Microsoft is offering Windows XP users $100 toward their purchase of a Surface Pro 2 or other select Windows 8.1 PCs worth more than $599.
The offer runs from March 20, 2014 until June 15, 2014, or "while supplies last," according to the offer page on Microsoft's online site. The offer is available in select Microsoft retail and online stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. ARM-based Surface 2s are not included among the machines that qualify. There's a one device limit, and the $100 credit isn't available on prior orders or purchases.
Those who take advantage of the offer also get 90 days of free support for their new Windows 8 devices from Microsoft. Microsoft is also touting availability of the free Laplink data-transfer service, allowing users to move their files, photos, music and settings to new PCs, as part of the package.
Update: Here's how this trade-in works, according to a company spokesperson:
"This is a special promotion for current XP users. Customers going to MicrosoftStore.com from a machine running Windows XP will see the deal pop up automatically.
"People can also bring in their old XP device to one of the more than 80 Microsoft retail store locations and instantly save $100 on the purchase of a qualifying PC priced at $599 or above."
Microsoft is ending its support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. After that time, Microsoft will no longer provide any patches or fixes to Windows XP users -- other than those Premier Support customers who pay a hefty fee for custom patches.
I'm not optimistic that this offer will win over many XP holdouts. Some of the folks still using XP are self-acknowledged cheapskates, but others are still using XP because of corporate policies, incompatible software and peripherals and other reasons. But I guess it's worth a try....