using an unsupported operating system.
More information and a complete list of survey results can be found in the "2017 OS Adoption Trends" study.