Would $84 be enough for you to dump Windows XP?

With more than one third of businesses and users still running Windows XP, the OS Microsoft Corp. ended most sales of five years ago, and which is one year away from being a dead OS, the vendor has its work cut out for it convincing users to come over to Windows 8. It’s hoping $84 a head will help.

On April 8, 2014, Windows XP and Office 2003 are scheduled for end of services (EOS), which means no more support from Microsoft. No security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options (although third-party companies may step in with unauthorized services) and no online technical updates from Microsoft.

According to a report from ComputerWorld, to tempt users to make the leap to Windows 8, Microsoft is offering a 15 per cent discount on Windows 8 Pro and Office 2013 Standard to users of the two soon-to-be obsolete programs, which works out to $84 at current licence prices of purchasing both. Certain conditions apply, and the promotion runs through the end of June.

Data on desktop OS market share as of March 2013 from Net Applications shows Windows XP still has 38.73 per cent of the market, not far behind Windows 7 at 44.73 per cent, and well ahead of Windows Vista and Microsoft’s newest OS, Windows 8, which has just 3.17 per cent.

The numbers show Microsoft has its work cut out for it convincing those XP holdouts to upgrade before the EOS. To spur them on, the vendor is warning that, particularly for business users, sticking with an unsupported OS will be both costly and risky. The vendor warns if extra support costs for apps originally designed for XP, and also notes the OS is not suited for the new form factors coming on the market and is a potential weak-point in a bring your own devices-oriented network architecture.

Citing a study from IDC, Microsoft said it gets more expensive for a business to move on from Windows XP the longer it waits. Still, judging by the market share numbers, it appears many businesses are in no real hurry.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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