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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  • Dan

    Where did you come up with $84.00 for a lic of Win8 and Office? Which edition of Win 8 and which edition of office??

    • gisabun

      It says Office 2013 standard. As for Windows 8, I’m assuming the consumer edition.

  • gisabun

    15% off isn’t much. Not everyone has Office 2003 and since that has a higher retail licensing cost, I’d say Win 8 alone drops to under $40 which only makes a small dent if you bought a new system.

  • Harry

    Although these products are being ‘non-supported’ in 2014, my only IT goal is to migrate users to Windows 7 – not Windows 8. Although Office 2013 is the acceptable upgrade path, seriously, how much more can a word processor do that it can’t already do in Office 2003/2007?

  • Johnny 5

    The decision to go windows 7 for my org was the fact that we absolutely disliked windows 8 as an option for a work based workstation/desktop and the fact that from what I have read, after the cut-off date in 2014, it pretty much places XP in the free range zone making it even more aceptable to hacker exploits and attacks.

    So really all they have done is left us with no real alternative other than windows 7. On an upside if XP becomes a public entity, maybe someone can use it to build an even better OS. It would be nice to see others in the field beside MS and Apple. Kinda sick of both of these guys, nothing tends to “wow” me anymore from either of them.