It is estimated that 95% of the world's ATM machines are still running XP and many banks and businesses are buying custom tech support agreements to give them some leeway in upgrading
When Microsoft cuts of technical support for XP on April 8th it's not just our home and business computers that will be affected. According to an item by Nick Summers on Bloomberg Businessweek there are estimated to be 3 million ATMs worldwide and only a small fraction of them are likely to be on Windows 7 by the deadline.
While Summers mentions that a longer deadline of early 2016 applies to Windows XP Embedded, a stripped down version of XP which is also less susceptible to viruses, the prospect that many of the ATMs we regularly use to obtain cash and make deposits are going to be vulnerable to malware seems worrying.
Microsoft has recently announced that "to help organizations complete their migrations" it will continue to provide updates to its antimalware signatures and engine for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015. This means that enterprise customers who use System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune on Windows XP have a short breathing space, as do consumers who use Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).
If you are a big business and need longer to upgrade. Microsoft is selling custom tech support agreements that extend the life of Windows XP.
Aravinda Korala, chief executive officer of ATM software provider KAL, says he expects only 15 percent of bank ATMs in the U.S. to be on Windows 7 by the April deadline, saying:
“The ATM world is not really ready, and that’s not unusual.
ATMs move more slowly than PCs.”
Korala warns that the cost of custom tech support escalates quickly - multiplying by a factor of five in the second year. One high profile client, JPMorgan, is buying a one-year extension and will start converting its machines to Windows 7 in July; the delay being due to the fact that about 3,000 of its 19,000 ATMs need enhancements before the process can begin.
For smaller customers, with the exception of MSE, Microsoft is adamant that there will be no last-minute reprieves, despite the fact XP still had a 29% of the desktop operating system share at the end of December according to Net Marketshare.
The end of support doesn't mean that you have to stop using XP.
Microsoft has confirmed, via Mary Jo Foley writing on ZDnet that XP Mode, which allows users with old XP apps to run them on Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate won't be removed. Also Microsoft will still permit new installations of XP and will require them to be activated beyond April 8th and that all patches and fixes made to Windows XP up until April 8, 2014, will remain available to both new and existing users via Windows Update.
So the position is that you can continue to use XP at your peril with no new security patches apart from those on MSE after April 8th unless you are willing and able to negotiate a custom tech support contract.
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