Microsoft issues partners Windows XP phase-out marching orders

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.



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 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


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • So...

    Nothing in there to encourage people to move to Windows 7, which is what nearly every business is actually doing?
    • They have to move to Windows 7....

      ...they do not have to move to Windows 8, but of course Microsoft would prefer that they do. I am with a relatively small firm of 4,400 and we are probably more than half way to migrating onto Windows 7. I have been using Windows 7 for a couple of years at home, and at work since last year. I won't miss XP at all! On the occasion that am I at another location and I have to use an XP machine, I find it almost unusable! In Windows 7, I love being able to easily pin my most used programs to the Taskbar and having all my favorite drive locations setup as Favorites in Windows Explorer for easy access most programs. Of course, you can do all that in Windows 8 as well, which I am a fan of as well.
      • how different?

        While you couldn't pin programs/files to XP's taksbar, you could copy them into the Quick Launch toolbar. There are only subtle and arcane differences in functionality between old-style Quick Launch and taskbar-pinned.
        • They just missed a thing

          When installing a program and it offered "Add to Quick Launch", they should have intercepted that call and pinned to taskbar.

          As programmer, if I were working on that feature that's the first thing I would have thought of.
          • See what's so pathetic?

            They can't even convince people to upgrade. 35% of all windoze users using XP until the last minute is pretty pathetic. And I blame Micro$oft for it. Idiots.
          • What's really pathetic

            Is that these people haven't moved to Linux yet. It's like they don't care that their customer's data is being given to the NSA through the Microsoft Windows NSA backdoor.

          • Yes

            Everyone's first instinct should be to move to a totally incompatible operating system where none of your purchased or in house apps will work.... Roll eyes.
          • The whole point was that pinning to taskbar was a personal choice.

            No one used the Quick Launch bar because it got so easily clogged with programs adding themselves to it. The whole point of pinned taskbar apps not having an API was so that that didn't happen.
      • I wonder...

        Does everyone realize that Windows 7 is no longer being upgraded? That means no enhancements. It still has bug fixes and security pack fixes, but no enhancements.
        • I wonder...

          if anyone cares. Windows 7 was the best version of Windows ever. It doesn't need new enhancements when it already "just works." Stable and able to run under relatively low system resources, it's a work of art compared to Frankenstein 8.
        • Huh? Windows 7 is in Mainstream Support, the same phase as Windows 8

          But, until Windows 8, no operating system (since NT4) has had major revisions once it shipped (ok, Windows XPsp2 was a special case - it got a security overhaul). Win2k didn't get "upgraded", it only got bug fixes and security fixes. The same with Vista. The same thing on the server side (except for Server 2003sp1 - which got the XPsp2 treatment).

          Of course, if you are just starting an upgrade from XP, by all means, upgrade your users to Win8 (and be testing 8.1); do it quickly. But, if you have already started a Win7 upgrade, finish it off, don't let the existence of Win8 be a distraction.

          Although there are some training issues, Vista, Win7 and Win8 are extremely alike internally (compared to Win2k and XP). Once you get to Win7, moving to Win8/8.1 should be a piece of cake (from an app-compat point of view, and compared to moving from XP)
      • Quite frankly, I dont think MS is heartbroke either way.

        Either migrating to Win 7 or 8, either way it moves people onto new "stock" they have on the shelves.

        All the wiseguys claiming what a problems Windows 8 is for MS, now that's a bit of a laugh. Windows 8 isn't the problem, after all, Windows 7 didn't exactly resolve the XP holdout situation did it?

        Windows XP is the problem. After XP is pretty much long gone, whenever that finally happens, Windows 7 will be the problem. The problem is hardly with the newest OS when its the old OS that's still operating just fine that nobody wants to replace that's still kicking around preventing any need to buy something new that's the biggest problem of all.
        • Aren't you really saying

          that Windows XP isn't really the problem either, but Microsoft's desire to just sell more product? I moved up to Windows 7 a year ago when I bought a new computer, but would much rather have stayed on XP. My two favorite scanners won't work on W7, so I keep my old XP computer on hand to use as a scanning station. What a waste! Microsoft just isn't listening to, and serving, its customers.
          • Oh, come on, WinXP shipped in 2011.

            They have to drop support sometime! Does *anyone* else in the consumer or enterprise space support software longer than that?
          • You mean 2001 I guess

            2011 was supposed to be its original retirement year, but as Vista was a flop XP got an extension to 2014.
          • Scanners

            So somehow you blame MS for failing provide drivers for your ancient scanners? Not their job. It is up to the scanner mfgs to do that. (Though I can see why they wouldn't want to provide support for 10 year old scanner on a dated OS either.)
          • @PCcritic

            It's up to the scanner MANUFACTURERS, not Microsoft, to properly support their hardware.
      • Missed features of XP

        If you had learned more about XP, you would not think these conveniences only exist in Win7. Maybe a different name and different technique, but same result.
      • Many cannot afford to move to Windows 7....

        I am an IT consultant and have many Corporate Customers who have told me they just cannot afford the huge cost of upgrading their Windows XP which still works just fine to Windows 7 or 8

        So I found a perfect solution for them before Windows XP expires. It is a new commercially available Linux operating system that runs all Windows applications and programs sandboxed inside Linux, making XP and also Windows 7 100% immune to all viruses and malware, requiring no future security updates or any anti virus anti malware software. They do this by saving all windows data to drive e which is the Linux partition and they have a one click Windows VM restore so it impossible to get a virus or malware.

        It is so economical and bulletproof that I have already successfully deployed hundreds of these installs in the last 3months alone.

        This 3D operating system called Robolinux installs an XP 32 or 64 bit VM in just one click Then you load your licensed XP disk into the VM, but that was easy for my Customers to do.

        Check out Robolinux if you cannot afford to upgrade.
        • RoboLinux for 79.95

          RoboLinux for 79.95 compare Windows 7 Home premium 89.95 free antivirus hum tech time and repeat tech support charges. Costs about the same. Sounds a lot like trying to advertise their software. Should be flagged. Just pay for advertising. No computer system is bulletproof as no ship is unsinkable. There are Linux viruses. people using Linux are just less likely to be infected for now.