Banks to pass on Windows 8, to upgrade ATMs to Windows 10

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Microsoft’s veteran Windows Xp which was once the king of the road for both individual and enterprise users is fading. Slowly. The latest stats from Net Applications show that with its current rate of decline and given Windows 8.1’s steady rise, Windows 8.1 will overtake XP to become the second most used operating system version in the world by the time we bid goodbye to June.

With extended support for XP ending last year, those heavily reliant on the ageing operating system like financial institutions had to deploy their contingency measures. That involved getting Microsoft to allow them to pay for security updates for sometime (custom support) while they upgraded to newer versions of Windows like Windows 7. In the process they passed on another much maligned version of Windows which we only talk about in hushed tones, Vista. It’s still debatable if Windows 8 is the modern day Vista but it too will be getting a pass.

The ATM Industry Association through a statement is advising all its members who include banks and other financial institutions that commission and service Automated Teller Machines to look ahead and only deploy Windows 10 when it becomes available thereby skipping Windows 8 and its 8.1 update. For most banks that were still stuck on Windows XP, if they are to abide by the guidelines, that means skipping anything released from the days of Vista through to late 2013 when Windows 8.1 was introduced.

While Windows 7 is a tried and tested hero and still the preferred operating system for many individual users and enterprise customers, its extended support will end in 2020 thereby forcing another migration which the ATM (banking?) industry wants to avoid. Instead, migrating to Windows 10 is seen as not a futureproofing measure but also a cost-saving one since migrations of the scales done by banks when upgrading their systems are expensive. Of course concerns like security are also top on the decks. Apparently according to ATMIA, the “one system for all” Windows 10 philosophy by Microsoft is appealing. That and the news that the days of service packs are long gone.

Not to be too close-minded, ATMIA is also recommending exploration into Linux-based systems like Android for interested parties. Know what that means? An ATM running on Android is not a far-fetched idea. Furthermore Android is everywhere you turn to today from the TV in your living room to the watch on your wrist to the infortainment system in your car and it is coming to your coffee maker as well soon in the form of Brillo. I know many people who’ll have reservations with Android being associated with the cash in their accounts but well, it’s the times we’re living in.

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