Microsoft is offering Windows 10 for free to most end users running Windows 7 or 8.1, and as such, it’s touting impressive adoption numbers. However, in the business world, things are a little different, with many companies not upgrading to even Windows 7 or 8.1, instead still running the no-longer-supported Windows XP. In fact, in a study by security company Bitdefender, businesses in Eastern Europe are shockingly slow to make the jump away from the old version of Windows, with install bases as high as 41 percent in some countries.
Countries that sit atop the Windows XP install base are the Ukraine at a whopping 41.2 percent, Hungary is a whopping 37.5 percent, and Romania is at 34 percent. Perhaps most shocking is that the study found that many of these businesses are accounting and insurance firms, where information security is paramount. With Microsoft not supporting the OS anymore, it’s a little concerning as far as the data is concerned.
Many businesses choose not to upgrade their OS for a number of reasons. There’s the cost of upgrading a large number of computers, software that businesses rely on that aren’t supported on newer operating systems, and there’s ignorance, where smaller businesses don’t have the IT staff to make informed decisions about the safety of their network.
Non-government organizations in Romania are better at upgrading to newer versions of Windows than those in the government sector, according to the study.
For its part, Microsoft claimed to ZDNet that its estimates for Windows XP install base are “significantly lower” than the report by Bitdefender indicates. However, it didn’t share any specific numbers.
While this specific report is about Eastern Europe, companies all around the world are reluctant to upgrade to newer versions of Windows, with even the U.S. Navy paying Microsoft a massive sum of $9 million to extend support for the old OS.