As the deadline for Windows XP is getting closer, more and more people are upgrading to a newer version of Windows. For some, though, it’s more difficult. Many banks have ATM’s that run a version of Windows XP. Many use the full version of XP, and the hardware isn’t good enough to run Windows 7. So, the ATM may end up being scrapped and replaced. Others run a version of XP called Windows XP Embedded, which is a smaller version of Windows designed for these types of applications. In that case, support is good for another 2 years, ending in 2016.
Even as a Windows guy, I do always look for the best tool for the job. I have not looked into ATM’s much, but I wonder why a form of *nix or BSD isn’t considered for the OS for ATM’s. It’s smaller, easier to update, stable, secure and can run on lesser hardware than Windows. It can also be customized to be a lean, fast OS for that specific use. Any *nix or Windows experts that know something about ATM’s know why Windows is preferred in this case?
The many offshoots of the country’s jumbled ATM network, ranging from convenience stores that operate a single antiquated cash machine to national banks that oversee tens of thousands of terminals, are feeling the deadline in different ways, says Suzanne Cluckey, the editor of ATM Marketplace, a news site that serves the industry. More advanced ATM fleets can do the update over their networks. Older ATMs must be upgraded one by one or even replaced entirely if they don’t have enough computing power to run the newer, more demanding software. “My bank operates an ATM that looks like it must be 20 years old, and there’s no way that it can support Windows 7,” says Cluckey. “A lot of ATMs will have to either have their components upgraded or be discarded altogether and sold into the aftermarket—or just junked.”