Microsoft to start nagging Windows XP users about April 8 end-of-support date

Microsoft to start nagging Windows XP users about April 8 end-of-support date

Summary: With Windows XP's end-of-support date just over a month away, Microsoft is turning up the warning volume.


On March 8, Microsoft will begin notifying Windows XP users via a pop-up notification that April 8 will mark the end of Microsoft support for Windows XP.


Windows XP users still running the Home or Professional versions of the product and who have been getting their updates to XP via Windows Update will get a notification on their desktop screen reminding them of the April 8 end-of-support date. Users can turn off the notifications via a check box. If they don't, they will be reminded on the 8th of every month until the notifications are disabled. The notification also will include a link to Microsoft's Windows XP End of Support web site.

Also this week, Microsoft is making available a free transfer tool, called PCmover Express for Windows XP, which copies users' files and settings from an PC to a new machine running Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. The tool, developed by Laplink, will let users customize exactly what they want to move to a new Windows machine over their home or work networks.

PCmover Express will be available for download in English starting later this week on as well as French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish coming later in March and it will be available in Korean, Chinese, Russian and Brazilian Portuguese after that. users who don't want to wait for the tool to be released in their local languages can get Laplink's tool by downloading it from Microsoft’s Download Center.

For Windows XP users wanting to transfer applications from their old computer that will work on newer versions of Windows, Laplink is also making available its software that migrates apps, PCmover Professional, for 60 percent off ($23.95).

April 8, 2014 is the day on which Microsoft will cease providing any kind of patches or fixes, including security fixes, to its nearly 13-year-old Windows XP operating system. Microsoft will continue to provide updates to their antimalware signatures and Microsoft Security Essentials engine for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015.

Windows XP's usage share is still approximately 29 percent worldwide.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Security


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).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • 1 warning

    "If they don't, they will be reminded on the 8th of every month until the notifications are disabled"

    So only 1 pop up warning? That box should be a bit more descriptive. It looks like a pop up scam
    • Goog point

      "That box should be a bit more descriptive. It looks like a pop up scam"
      • "Good point "

        • At least they DID...

          include the "Don't remind me again" option!! (Wonder if it will really work?) THAT is the one which will get the most clicks.

          Oh, BYW, all the machines not "connected" will never see that pop-up will they???

          Seriously, such nonsense is really likely to win friends and influence return customers... (not)!
    • Perhaps an HTML box with rainbows, puffy clouds, and a smiling Care Bear?

      I don't know what else MS could do. The people running XP need to know that they have complete freedom to keep running it after April 8 *but* at their own risk. They will get more than one warning - it will be on the 8th of each month until they disable the warning (see option above) or junk the machine.

      If you want to argue that Microsoft should have released this package in January and not in March so the ignorant masses would have more warning, I would go along with that.
      • Perhaps this?

        User has updates, double clicks on the Yellow "!" shield. Or if it's automatic updates, Microsoft forces the window open on the 8th of every month.

        "You have new updates": Put the message THERE. That update mechanism hasn't changed in the last 7-8 years since SP2 pushed the Security Center changes. People noticing the message in that window will know that something is up.

        But honestly, fighting apathy in mainstream users isn't really possible: if they held on to Windows XP this long, at this point something bad has to happen to their computer and/or data to get them to change operating systems or hardware. The die is cast.
        • APATHY??? Seriously????

          I can think of MANY reasons for not upgrading (the comments in Seltzer's article express many) and "apathy" is not among them.....
      • you always run Windows on your own risk

        no matter whether you have a support or not
  • Microsoft to start nagging Windows XP users about April 8 end-of-support da

    That is a nice way to tell users about the end of support instead of having them call up and find out when they really need the support. Small window, unobtrusive. Now its a matter of whether the end users will actually read the message or just close it out.
    • You can lead a horse to water ...

      ... but you can't make it use the tools provided. Considering that the deadline was first published in 2009, those who don't know simply don't care.
      M Wagner
      • More like "Those who don't NEED to won't budge"

        I seriously doubt there are many who do not know - it's been publicized a lot. I suspect there are many more who may want to but simply still cannot afford it, so will take their chances. Perhaps there are many don't have any useful data in their machines anyway; just "family & friends" stuff.
        OTOH, there are many users who have no real concept of security needs. After all it wasn't taught in any of their High School or University classes!!! How could they know?
        • There are probably more than you think..

          "I seriously doubt there are many who do not know - it's been publicized a lot."

          I haven't, come to think of it. The most prominent place I'd seen it has always been around here in these tech forums. I wouldn't be surprised if more than half of people who are still on XP on their home computers were completely oblivious to the fact that support is ending - these are typically people who aren't big into computers and only use theirs occasionally.

          For some people, this notification from Microsoft may be the first time they'd actually heard that support was ending - a whole month's notice in their case.
  • At this point

    I think Microsoft should come up with a stripped down version of Windows 7, and provide it as free upgrade to the remaining XP users. They can buy full features with in OS purchases if they want, though if they are happy on XP they likely won't need to. But this at least secures this large population within the Microsoft ecosystem.
    • That wouldn't be very fiscally smart

      XP users should know by now that the OS is reaching end of life, and if they don't they soon will. Those that don't know probably have no clue about when or even if Windows updates itself, so they're going to still be in the dark after April.

      Apple doesn't offer a "free" lite version of their newer OSs when their old ones go EOL, so why should Microsoft?
      • Why should Microsoft?

        Because they are losing, that's why. Desktop dominance is the last saving grace for Microsoft in today's tech world, sure they are doing well with enterprises but can you imagine how much easier it would be for a company to decide to move away from MS products if they lost 30% market share? The key for MS now is to retain current users, because Android and Chromebook is cheaper and satisfy the need for most basic users.

        The 30% users still on XP, many are so because buying a new machine is expensive (yes, even$250 can be expensive for many, especially those in developing countries who happens to make up a large chunk of the XP's remaining user base).
        • A Statement on Domestic Poor

          If it's a third world country that is running Windows XP, no problem. This may get done.

          If it's domestic users who can't afford a new computer, as far as MS is concerned, tough. They've given every opportunity to avoid this end-of-life and there's still those who won't budge. (Not a Windows 8 fan myself, but I have to admit: Windows 8 was sold for Upgrade for $30 initially. The cheapest they've ever sold it.)

          If you can't afford a $400-600 desktop (the eMachines days are over: good luck buying a desktop under $300 that isn't barebones, refurbished or hobbled in some serious way)...

          If you can't afford a sub-$300 laptop (still being made: check out some of Best Buy's "Back to School" specials if you don't believe it)...

          Or if you can't afford a tablet that is also sub-$300, then you have one choice left:

          You're on your own. Good luck.
          • several choices

            1) pirate windows. If you absolutely must have windows, can't afford a new machine or new license and are a home user, pirate it. You even have the blessing of Bill Gates himself.
            2) go the refurbished or used route. Just make sure to check out your local computer shops. No big chain stores. You get a better deal much of the time from the local shops. Plus, you're helping out your community by keeping the dollars in town.
            3) Linux/BSD/other open source operating system. Since we're talking about people here who can't afford a new laptop, we're also talking about people who aren't using any windows only software. These people will not only have a secured, modern operating system but they will also learn a thing or two about how to actually use a computer.
            4) The option you gave. Don't upgrade, just hope and pray that you keep on getting lucky.

            Of those 4, personally, I'm hoping a fair amount of them try out Linux. The world needs less monopolies.
      • So Apple and Microsoft are the epitome of...

        caring about their users NEEDS???? NOT! Poor example, methinks.
    • Do you mean Windows 7 Starter Edition?

      That would not help. The problems that arise for Windows XP users are related to their using old code and old drivers which are not compatible with later versions of Windows. They expect Microsoft to support them for free - forever! No one else will support their obsolete products forever, why should Microsoft?

      These folks have had plenty of time to upgrade from Windows XP. Since January of 2007, the writing has been on the wall and the deadline was published in 2009.

      He who hesitates is lost. You don't have to be an early adopter to have avoided this. You just have to be sensible.

      Don't want you pay Microsoft any more money? Fine. Switch to Linux or MacOSX. Maybe all you need is a tablet? If so, the transition is even easier.
      M Wagner
      • Expectations of some customers...

        "They expect Microsoft to support them for free - forever! No one else will support their obsolete products forever, why should Microsoft? "

        Most people nowadays still on XP are either there because they see no reason to switch (most are end consumers with a "if it ain't broke" mentality - not an unreasonable one at that), or their IT departments haven't moved off XP for various reasons, mostly related to using some hardware or software that is either unsupported or untested on newer operating systems.

        Other than some of the more unreasonable people among these groups, I don't think that there is a general "expectation" that Microsoft support XP forever, however in many cases they just don't have a lot of choice.

        I agree with you though - the base problem here isn't that the operating system itself is expensive, because it really isn't. The problem is the other costs involved which can range from replacing a few small devices to replacing specialized hardware or enterprise software to the tune of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

        "He who hesitates is lost. You don't have to be an early adopter to have avoided this. You just have to be sensible. "

        Perhaps, but the lifecycle of some software and hardware is longer than even XP's lifecycle was. In many cases businesses are dealing with manufacturers who are no longer in business, so upgrading would have meant a complete replacement project.