Microsoft will remind customers still using its Windows XP operating system of the impending April 8 date for end of support through the use of pop-up notifications from this week.
Serving as a notice that the end of support is near for users of the 12-year-old operating system, the pop-ups - starting this Saturday - will remind users Microsoft will no longer supply patches and security fixes for the OS.
The company is hoping that the monthly reminders, which will continue to show up on users' monitors on the 8th of every month unless they opt out, will usher them to upgrade to more modern operating systems such as Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1. The prompts will also feature a link to Microsoft's XP end of support site.
According to a recent blog post by Microsoft marketing manager Brandon LeBlanc, the company will offer a free transfer tool to assist users in copying files and specific settings from their Windows XP machines to new computers running one of the newer operating systems.
The software giant partnered with Laplink to create the tool, called PCmover Express, which will be available for download as early as this week in English, and other languages later in the month.
According to Microsoft's “Security Intelligence Report Volume 15,” XP users are growing increasingly vulnerable as the April 8 cut-off date approaches.
“During the first half of 2013, currently supported versions of Windows desktop operating systems (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8) all had roughly similar malware encounter rates – between 12 and 20 percent,” Tim Rains, director of Microsoft Trustworthy Computer wrote in a blog post.
“But Windows XP systems had an infection rate that was six times higher than Windows 8.”
When Microsoft ended support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 on July 10, 2010, Rains indicated that the malware infection rate increased to 66 percent higher than Windows XP Service Pack 3 – the version that will no longer be supported beginning next month.
According to data from NetApplications, the worldwide usage share for Windows XP is currently just above 29 percent.