Windows XP has but 59 days left to live – officially, that is. On April 8, as we’ve reported numerous times previously, Microsoft is officially pulling the plug on the operating system. The not-so-insignificant number of users running the legacy OS will still be able to use it, but they won’t be able to count on Microsoft for patches, updates, security fixes, and other forms of support past the cutoff date.
That’s not quite news. What is news, however, is Microsoft’s renewed efforts to convince these (stubborn?) users to switch over. We can only imagine that the flurry of communications, warnings, and outright insistence from Redmond will grow as we approach various milestones closer to the shutoff date.
At 60 days out, Microsoft’s big communication is a new blog post that asks tech-savvy readers to help out those who need a little assistance making the big switch.
“As a reader of this blog, it’s unlikely you are running Windows XP on your PC. However, you may know someone who is and have even served as their tech support. To help, we have created a special page on Windows.com that explains what “end of support” means for people still on Windows XP and their options to stay protected after support ends on April 8th,” wrote Microsoft senior marketing communications manager Brandon LeBlanc.
He goes on to list some steps that Windows XP users should take prior to the big cutoff date. Namely, three steps: Purchase and install Windows 8, upgrade your computer to support Windows 8, or buy a new PC that… comes with Windows 8 preinstalled. Sensing a theme?
Of course, upgrading to Windows 8 from Windows XP requires users to manually save all their critical data prior to the switch; the process won’t automatically save your data for you. LeBlanc is quick to note that Microsoft’s own cloud storage service, SkyDrive (now OneDrive), doesn’t actually have a desktop client for Windows XP – ruling out dragging and dropping ones files to Microsoft’s cloud as a means of temporary data backup.
What LeBlanc doesn’t mention, however, is that Microsoft has officially extended Microsoft Security Essentials updates for Windows XP users through July 2015. That includes updates to the application as-is, as well as signatures updates for virus and malware detection. While that still doesn’t do much for those who would prefer an up-to-date operating system, it’s still a bit of a consultation prize for those planning to ignore Microsoft’s pleas and continue running XP post-cutoff.
Interestingly enough, LeBlanc left comments on his blog post, and a number of people are using it as an opportunity to blast Microsoft, blast Windows 8, and blast the XP cutoff.
“Honestly, this sounds more like a sales pitch for Windows 8.1 than any kind of interest in what is actually best for my friends and family. Had the article actually mentioned both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as options, I would be able to take it more seriously,” wrote user “Naru.”
The plea comes as XP gained market share at the expense of Windows 8 in January, while HP started selling Windows 7 PCs again, which it said were back “by popular demand.”
For more, check out PCMag’s review of Windows 8.1.