A whopping majority—95 percent to be exact—of ATMs all over the globe still use the venerable Windows XP, an operating system whose maker Microsoft will no longer actively support after April 8.
Once Microsoft starts ceasing support for its legacy OS, most ATMs will be more exposed to security vulnerabilities. Sadly, the ATM industry has apparently been quite reluctant to change and improve the embedded software that allows bank patrons to withdraw and/or deposit money, despite the software giant’s years of warnings.
Said reluctance to change is reflected by the slow deployment of Windows 7 to the machines. Of all ATMs in the US, estimates puts adoption at only 15 percent by the time XP support is terminated. Fortunately, Microsoft is open to custom support contracts and can provide assistance to banks and ATM companies as they continue to upgrade their ATMs, some of which need to be processed one by one due to incompatible hardware.
For years, Microsoft has been announcing its plans to drop support for Windows XP, whose release goes back to 2001. It’s still the second most popular Windows platform, though, despite the fact that it’s six times likelier to catch a virus than Windows 8.