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On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will officially end support for the Windows XP operating system, but that looming deadline hasn't been sufficient to get all businesses to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. To sweeten the deal, Microsoft is offering discounts to organizations that upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 8 Pro and Office Standard 2013.
Computerworld's Greg Keizer reported, "Microsoft today kicked off a new promotion aimed at Windows XP customers, who have just one year to ditch the 12-year-old OS before it's retired from support. Small- and medium-sized businesses still running Windows XP and Office 2003 -- the latter also will be retired a year from today, on April 8, 2014 -- can purchase licenses to Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013 Standard at a 15% discount, Microsoft said on a promotional website. Caveats apply: Customers must be running XP Professional, the Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013 Standard licenses must be purchased as a package via Microsoft's Open License program, and the deal is capped at 100 licenses for each. The discount is good through June 30."
ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley noted, "It's no secret that Microsoft is dropping support -- paid and free both -- for Windows XP a year from today, April 8. Despite that fact, a considerable number of businesses of all sizes still are running Windows XP. According to the latest data from Net Applications, Windows 7 accounted for 44.7 percent of desktop operating-system usage share, with XP still contributing 38.7 percent; Windows Vista 5 percent; and Windows 8, 3.2 percent."
InformationWeek quoted Microsoft's Erwin Visser who blogged, "NOW is the time to move to a more modern Windows operating system and modernize your IT infrastructure. Businesses still running Windows XP are missing out on the tangible benefits of modernizing their IT investments from dramatically enhanced security, broad device choice to meet the needs of a mobile workforce, higher employee productivity and lower cost of ownership by future-proofing their IT investments."
The Wall Street Journal's Steven D. Jones wrote, "Many enterprises that are buying new hardware are slow to upgrade because they have many applications written for XP that are costly and time-consuming to rewrite, said Gary Schare, president of Browsium Inc., which helps customers transition old applications to new operating systems. 'We find a lot of modern hardware running older XP software," he said. 'Now those companies face either a rapid upgrade or paying high-price custom support agreements with Microsoft,' Mr. Schare said."