It's been one heck of a ride, but like all good things, the Windows XP era is officially coming to an end
next month. For many users, the XP era ended long ago, though according to market research firm StatCounter
, around 2 out of 10 PC users are still rocking the legacy OS after all these years, which is more than Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 combined. Microsoft is doing everything within its power to change that, even going so far as to offer incentive discounts on new systems.
One of the newest promotions in the Microsoft Store is that users who buy a select new PC will receive a $50 gift card good towards any future purchase, 90 days of free support (includes free premium phone, chat, an sales support), and free data transfer from your XP-based system via Laplink, a data migration service.
You don't need to own a Windows XP system to take advantage of $50 gift card and three months of free support, though XP users are the intended audience. Regardless, you can choose from a range of laptops starting at $279, tablets starting at $229, all-in-one (AIO) PCs starting at $699, and hybrid 2-in-1 PCs starting at $399.
The least expensive option is the Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet
. It has an 8-inch HD touchscreen, Intel Atom Z3740D processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB solid state drive, micro SD card reader, micro USB port, 1.2MP webcam, 5MP rear-facing camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi (Miracast enabled), Bluetooth, and a few other odds and ends. It also comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013, which itself is a $139 value.
Support for Windows XP is scheduled to end on April 8, 2014. What that means is Microsoft will no longer distribute security updates and patches for the legacy OS, nor will it continue to offer technical support.
If you want to take advantage of Microsoft's latest offer, just head over to the Microsoft Store