As end of support for the still-popular Windows 7 draws near, risks of unpatched operating systems are likely to be a significant security concern in the near future. intensivevocoder writes: There is a relatively old — though still fundamentally true — adage about Windows: Microsoft’s biggest competition is Microsoft, as a specific subset of users (and businesses) only upgrade to the latest version of Windows kicking and screaming. According to SpiceWorks’ Future of Network and Endpoint Security report, published Tuesday, 32% of organizations still have at least one Windows XP device connected to their network, despite extended support for XP ending in 2014. (Notably, the last variant of XP, Windows POSReady 2009, reached end of life in April 2019 .)
With the looming end of free support for Windows 7, this reticence of users and enterprises to upgrade to newer versions of Windows is likely to create significant security issues. Presently, 79% of organizations still have at least one Windows 7 system on their network, according to SpiceWorks, which also found that two thirds of businesses plan to migrate all of their machines off Windows 7 prior to the end of support on January 14, 2020, while a quarter will only migrate after that deadline. Separately, a Gartner market forecast from April forecasted that only 75% of professional PCs will be on Windows 10 by 2021.