Upgrade Your Windows XP, Get A $100 Gift Card From Microsoft

With Microsoft announcing an end-of-life for the beloved operating system Windows XP next week, the tech giant is getting desperate to make sure people upgrade their system before April 8th. One tactic? Offer them a $100 dollar gift card towards a new machine or tablet, plus data transfer and tech support if they choose to upgrade their Microsoft PC to Windows 7 or higher. The tech giant is hoping these new incentives will nudge the millions of users still utilizing the 12-year old OS into the next generation of Microsoft computing technology.

So why has it been so hard to convince users to switch? Generally speaking, new technology and new operating systems are met with enthusiasm from users looking to stay current in the ever changing technology world. Just ask any iPhone user or tablet enthusiast. But according to Time Magazine:

“Windows XP is the operating system that refuses to die. The software is now 12 years old — a dinosaur in the fast-moving technology sector — but runs nearly 30 percent of all Internet-connected desktop PCs, according to analytics firm Net Market Share.”

And Microsoft has to accept the majority of blame for this predicament of users unwilling to upgrade their machines. The disastrous Windows Vista experiment left a sour taste in the mouths of many when it was first launched in 2006. In trying to keep pace with Apple’s slick operating system, Microsoft Vista tried utilizing interface features that would keep users locked into their PCs rather than making the switch to their competitor. But assorted bugs and added security features ended up souring the user experience and many failed to make the upgrade from XP to Vista due to the negative press surrounding it.

Windows 7 was met with general skepticism as well, but ultimately became, according to the Time article, “the most popular OS in the world right now, with a market share of nearly 50 percent.”

That being said there is still the 30% that needs to upgrade from XP. According to Time the main hangers-on are schools and small businesses who can purchase refurbished computers on the cheap capable of handling their day-to-day operations despite the outdated Windows XP OS.

And while many feel that bribing users to upgrade may be crossing a line, Microsoft hopes that by offering incentives like the gift card, it can overcome the financial burden of performing an upgrade. According to a report on the LA Times web site, “the promotion lasts through June 15 and is available only to customers who can verify that they are currently using a Windows XP machine.”