Microsoft shuts Windows XP; opportunity to revive ATM industry?


Microsoft today has stated that it would end its support and services to Windows XP from April 8 in India. Amrish Goyal, General Manager (Windows business), Microsoft India today disclosed to media persons that the software giant had decided to terminate its services to the operating system. “The number of ATMs left on Windows XP are higher than PCs as a percentage. Probably higher than 35 per cent computers in banks and financial institutions are still to be upgraded and the (ATMs) are not included in those 4 million computers”, he said.

Several firms of financial and banking services are now considering migrating their fleets of ATMs to other operating systems like Linux. By doing so, the firms think that it would give them better grasp over their own software and hardware cycles. Astonishingly about 95% of ATMs across the world are running on Window XP. The 2001 born OS is three generations behind the latest operating system Window 8 which came in October 2012.

Meanwhile, few ATM operators have already moved to Windows 7, a significant number of firms related to financial services are also considering taking Linux as an alternative. However, MV Tanksale, Indian Banks Association (IBA) Chief Executive said that problem might persist in old ATMs as all the newer machines run on newer platforms. Rather than taking the Microsoft’s move as a threat, it might be an opportunity for the ATM equipment industry to revive, given the need to replace so many legacy ATMs. It would cost around 1.8 lakh rupees for a bank to set up an ATM in the country. With the current scenario banks and ATM vendors may shift to rental models rather than outright sales.

“Banks are definitely well prepared and the industry is seized of the matter. I am very sure that you will not see a problem where ATMs or banks are shut because of this,” Tanksale added. According to IBA, there are over 1.4 lakh ATMs under operation across the country at present and the number is only going up given the low penetration of machines.

Medaram Jathara

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