As Windows XP's Deadline Looms, Will Companies Switch To Chrome, Android?


Windows XP support is coming to an end this year -- and instead of being an opportunity for Windows 8 migrations, it could be an open door for Google.

At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas was buzzing with the usual flurry of new Android tablets and smartphones. But two large computer makers -- Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard -- debuted new desktops running Android. And while those all-in-one (AIO) desktops were consumer-focused, both companies said Google's operating systems (Android and Chrome) had potential in the corporate PC space.

For example, Thomas Jensen, vice president of worldwide channel sales at HP's Printing & Personal Systems (PPS) Group, said partners should explore Google's OSes.

[Related: Windows XP Retirement: 10 Essential Security Tips]

And Jay Parker, president of Lenovo North America, said Lenovo's new Android desktop could be utilized in a business environment.

Solution providers are taking note. George Brown, owner and president of Brown Enterprise Solutions in Dublin, Ohio, was in Las Vegas for CES and had a chance to see some of the new devices and gadgets on display.

"The market is wide open right now," Brown said. "And I think Android and Chrome are great."

Brown Enterprise Solutions, which partners with both Lenovo and HP, is exploring Google's platforms not just for mobile devices but notebooks and desktops as well. While Windows is still the standard for corporate America, Brown said using Android or Chrome over Microsoft's operating systems can generate significant cost savings.

"When you look at the cost of operating systems, you can save a lot of money going with Chrome or Android and working from the cloud," Brown said. "You can shave off $200 or $300 per machine, and if you're a small or medium business, then that can really add up."

Andrew Hertenstein, manager of Microsoft Data Center and Azure Professional Services at En Pointe Technologies, a national solution provider based in Gardena, Calif., said his company is working aggressively to migrate customers off of Windows XP before the April deadline. But Hertenstein said some clients are using the XP deadline as an opportunity to move to entirely new operating systems, from Chrome to Apple's iOS or OS X.

"We do see some customers moving off of Windows altogether," Hertenstein said. "That's definitely happening. But Chromebooks are still limited."

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