Microsoft issues partners Windows XP phase-out marching orders

Summary:Microsoft is rolling out new programs and incentives to encourage its resellers to help it move its still-sizable base of Windows XP users off that operating system by April 2014.

As Microsoft officials reminded the company's reseller partners on July 8, there are only 273 more days until the Redmondians drop all support for Windows XP.

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Starting April 8, 2014 , there will be no more patches or updates -- including security ones -- issued for Windows XP. This is despite the fact that Windows XP still had an estimated 37 percent share of all desktop operating systems as of June 2013.

Microsoft and its partners have a lot of work to do between now and then to try to get more businesses off Windows XP. During the first day of the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, officials reminded resellers and systems integrators of their marching orders around the 11-year-old operating system.

Microsoft's top Windows priorities for its fiscal year 2014 (which began on July 1, 2013) are to move all businesses off XP and to become the number one business tablet in the market, said Erwin visser, General Manager of Windows Commercial, during a breakout session at the show.

Microsoft and its partners would need to migrate 586,000 PCs per day over the next 273 days in order to get rid of all PCs running Windows XP, Visser said. Microsoft's actual goal is to get the XP base below 10 percent of the total Windows installed base by that time, he said.

Visser told partners that there's an estimated $32 billion service opportunity for them in moving users off XP, given that companies are spending an average of $200 per PC to move off XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Microsoft is making available new programs, offers, tools and partnerships to help encourage more users to abandon XP, Visser said. He noted that Microsoft will be spending $40 million in fiscal 2014 to continue its Windows Accelerate Program, which is its pre-sales program for moving more of its customers to a "modern environment." As part of Accelerate, Microsoft pays some of its reseller and integrator partners to create "proof of concept" Metro-Style apps to show customers what's possible if they move to Windows 8.

Microsoft also is extending its  program called "Get to Modern," which is aimed primarily at small/mid-size business (SMB) users. Visser said these kinds of users typically don't plan two to three years ahead for major migrations. As a result, many of these SMBs who still may be running Windows XP, will need partners to help them institute a quick-turnaround XP migration program.

HP and Microsoft also are working together on a new joint XP migration campaign. Details of that program -- which include specially priced HP ElitePads preloaded with Windows 8 for those agreeing to move off XP to Windows 8, are available on the hp.com/goodbyeXP site.

Microsoft officials also touted at the partner conference another new program known as TouchWins, which is a new channel incentive for featured Windows devices. Authorized distributors and resellers who sell PCs and tablets with Windows 8 Pro and touch will qualify for additional benefits, as outlined here.

Topics: Windows, IT Priorities, Microsoft, Windows 8

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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