On July 8th, Microsoft officials reminded their Microsoft Partner community that there are only 273 more days until they’ll be dropping all support for Windows XP.

Beginning April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide patches (including security patches) or updates for Windows XP – regardless of the fact that Windows XP still has an estimated 37 percent share of all desktop operating systems.

Between now and April 8th, Microsoft and its partners will have a lot of work to do to get more businesses off the Windows XP operating system. During the first day of the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, Microsoft officials reminded resellers and system integrators of their plans for the 11-year-old operating system.

For their fiscal year 2014 (which began on July 1st, 2013), Microsoft’s top Windows’ priorities are to move all businesses away from XP, as well as provide the primary business tablet in the market, said Erwin Visser, General Manager of Windows Commercial.

In order to get rid of all PCs running Windows XP, Microsoft and its partners would need to migrate 586,000 per day, over the next 273 days. However, Visser says that Microsoft’s actual goal is to get the XP base below 10 percent of the total Windows’ installed base by that time.

He also told partners that there’s an estimated $32 billion service opportunity for them when users move away from XP, since companies are spending an average of $200 per PC to switch from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8.

Microsoft is also making new programs available, as well as offers, tools, and partnerships to encourage more users to abandon XP. Microsoft will be spending $40 million in fiscal 2014 to continue its Windows Accelerate Program, the pre-sales program for moving customers towards a more modern environment.

As part of Accelerate, Microsoft has paid some of its reseller and integrator partners to develop “proof of concept” Metro-Style applications, which show customers what’s possible with Windows 8. Microsoft is also extending the program called “Get to Modern,” which is being promoted to small- to medium-sized business (SMB) users.

Visser explained that these users typically don’t plan two or three years ahead for major migrations and, as a result, many SMBs are still running Windows XP. These businesses will require the help of partners to institute a quick-turnaround XP migration program.

Additionally, Microsoft is working with Hewlett Packard (HP) to create a new joint XP migration campaign.

During the Partnership Conference, Microsoft officials also discussed another new program known as TouchWins, which is a new channel incentive for featured Windows devices.  Authorized resellers and distributors who sell tablets and PCs with Windows 8 Pro and Touch will qualify for additional benefits.

Have questions about Windows XP?  Need to speak with a certified IT professional about whether Windows 8 or Windows 7 is the best choice for your business?  Call us today, we are your trusted Microsoft Professionals ready to help your business.