Windows XP is finally being put to rest on April 8, 2014. Well, Microsoft is, anyway. For many businesses migrating off of the OS relic in time is going to be tough, citing a proper lack of IT resources and application compatibility issues as the top reasons for the slowdown. A lot of companies have already conceded that Windows XP will live in a somewhat zombie state within their organization long after the April deadline. And, in doing so some have suggested that they can handle it by managing security at the firewall, or running the computers disconnected from the Internet.
So, companies may be able to limp along for a bit while continuing the migration effort, but what about schools? AVAST recently ran a survey and the results showed that 96% of US schools are still running Windows XP and are looking at huge costs to upgrade. Generally, a PC still running Windows XP is also still running on the original hardware it came with. This means that each school owned computer will require the hardware be upgraded or replaced along with the operating system. AVAST estimates the full cost for a new computer and newer OS could cost US schools in the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But, that's only a portion of the problem. Schools cannot disconnect computers from the Internet. Classes are setup now that an Internet connection is a requirement. Teachers use the Internet connection to submit grades, organize assignments, and stay in contact with parents over email. All it takes is a single, unprotected communication to infect the entire school network and anyone else outside the school network through electronic communications.
Read the full report: 96% of US schools facing huge cost of Windows XP upgrades
If you're an IT Pro supporting the education sector, how big of a problem is this for you? Are you plugging away at upgrades, or waiting for state dollars to move ahead? I'm curious if you already have a plan in place and if you believe schools can make the April 2014 deadline.