If you look at London’s computer landscape today, than you will see that almost every office without exception has a computer running Microsoft’s operating system.
Bill Gates’s vision was of ‘a computer on every desk, each one running Microsoft software’. Now the true cost is emerging
Microsoft has dominated the PC market since the time of Windows XP and its not all bad news either. Since Windows was the defacto standard, software had to be made for Windows for it to be successful in the consumer market. This standardization enabled the vast expansion of the PC industry.
Although there are some downsides too. This monoculture made it easier for some hackers to deliver widespread attacks. Malware and viruses are still causing us problems, and thus this is also a part of Microsoft’s legacy.
Windows XP is a prime example of this widespread obsolescence. Even after 13 years, Windows XP is being used in almost 28% of all Windows PCs. Market research firm Gartner says that 10% of large organisations and up to 25% of business systems are running Windows XP. Even many ATM machines are still running Windows XP.
This is a huge problem because if one of them can be compromised than many more of them will be compromised as well. There are lot of viruses and malware that can ruin a good Windows XP installation. This makes it even more of a concern that Microsoft released its final free security patch for XP on 8 April. You can sign-up for the 200$ migration plan to keep Windows XP safe but as part of this plan you have to upgrade the machine to Windows 8 later.
As you can see, its hardly a good option to go with the mitigation plan but the government of Britain is paying £5.5m for Windows XP security coverage for one year.
Microsoft is made fun of because of not being able to gain much ground in the mobile revolution and due to the state of some of its products e.g. Internet Explorer, but the fact is that Microsoft is still very profitable and if WIndows XP is any indication, it will continue to be profitable in the future as well.