Microsoft has been in discussion with companies, convincing them to upgrade from Windows XP. Microsoft maintains that companies will be paying upto five times more, if they refuse to upgrade from Windows XP. Moreover, the longer one waits, the pricier it gets to support XP. This version of Windows is two generations behind the current version and will soon be three generations behind, once Windows 8 is made available. The MSDN blog says that April 8, 2014, will see the end of support for XP users. It says that these two factors are reasons valid to recommend users to take a look at the compelling business incentives to develop and implement a migration strategy to Windows 7.

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Upgrade to Windows 7

Microsoft sponsored a whitepaper issued by IDC that analyses risks, user productivity and IT labour costs that are associated with businesses that run Windows XP and Windows 7 by interviewing nine large organizations. IDC reports claim that 42 percent of the commercial Windows install base still runs on Windows XP. Moreover, Windows XP is over a decade old. However, now technology has advanced and Windows 7 can support integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, faster and better performing hardware and new improved UI. It would also help resolve downtime issues that account for less than a third of the total time spent by IT in supporting Windows XP. It can be reduced by up to 84 percent by upgrading to Windows 7. The blog post also shows a list of tools and resources to upgrade to Windows 7. 

According to the IDC report, the issue of the termination of extended support for Windows XP SP3 has been nagging many enterprise organizations and the deadline has only motivated many customers to accelerate their migration activities. However, all segments haven’t taken a step towards this migration, and perceive the existing one as sufficient for their needs. Microsoft has advocated the standardization of client operating system (OS) deployments, allowing a more consistent approach to systems and application management as well as settings and configurations management. Windows XP had a lengthy life cycle and customers enjoyed an unprecedented level of client OS standardization.  
However, costs can rise with older PCs and older operating systems and this study found that for five-year old PCs running Windows XP, user productivity costs per PC per year nearly doubled from $177 in the second year to $324 in the fifth year, while IT labour costs per PC per year jumped from $451 in the second year to $766 in the fifth year. These higher costs are caused by a variety of problems. Not all can be directly attributed to the operating system, but are common in older solutions that required IT labour and help desk support activities. The analysis warns that supporting older Windows XP installations, compared with a modern Windows 7–based solution, saddled organizations with a dramatically higher costs. The annual cost per PC per year for Windows XP is $870, while a Windows 7 installation costs $168 per PC per year.

The research firm concludes that, “Organizations that continue to retain a Windows XP environment not only are leaving themselves exposed to security risks and support challenges, but also are waiting budget dollars that would be better used in modernizing their IT investments.

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