Throughout the 90s, I was an advocate of OS/2 - an operating system that looked like a Windows-for-Workgroups 3.11 on steroids in its 1.1 revision (ca. 1990) and then later in its Warp series, a different thing altogether. In the 90s, many if not most ATMs used OS/2 Warp 2 or Warp 3. In the early 'aughts, IBM quietly discontinued the use of OS/2 and ATMs have been running XP or some variant ever since.
I don't see why such a smooth transition couldn't take place once again. I think the ATM argument is moot and pointless.
Thanks, Olaf, for clarifying. I'm not so worried about ATM's at the moment but all the XP systems that are still running in critical applications like the power grid and the military. Granted, there are some apps that don't run in W8 nor W7, maybe not even Vista (which is supported to 2017) but for the rest, what's the excuse? It's not like it happened overnight, there was a two year warning prior to the April 8 close.
Separate networks for financial transactions JUST FOR THE PURPOSE OF SECURITY? Sounds like a reasonable approach in a country like Germany which values the "technically correct" way of doing things. But here in the US you've got to remember the financial industry is run by super-cost-conscious "technophobes" who have allowed us to get probably something like 15 years behind in such basic security technologies as chip-and-PIN credit cards (which are still almost unheard of here). And there was something reported about banks paying for XP support and I'm NOT really sure which version of XP the ATMs commonly use, but it surely was whatever they could get their hands on the cheapest at the time. No there won't be any money spent to "improve ATM security" until articles about ATM hacking start showing up in the papers here regularly...we're pretty much doomed to that future already it seems!
As far as I know, ATMs use 'WinXP Embedded' and this version is supported by Microsoft until 2016. Thus, there should be enough time to upgrade the systems. Furthermore, I think, ATMs have no internet connections because the finance institutes have their own network. At least here in Germany this should be the case.
According to some sources, 420,000 automated teller machines (ATMs), or roughly 75% of them, still use XP, and since the hardware they're built on dates back to the era when dinosaurs roamed the earth (or so it seems), even upgrading them to a more modern generation of Windows isn't even an option. It also seems as if the banks that own these machines either don't understand Linux or don't appreciate that using Linux in clients is just as secure as when it is used in servers, so at least some of them have signed on to special "XP maintenance contracts" that Redmond apparently offers. I guess this means we can look forward to many more Target-like "horror stories" about hackers persuading ATMs to disgorge endless waves of twenty-dollar bills over sidewalks everywhere, what fun!