Microsoft: best way to upgrade from XP is to buy a new PC

Microsoft offers intriguing advice to those still using Windows XP

Nicole Kobie
10 Feb 2014

The best way to upgrade from Windows XP is to buy a new PC, according to Microsoft.

That's the advice it's doling out via a Windows blog post marking 60 days until the end of support for the ageing XP.

Communications manager Brandon LeBlanc notes that readers of the official Windows blog are "unlikely" still to be running XP on their PCs - and backs this up with data in the comments - but suggests that "you may know someone who is and have even served as their tech support".

Microsoft has therefore created a help page to make it easier for IT-savvy users to explain the looming end of support to their less technically skilled friends and family. One recommendation is to run the Windows Upgrade Assistant to see if their machine can run Windows 8.1.

However, LeBlanc suggests the best approach is to get a new PC - a statement Microsoft's PC-making partners will appreciate, in light of stalling hardware sales.

"The easiest path to Windows 8.1 is with new devices and there are offers and deals from many retailers to help people get a new device," he said, pointing to the many discount offers available.

Tough convincing

The advice hasn't been popular among the very readers of the blog that Microsoft is asking to help their less tech-savvy friends.

One wrote that it would be hard to convince people to upgrade to a new PC running Windows 8.1, which "isn’t an attractive choice to begin with".

"Most of the people I know feel like they are forced to buy a new computer for money which they don’t have, and forced to upgrade to a new version of Windows which they aren’t convinced is a good choice," the commenter noted.

Another echoed concerns over the cost of upgrading, saying she'd been hit hard by the struggling economy. "I understand your need to discontinue support for older programs. It's an expense of time and money that could be used to develop new products," noted Ruth Brown.

"But I am nearing retirement age, and with money tight, and possibly tight for the foreseeable future, I don't know when I'll be able to upgrade to a new Windows product." She asked for Microsoft to extend support for XP.

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