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This changes everything: Microsoft slips WinXP holdouts $100 to buy new Windows 8 PCs

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In an attempt to lure people off its 13-year-old Windows XP operating system, Microsoft will pay $100 to XP users who upgrade to a new Windows 8 PC.

The promotion, run via the Microsoft Store website, is open to users who ditch their Windows XP systems and buy new machines.

The money-off offer applies to PCs costing $699 or more that are bought from Redmond's online shop. The deal – which throws in 90 days of tech support and a download of software to migrate files all for free – will run through 15 June, nine weeks after official support for Windows XP is set to expire on April 8.

With Windows XP support running out next month, Microsoft is pushing holdouts to upgrade their hardware and move on from the decade-old operating system once and for all. But despite Redmond's best efforts, some users have yet to adopt a newer version of the Windows platform.

Recent estimates from StatCounter have XP still running on more than 15 per cent of PCs, and with Windows 8 struggling to claw market share due to its radical user-interface redesign, licenses for version 7 of the OS have become a hot commodity.

Consumers aren't the only ones who are hesitant to move away from XP even as Microsoft is abandoning support for the platform. Government agencies including the UK's National Health Service have been leaning on Redmond to provide additional updates and security patches into the coming year as organizations hope to cling to their XP boxes.

For those keeping track, the $100 discount would, adjusting for inflation, come out to $75.39 in 2001 when Windows XP was released. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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