Windows XP Still Refuses To Die

Melbourne Airport is introducing 28 shiny new kiosks that can be used for automatic check-in by international airlines. And what operating system are they running? Windows XP, which was officially killed off last April.

I was mildly gobsmacked when, on walking through Melbourne Airport late last year, I saw the just-being-installed kiosks. While you wouldn’t be able to tell XP was running when the machine is fully-loaded, with full set-up not completed the XP underpinnings were all too visible. Oh dear.

Melbourne Airport’s site boasts:

Using the latest technology from SITA and BCS, the new kiosks have an improved look and feel to best meet a passenger’s needs.

Sorry, but a kiosk running Windows XP does not qualify as “the latest technology”. (The kiosks and 12 associated baggage drop-off points are currently being trialled for roll-out later this year.)

Old technology takes a long time to completely disappear. The fact that Windows XP was no longer officially supported and patched as of April last year sadly didn’t mean that people and businesses stopped using it. It was only last December that the number of Windows 8.1 users became larger than the total of people still using Windows XP. (Windows 7 is currently the most popular choice overall.)

In corporate environments, some companies have stuck with Windows XP, content to take the risk of the OS being insecure or trapped by other “crucial” software which won’t run on later versions. In some cases, they’re paying external contractors considerable sums to keep the platform secure. That seems short-sighted — but short-sighted policies often get locked in as IT mandates that stick around for years.

Evolve is a regular column at Lifehacker looking at trends and technologies IT workers need to know about to stay employed and improve their careers.

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