If you thought the 29 percent of Windows XP user base overall was a thing of terror, chew on this. Around 95 percent of the ATMs in the world are said to be still running the old operating system.

And while a number of banks and financial institutions have already started their migration process to a new operating system, a few are in talk with Microsoft about the possibility of purchasing extended support for the platform.

There is a third group, too, however — one that is entertaining more radical thoughts.

According to this report over at Computerworld, there are some ATM operators that are considering moving from Windows XP to Linux.

This, they are said to be doing to not only obtain better control over the machines but also being able to better synchronize their hardware and software upgrade cycles. Without being forced by Microsoft do to it, that is, with each new version of Windows.

In the words of David Tente, USA executive director of the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA):

“There is some heartburn in the industry. Some are looking at the possibility of using a non-Microsoft operating system to synch up their hardware and software upgrades.”

Estimates say that approximately 60 percent of ATMs in the United States will not be moved to a newer and supported version of Windows by the April 8 cutoff date.

Consumers and businesses moving away from Windows to Linux is one of the biggest threats facing Microsoft right now, and while the company would want to avoid seeing a shift like this taking place, it remains to be seen what steps it takes in this regard.

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  • Ray C

    They’re being forced to update by Microsoft, but they still using an OS that’s over a decade old. More control over things? That’s exactly where they’re going to get themselves in trouble. Also, just because to switch to Linux it doesn’t mean you all the sudden have no security issues.

    • Wayne S

      Yea, it seems like an update is in order. Microsoft recognizes it, but these companies don’t want to. Linux doesn’t mean more control or security as you said. In fact, it could mean the opposite.

      • whofuckingcares

        also, if they upgrade to windows 8.1 or w.e they could use the touch interface for kiosks at the photo labs, which makes the most sense to me..

  • Jason Claven

    I don’t think ATMs should do this, but man, if they do, this is a huge dent for Microsoft’s image and business. I can’t imagine what kind of money it would cost them to lose all the ATM business. I’m sure they could survive it, but still a huge lose either way.