Microsoft Offers $100 Discount to Get You to Dump that Old XP Machine

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-03-24 Print this article Print

What's equally important is that Microsoft is offering to transfer your data and settings to the new computer. This is important, because a direct upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8 isn't possible, as I found out earlier this year. But fortunately Microsoft has worked a deal with LapLink for a free version of PCmover Express designed specifically to migrate from XP to Windows 7 or later.

But there is a catch. "PCmover Express for Windows XP only migrates user settings and files," Laplink spokesperson Ashley Catlett told eWEEK, "however Laplink offers a full version of PCmover to users who want to move applications as well." That full version of Laplink PCmover is what I used for my eventually successful migration of an old HP workstation to Windows 7.

So here it is, nearly 13 years after Windows XP was first released to the world in 2001. All those years later and Microsoft is still developing security updates to what is clearly an obsolete desktop operating system. It's no wonder that Microsoft wants to divest itself of that legacy burden and move on. By now, Windows XP may be unique in the annals of computer technology in its refusal to die.

Of course, a couple of factors helped ensure that Windows XP would stick around as long as it did. First was the botched launch of Windows Vista which hardly anyone used voluntarily (except me, of course). Microsoft eventually withdrew Vista after it failed to convince many people to make the switch. But while this was happening, XP was broadly adopted by business, many applications were developed and some systems (bank ATMs for example) became so wedded to XP that a change became essentially impossible.

Then, about the time that Windows 7 came out, the U.S. economy suffered a serious recession, and companies that hadn't already moved to Windows 7 stayed put until business improved. Meanwhile, they became further dependent on Windows XP.

But eventually, change had to come, and with Windows 7 in high regard, businesses started to make the switch, but by the time they were doing it, Windows XP was more than a decade old.

So it's come down to this. You've existed on free updates for 13 years, and now Microsoft has reached the point at which free updates aren't enough. A move to a new OS is necessary to maintain security, and Windows 7 is the closest thing to what you're used to with XP. The time has come to move. To make sure you do, Microsoft is offering you money, easy recycling, and data transfer.

But along with this carrot there's also a stick. The free updates are over. If you stick with XP, you're on your own, and yes, the wolves really are coming for you.


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