Microsoft urges businesses to upgrade from Windows XP

With exactly one year left before Microsoft cuts off all support for Windows XP, Microsoft is urging businesses who are still running the decade-old operating system to upgrade to either Windows 7 or Windows 8. It has also cut off support to Office 2003 today. It has cited a lot of reasons that businesses should upgrade their software, including security risks and lack of technical support if things go awry. It has even offered some nice incentives to upgrading.

Businesses with Windows XP and Office 2003 on their systems will no longer receive security updates, so they're more prone to viruses, malware, and trojans. Software and hardware companies will stop making their products compatible with Windows XP after support ends, and there will be no tech support to call if you need help with your systems. Luckily, Microsoft has offered some decent discounts for upgrading to Windows 8.

There are a list of partners offering Open License discounts for Windows 8 and Office 2013. Businesses will have to purchase the two as a set however. They will also have to be running Windows XP Professional on their systems prior to upgrading to Windows 8. When purchasing both Windows 8 and Office 2013 together, businesses will get 15% off of their total cost, amounting to $477 per combo license. If businesses only want one product or the other, they can get Windows 8 for $188 and Office 2013 for $373. They're limited to 100 licenses for each software.

According to ComputerWorld, last month, 39% of all PCs, and 42% of all Windows PCs, ran Windows XP last month. Analysts also believe that 1/3rd of all PCs will continue to run XP even after support ends. Chances are, if most of these businesses are still running Windows XP on their systems, they're going to need more than just a license to upgrade. These businesses will most likely have to upgrade all of their computers, which is a costly effort and most likely the reason why they haven't gone through with the change.

[via Microsoft]