Protecting over 200 million PCs, Macs, & Mobiles – more than any other antivirus


April 14th, 2014

Windows XP users sticking to the OS despite support cutoff

The majority of AVAST customers running Windows XP said they will rely on AVAST to protect them.

 

Last month Ondrej Vlcek, Chief Operating Officer of AVAST, shared his opinion on the end of Windows XP support by Microsoft, revealing that 23.6% of AVAST’s over 200 million users were still using Windows XP. Since then less than 2% of AVAST Windows XP users have parted ways with the operating system. We conducted a global survey just days before the support end date to find out how aware our Windows XP users were of the support cutoff and what they were planning on doing.

AVAST protects Windows XP usersHow aware were Windows XP users that their support was expiring?

Months ago Microsoft announced that it would no longer support Windows XP, sending daily warning messages to XP users a month before the end date, April 8, 2014. The media, especially technology-focused media, has been buzzing about the end of support. Our survey found that 21% of Windows XP users were unaware that Microsoft would be ending support, despite Microsoft’s efforts and the media attention around the topic.

What actions were Windows XP users planning on taking?

Although Microsoft recommends upgrading the operating system as the first option home XP users should take to protect themselves, AVAST found that only 15% of XP users were planning on upgrading their OS. The second option Microsoft suggests is for XP users to purchase a new PC, as many of the newer operating systems aren’t compatible with older devices. This does not seem like a popular option for many XP users, which is understandable considering the costs that come with purchasing a new PC. Only 5% of Windows XP users plan on purchasing a new PC. The majority of AVAST customers running Windows XP said they will rely on AVAST to protect them.

Windows XP post 2_April 2014How faithful Windows XP users should protect themselves.

The survey also revealed that 27% of Windows XP users were not planning on doing anything. As AVAST users they are protecting themselves since we will continue to support Windows XP users for at least the next three years. This number is relatively high considering the security risks involved with the OS and makes one wonder how many XP users are not concerned about their protection and aren’t planning on upgrading their OS, buying a new PC or seeking AV that will support them. AVAST has been creating protection modules and detections specifically designed to cover Windows XP vulnerabilities and other security problems. We recommend non-AVAST Windows XP users download AVAST for the added protection. avast! 2014 is a light product, both in terms of speed and resource consumption, tailored for older PCs running XP. In addition to this, we recommend users stop using Internet Explorer, as the browser poses an even larger threat when used on Windows XP. The latest version of Internet Explorer for Windows XP is 8, which is outdated and lacks many security improvements available in later versions of the browser. We recommend XP users switch to a safer browser that updates itself, like Google Chrome.

1) Percent of global AVAST users using Windows XP

Related post: AVAST will continue to support Windows XP for home and business users

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  • http://www.rejzor.tk RejZoR

    A lot of users have systems that are unable to run anything else. All those single core <1GB RAM systems with integrated graphics without any shader support just don't run Windows 7 or Windows 8 all that well…

    • http://www.avast.com Deborah Salmi

      Good point, RejZoR. And many choose not to upgrade because the system they have works fine for their purposes.

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  • ragenrat

    Did you know A VERY VERY large amount of hospital’s run on XP in the U.S.A. still to this day and as far as I know, My wife works in I.T there
    not talking right now about even changing that!!!

    • http://www.avast.com Deborah Salmi

      Yes! Our COO, Ondrej Vlcek, wrote a post that included this. He wrote, “Medical offices that store confidential patient information and stores that keep customer details, such as credit card numbers, on their computers running Windows XP could easily be attacked.”

      He also said that, “95% of ATMs in the world still run on Windows XP.” Scary stuff.

      Read it here, /2014/03/17/another-data-breach-crisis-looms-as-microsofts-d-day-for-xp-forces-security-scramble/

  • http://www.consultancymarketing.co.uk driansmith

    I particularly like this comment!

    “As AVAST users they are protecting themselves since we will continue to support Windows XP users for at least the next three years. ”

    Well done Avast.

    • http://www.avast.com Deborah Salmi

      It is our pleasure, driansmith. With so many Windows XP users we feel like we need to provide support as long as we can.

      Thank you for reading the AVAST blog.

  • Manuel Gomez

    Thank you Avast, I’m one of those users will continue using Windows XP, because works great for me, the new windows versions like 7 and 8 are a piece of junk, hope Microsoft really get back to the XP style for the next windows version.

    You are the best Avast!

  • tryshpat

    Recommended: “We recommend XP users switch to a safer browser that updates itself, like Google Chrome”

    *IF* that’s ^ the suggestion, then why did this open in IE, when I clicked on Avasts pop-up warning box?

  • Ultraman1966

    Avast, whilst I appreciate you giving updates to XP users, it is may give a false sense of hope; the security holes which may be revealed and exploited in the future are likely not going to be covered by your antivirus/malware.

    The honest truth is that XP was a good product but it is 3 generations of software behind; it is woefully designed for today’s environment where we have 24/7 broadband connectivity and far more cyber criminals actively speaking to exploit every nook and cranny. Let XP die in dignity. Also, those who think Win 7 and 8 are junk have never truly used it and what I would consider to be luddites. Move with the time because time won’t wait for you.

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  • MikeP_UK

    In my long experience of computer systems (30 years+) even Google Chrome has its problems to the extent that I, for one, am unwilling to use it. Personal choice, like I refuse to have all those Microsoft pop-up messages about EoL and Browser Choice, etc. IE8 is riddled with ‘holes’ but you have to have a version of IE installed as Windows, any version after 3.11, requires the presence of IE for some fundemental features of Windows – one of the very bad design choices they made.
    XP still works well for many and runs all the ancilliaries people want whilst many newer OSs from MS do not. Vista was a total disaster for most home users, 8 and 8.1 are aimed at ‘toy’ systems and not serious users and many businesses are refusing to move to it because of the serious impact on productivity – so not seen as an improvement (I know of some who are seeking to use some ‘tweaks’ that get rid of the toy ‘Modern’ interface and go back to a more traditional desktop start point). They also have the compatability issues of Vista and 7, only worse!
    XP Mode that was available for W7 Pro and above users is also EoL so no longer being supported either and in any case needs higher spec hardware than XP ever did as it is a poor form of virtualisation. (I find that VMWare Player or Workstation work very well on older hardware that does not support MS XP Mode, so loading a VM with XP solves the problem as long as system protection is excellently maintained with Avast! etc.)
    For many a transfer to another OS, such as a flavour of Linux, is also a non-starter due to significant differences in usage and hardware problems, so not an easy step.
    XP works for many so why should they ‘fix it’ if it isn’t broken for them? (Cynical comment follows- so M$ can make more money out of disgruntled users?)

  • Ultraman1966

    No, XP is broken in the sense that it was built for a different age. Tell me, how great was the use of internet back in 2001 when it was launched? The world is a very different place and XP is a dinosaur that is going extinct, dragging it along will only make the pain worse as the transition has to happen eventually and we’re already 3 years overdue technically.

  • ted ward

    Well done, Avast. Thank you. With tens of millions of users still using XP, it’s going to be around for quite some time to come.

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  • http://www.goherbalife.com/herba/en-us BlogZilla

    @RejZoR
    This is very true. There was nothing wrong with Windows XP, and even though I’ve gotten used to Windows 7 (which is actually a pretty good operating system) I still miss Windows XP

  • http://www.goherbalife.com/herba/en-us BlogZilla

    @Manuel Gomez This is one of the most ignorant comments I’ve ever seen. Have you ever used Windows 7? I think not. It’s actually a reliable OS and only slightly more complicated than XP

  • http://www.goherbalife.com/herba/en-us BlogZilla

    @tryshpat Because that’s the way you have it configured.

  • OTEKKENDURE

    @Ultraman1966
    Hear hear!

  • OTEKKENDURE

    State funded cyber agencies and home hackers WILL exploit zero-day weakness on XP upon the last update it receives from Microsoft.

    Hell, there are those that currently do exploit zero-day weaknesses on Firefox browser, MS Windows 8.1. and other popular well used programs. That’s why patches/hotfixes are released/deployed to our systems, ergo updates.

    IF YOU HAVE WINDOWS XP AND IT DOESN’T GET FUTURE UPDATES AND YOU HAVE YOUR PC ONLINE AT ANY GIVEN TIME/LENGTH…WELL YOU’RE DOOMED.

    ZERO-DAY EXPLOITS AREN’T A JOKE – AVAST KNOWS THAT – I KNOW THAT.

    Trust me I’m no angel when it comes to port scanning IP’s aswell.
    All XP users have been warned.
    Hackers will have a field day with this one. Trust me.

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  • http://wrgtllc.webs.com kamalpasha

    There are so many reasons which users reject for upgrade or change there system
    1. user friendly
    2. interface
    3. speed
    4. hanging
    5. bug
    6. and most important data ( might be in upgrade they lost some data)

    so XP in 64 or 32 is best for PC which I have windows 7 and 8 has difficult for setting up even network and

    if AVAST! keep XP support why we change our system which is working properly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • donmarie14

    I think that we all realize that XP is outdated and that most of our computers are OLD. Some of us cannot upgrade because it is an OLD computer and OLD hardware, and at the same time, we cannot afford to purchase a new computer. I recently lost my job after 19 years of continual employment. Try living on unemployment and see if you can buy a new computer at the same time. I am just so THANKFUL for AVAST. I now depend heavily on my dusty, old home desktop to apply and look for new employment.

    Thanks again AVAST.

  • appleboy2

    There’s no way in hell that I’ll be falling for Microsoft’s ploys to get everyone to buy new computers and software upgrades. I’ll be sticking with Windows XP for some time now, and I’ve got Avast to protect against these alleged “security threats” and “malware”. I understand that these viruses exist and Avast protects them, but Microsoft is trying to state it as if Windows XP will have more threats than ever without updates. Everything will be exactly THE SAME, just without constant unnecessary Windows Security toolkit updates.

  • ljames3

    Ultraman196 sounds like a paid minion. M$ knows that over 25% percent of the world CAN’T afford to upgrade. This is a Coke formula change and everyone who falls for it will be financing the next developmental stage of research at M$. Once all the black hats upgrade their machines to match the technology they will leave the older platforms alone. When was the last time you heard of a Win98 exploit? Yes, people are still using it. WinXP is dated, but it is not the Dino that Ultraman(Chicken Little) wants you to think it is. Red White and Black hats can crack Win8.1 just as easy as WinXp so use common sense when it comes to security and don’t advertise yourself as a target. If you are in Industry, hire someone who knows what they are doing instead of paying high school kids to babysit your network; it is fairly enter an oper UDP while someone is playing Mech Force P2P. If you think Putin lied about the WWW being a CIA funded project and you didn’t understand what Snowden was saying about being watched and followed on the WWW, well then maybe you need to be hacked and while you are loading your backups be sure to IM Chelsea Manning and ask hime how he likes being the poster child for STUPID! DON’T PANIC.

  • ljames3

    @Ultraman1966
    Isn’t this what Himmler told the Scientist in Nazi Germany to get them to mix the gas…. Get in step with the times or get stepped on by time…YOU Sir are a FEAR MONGER! There is not a prize big enough in your data cloud or HD and/or not enough zeros in your bank account to risk the consequences of hacking your machine(s); if there were, it would not matter what OS you are using, you would be a favorite target and a multitude of rainbow hats would be planting backdoors, droppers, keyloggers, trojans, exploits, sniffers, intercepts, white suits, janitors, receptionists, etc until you got lazy and we hear about you in the news media…

  • ChH

    Left undisturbed, I’d stay under my Luddite rock, scuttling out every morning only long enough to get a cup of coffee. As it is, I’ve girt my loins over the years to gain an intermediate understanding of computer and internet matters.

    Prior to the Avast! announcement of continuing XP support, my plan was to buy a new hard drive and make the great leap to Linux. It would’ve meant a steep learning curve, but being free of bondage to Microsoft is a huge motivator. It’s still my plan, but I’m grateful to Avast! for taking off the immediate pressure.

    As to XP itself—what is this thing called outdatedness? What is the point of an OS other than to meet my own purposes? XP does what I want it to do. Basic maintenance keeps it workable. And using proper security tools, I’ve run it all these years without a single breach via the internet.

    I don’t buy new cars; I don’t take hot new drugs at the urging of pharmaceutical manufacturers; and I’m damned if I’ll upgrade because Microsoft puts a starter pistol to my head. I want to see a track record; and what counts in any case is functionality on my terms rather than the state of the art per se.

    We avowed Luddites can tend toward militancy…

  • ChH

    @Ultraman1966

    Move with the time because time won’t wait for you.

    In my experience, time is overrated. :-)

  • http://marketingbarnyard.com Robert

    @ted ward
    I agree and want to add my thanks to Avast, As a PC tech you have got me out of trouble so many times while working on clients laptops that were incapable of running the big boys in virus software without slowing to a snails pace. Avast and Avast free I have recommended and installed on hundreds of laptops and PC’s out of necessity as I have found it the Go To AV program where a small footprint was required. What you are doing by continuing to support XP will be appreciated by so many worldwide that I hope it reflects well for you financially, as it should. KUDOS

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