Spiceworks have announced today the results of a report, aimed at addressing issues facing IT professionals as the Windows XP end-of-life (EOL) deadline draws near.

The study, entitled "Getting Over Your XP" (link opens a PDF), revealed just how prevalent the operating system remains 12 years after its release.

According to the survey, 76 per cent of IT professionals run Windows XP on devices within their place network. Of that number, 36 per cent will leave XP as the operating system after its end-of-life occurs. This means that when Windows cease to provide security updates, patches and bulletins for the operating system, 27 per cent of professionals will continue to use it. Reluctance to upgrade will increase the risk of malicious attack.

Lack of budget

An upgrade to Windows 7 appears to be the favoured course of action. 96 per cent of those asked said they ran it, or would run it, on their network. This is compared to 42 per cent running Windows 8 or 8.1 and 30 per cent running Apple's OS X. 48 per cent of those asked who still had XP said they planned to decommission their devices and purchase Windows 7 machines. Three quarters of those asked pointed to "maintaining a similar user experience" as their primary reason for upgrading to Windows 7, not Windows 8 or 8.1.

Why do so many still use Windows XP? Lack of budget, time and resources were stated by professionals as the main reasons why an upgrade from XP hasn't occurred on their networks yet. 55 per cent cited a lack of budget, 39 per cent a lack of time to do so and 31 per cent a lack of resources.

The survey was conducted in October 2013 and had more than 1300 respondents. A majority of those asked were in North America and comprised a variety of industries including healthcare, education, finance and government.