With both the regular and enterprise RTM versions of Windows 8.1 now officially released on Redmond channels the company is now shifting attention to a very pressing matter.

Microsoft it still cautious of the markedly high market share of Windows XP — its 11-year-old operating system. The company is now urging users that are planning to move away from the ancient OS to consider Windows 8.1, its newest offering.

The software giant announced the pricing and packaging options of Windows 8.1 yesterday, and used the occasion to talk about the looming retirement date of Windows XP.

Redmond recommends business users to give Windows 8.1 a try — no matter what device they are using. The new operating system is at ease with both touch and the combination of mouse and keyboard. As Microsoft said in a blog post:

“Businesses that are still running Windows XP need to accelerate testing and migration to a modern operating system – like Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 – as soon as possible before end of support occurs on April 8, 2014. If you are currently deploying Windows 7, begin evaluating Windows 8.1 for all devices, including touch and mouse and keyboard options.”

Windows XP will no longer receive updates after the cutoff date — April 18, 2014.

And while the old operating system still commands a hefty 33 percent global market share, Windows 8.1 comes with enough refinements and new features that Microsoft hopes businesses will start migrating towards its latest operating system in the coming months.

It will be interesting to see just how sudden are the monthly drops that Windows XP records, but by pitching the user base an option to upgrade to the latest version of Windows, Microsoft can move consumers away from the old OS while at the same time radically increase Windows 8.1 market share.

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  1. my pc cant run windows 8 or 8.1 because the cpu doesnt support NX (it is needed)

  2. If anyone want to OS upgrade from Windows XP, I personally recommend upgrading to Windows 7 unless your hardware is fairly new. Some or most old device drivers for your printer, scanners, etc may not work on Windows 8.x. You’ll have to buy new external devices, which costs additional dollars. I lost my scanner due to this device driver problem after upgrading to Windows 8.

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