Microsoft: Big Discount for XP to Windows 8 Upgrade
Microsoft is now warning Windows XP users that it will only support the aging operating system (OS) for one more year. Beyond that point, anyone still using it will be at risk. To get people off the old OS, Microsoft is offering a 15 per cent price reduction for businesses upgrading to Windows 8.
April 8, 2014, will mark the end of extended support for people running Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3), the last of the major updates to the system. Those who didn't apply the service packs are already out of the support window, though there's no charge to download these updates.
Extended support is the second stage of Microsoft's 10-year period of support for its software, a standardized timetable it introduced a few years ago.
The support program means that for five years after release, the "full support period", Microsoft offers free technical help with the software. In the "extended support" period, support is only available to people who pay extra (though the company continues to release security fixes and some technical improvements). (Source: windows.com)
No More Bug Fixes From 2014
When extended support finally expires next April, Microsoft says it will no longer offer support for Windows XP SP3. This means that if hackers find previously-undiscovered bugs and begin exploiting them, there will be no help from Microsoft.
However, because Vista was panned by critics and many people don't see the point in upgrading to Windows 8, Windows XP remains quite popular.
Estimates vary, but somewhere in the region of 20 to 40 per cent of all computer users are still running Windows XP. If that doesn't change by next year, Microsoft faces a nightmare scenario of having to decide whether to change its support deadline once again or risk a potential security threat to millions of users.
Businesses Get Windows 8 Upgrade Discount
As part of its effort to encourage upgrades, Microsoft is now offering significant price discounts to businesses interested in upgrading to the new Windows 8 OS. Specifically, it's offering 15 per cent off usual prices to firms that upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 8. (Source: computerworld.com)
The discounts are only valid on the professional (business) editions of the software. Microsoft also notes that people taking up this offer will be allowed to "downgrade" from Windows 8 to Windows 7 without extra charge.
To learn more about Microsoft's discount, which runs through June 30, 2013, click here.