Well over a decade after introducing Windows XP, Microsoft is officially ending support for the aging operating system on April 8th. That’s despite the fact that as many as 30 percent of computer users may still be running Windows XP.

So Microsoft is outlining steps it’ll take to remind people to upgrade their software, as well as a free tool to help ease the transition.

winxp ends

Starting March 8th, Windows XP users who receive automatic software updates from Microsoft will see a pop-up alerting them that support for their operating system ends in a month. Folks who may have missed the company’s earlier warnings will hopefully catch this message.

Microsoft is also partnering with Laplink to offer a free app called PCmover Express for Windows XP.

The free app will help you copy files, music, movies, email messages, user profiles, and other data and settings to Windows 7 or later. If you want to also migrate your installed apps, you’ll need to pay for PCmover Professional or a similar app (since Microsoft’s Windows 7 and Windows 8 installers don’t support automatic migration from Windows XP.

pcmover express

PCmover Professional is available to Windows XP users for 60 percent off the list price.

Don’t want to upgrade to Windows 7 or later? You could keep using Windows XP for a while longer. Microsoft won’t offer any new features or bug fixes after April. But the company will continue to offer security updates through Microsoft Security Essentials until July 14th, 2015.

You could also install a third-party anti-malware app and hope that it provides enough security features to keep your system safe.

Or you could take the opportunity to switch to a different operating system altogether. While Microsoft wants to help you “migrate to a modern operating system such as Windows 8.1,” you know what else are “modern” operating systems? Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and OS X.

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2 replies on “Microsoft unveils free Windows XP migration tool in advance of April 8th support shutdown”

  1. I havent paid for any OS since DOS 4.0. The tech support for any “non free” OS is way overrated and overpriced, I understand that non “tech savy” people need the comfort of windows´s oficial support, but Microsoft make it look like april 8th will be the death of every winXP pc, it´s only the support that will end, not a big deal…

  2. IMHO these migration tools are potentially hazardous (check the reviews on Amazon for the Laplink stuff, they’re not good)….My 83 year-old father-in-law got into serious virus/malware problems with this XP machine over last few weeks. He was quite happy with how his system was set up and really wasn’t excited about trying something new. I thought long and hard about what would be the easiest and least disruptive move for him, including trying real hard to clean up and even restore his machine to what it was. When it became clear that restoration to it’s earlier state wasn’t practical, I bought him an OEM version of Windows 7 and pushed him forward. I took the opportunity to upgrade his RAM and installed an SSD (his machine was circa 2009), yanked the old hard drive out and bought a cheap USB enclosure so that we could easily get the old data off. Good news is that the machine works infinitely better, and while he was a bit confused by some minor UI/workflow changes, he is quickly getting over it. P.S. I seriously considered putting him on Linux after the virus/malware problems, and Linux Mint XFCE might’ve been a good choice. In the end, I felt that the support options for him (beyond me) would be limited and I suspect that no matter what he would eventually get himself into trouble.

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