How will you support Windows XP after the 8th April 2014?

Buried inside many devices we don’t consider as PCs lurks Windows XP.  These are devices like cash registers, vending machines, parking meters and automatic teller machines (ATMs).

Whilst Linux is one alternative, Windows XP has provided the right mix of a reliability, multitasking and wide device support many organisations have needed.  This trusty operating system was released back in 2001 and it’s support is finally ending on April 8, 2014.   That’s less than 162 days from now!

atm-windows-xpFor your home PC, popping in a Windows 7 DVD and doing an upgrade isn’t a big deal. However for organisations running ‘purpose specific’ devices on XP, this will involve an incredible amount of time and effort.

A recent article by Kevin Casey from Information Week advised that presently “around 75% of ATMs in the U.S. are based on XP”.   I recently met with a retailer who advised their cash registers were tuned only for Windows XP.  They simply won’t have the CPU and memory resources to run Windows 7.   When you consider they have thousands of cash registers that might need to be replaced, it’s a significant outlay.  So many organisations are understandably looking for solutions to manage XP for longer if they can.

The good news is that IBM Endpoint Manager (IEM) continues to support the Windows XP operating system.   This includes our Core Protection module which provides anti-virus/anti-malware.   This capability is critical for ATM’s and cash registers,  as hackers being to target these devices.   For example, the reported example of malware detected on ATM’s in Mexico running Windows XP.

The Security and Compliance feature of IEM, consists of security checklists for Windows XP such as CIS, DISA STIG, FDCC and USGCB.

If you are in the position to upgrade these devices, IBM Endpoint Manager has an operating system deployment capability.  This means you can remotely upgrade these endpoints to Windows 7 or Windows 8  (whether that be in-place or bare metal).

IBM Endpoint Manager can protect hundreds of thousands of endpoints, even those connected on very low bandwidth and high latency networks. This capability ensures a bank running IEM can update their ATM’s reliably from a single console.   For another financial client SunTrust, this meant their patch cycle times reduced from 2-3 weeks to 2-3 days.

How are you preparing to migrate from Windows XP?   How will you support it if you don’t?


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