Windows XP Upgrades to Windows 7 or 8 Take Patience, Know-How
A Microsoft spokesperson provided a step-by-step upgrade link here along with its official pitch on why all this is necessary.
"Windows XP and Office 2003 were great software releases more than a decade ago, but technology has evolved along with the needs and expectations of your customers and partners that have already adopted modern platforms and devices," the spokesperson said.
"Companies still on Windows XP are also missing out on tangible benefits of modernizing their IT investments from dramatically enhanced security, broad device choice to meet the needs of a mobile work force, higher user productivity, and lower total cost of ownership by future-proofing their IT investments. A 12-year-old operating system can no longer address today's business and technology needs nor security threats," he continued.
Unfortunately, the spokesperson didn't explain why the upgrade from XP to newer operating systems isn't as intuitive as it could be.
Or you can take advantage of the capitalization rules while you can still use them and write off the old computers. Then, install new Windows 7 or 8 machines before restoring your applications from backups. Then, get a modest tax break from donating the old machines.
Regardless, you'll have to deal with the fact that Microsoft has made the necessary move from XP much harder than it needs to be because you have taken so long to upgrade to a newer version of Windows. Just bite the bullet and find another way to go.