End to Microsoft's official support for Windows XP is due on April 8, 2014. The Redmond for the last few months asking to general public and businesses, running the XP to upgrade to Windows 7 ASAP.
This week, Micrrosoft sponsored a whitepaper issued by analyst firm IDC that analyzes the risks, user productivity costs and IT labor costs associated with businesses running Windows XP versus Windows 7.
"The "productivity costs" were measured for end users on metrics of lost time due to virus or malware attacks, reimaging, rebooting, downtime, and help desk requests/needs. Cost components for IT included upgrading PCs, security-related activities, deploying apps, patch management, help desk service, and several other metrics," Microsoft said.
"Organizations that continue to retain a Windows XP environment not only are leaving themselves exposed to security risks and support challenges, but also are waiting budget dollars that would be better used in modernizing their IT investments."
Staying on Windows XP is an expensive investment when Windows 7 provides dramatic savings.
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. In the fifth year, IT labor increases by an additional 29 percent, and user productivity costs jump up a staggering 40 percent.
The bottom line: IDC's research finds businesses that migrate from Windows XP to Windows 7 will see significant return on investment over 130 percent over a three-year period.
In other Microsoft news, earlier this week, CEO Steve Ballmer was quoted as saying that "up to 500 million users will be using a Windows 8 device by the end of 2013."
Now in a damage control excercise, a Microsoft spokeswoman ina email said that Ballmer was misquoted in that AFP report, stating:
"The numbers Steve Ballmer gave at the Seoul event are a restatement of what we said at the Windows 8 Store event in December, when we were talking about existing Windows users and analyst projections of PC sales for 2012 that could be upgraded to Windows 8 when the time comes," reports Computerworld.
The December 2011 event the company spokeswoman referred to was where, Ted Dworkin, director of the Windows Store development team, said,
"We've just passed the 500 million licenses sold mark for Windows 7, which represents half a billion PCs that could be upgraded to Windows 8 on the day it ships. That represents the single biggest platform opportunity available to developers."
Dworkin linked the number of in-play Windows 7 licenses -- each of which could potentially migrate to Windows 8 -- to the prospects that Metro app developers faced. The more Windows 7 machines that could become Windows 8 systems, the happier everyone should be.
Ballmer's is currently in his office using an 80-inch Windows 8 touch screen, revaled Wired.co.uk.
According to Microsoft Vice President Frank Shaw, "Steve Ballmer has an 80-inch Windows 8 tablet in his office. He's got rid of his phone, he's got rid of his note paper. It's touch-enabled and it's hung on his wall. It's his whiteboard, his email machine and it's a device we're going to sell. Every screen should be touch, every screen should be a computer and should be able to see out as well as see in. That is the way the world is heading [and] those screens are going to be big, small, wall-sized and desk-sized."
A few months ago at CES 2012, Sharp debuted its own 80-inch touch screen but Shaw claims the screen running Windows 8 in Ballmer's office was made by "by a different company."
Shaw wouldn't say which company made the product but did state that Ballmer uses it all the time, saying, "It's his whiteboard, his email machine and it's a device we're going to sell."
During the Windows 8 Consumer Preview launch, Windows head Steven Sinofsky demoed the OS on an 82-inch screen that was made by Perceptive Pixel.
Don't expect to be able to buy this device at your local Best Buy or Walmart anytime soon. Shaw claims, "It's not a consumer thing now, but we know historically that that's how all things start. The idea that there should be a screen that's not a computer, we'll laugh at that in two years."
Also, a new Windows 8 screenshot leaked today showcasing the desktop background setting interface and how sweet the Release Preview will be once it hits.
Notice the dialog buttons and overall interface looks sharp and Metro'ish: