Microsoft's free Windows XP transfer tool leaves you no excuses for not upgrading

Microsoft will be releasing a free tool that is designed to help you move from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8/8.1 ahead of the April 8th cutoff date for Windows XP support. The tool will provide Windows XP users with a simple way to transfer all of your personal files and settings from your Windows XP machine to something a bit more modern.

Microsoft partnered with Laplink to build the tool and it will be available for free and initially in English, other languages will follow later in March. While the tool will help users migrate, we do wonder why the company waited until roughly one month before it throws the kill switch for support on the old platform to release this software.

With this tool being released later this week, and for free no less, there are no excuses left to still be running Windows XP after April 8th. When the tool is released, you'll be able to find it at at Windowsxp.com

Besides all the obvious benefits of upgrading to Windows 7 or 8 like IE11, modern file structures and performance enhancements, the biggest is the improvements to security. After April 8th, Windows XP will become vulnerable to new attacks, as Microsoft will no longer patch new exploits in the decade old operating system, which should be reason enough to push you towards upgrading your machine.

If you are reading this and want to make the jump to a modern Windows OS but aren’t sure how to do it, or which one is right for you, head on over to our forums and start a thread, we will all be happy to help you out.

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63 Comments

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This tool is a must. The majority of people would have no idea how to transfer their browsing history/bookmarks etc. to a new platform.

Defiantly said,
IS there is similar tool for Windows 98? I really need to upgrade soon, I think.
(kidding)

You jest, but my mother is still running Windows 98SE and Office 2000 on her 120Mhz Pentium, 32Mb RAM PC

akav0id said,

You jest, but my mother is still running Windows 98SE and Office 2000
on her 120Mhz Pentium, 32Mb RAM PC


I should hope she keeps that antique well away from the internet. Aside from the obvious massive
security issues, it'll run like molasses in extra thick treacle! Especially on modern websites.

I would say the cost is a bigger issue. Either the cost of the OS or for a new computer (if the user's current one cannot run Windows 7/8).

Still no hotfix for the "I-will-constantly-auto-sort-your-files-whether-you-like-it-or-not" mode in newer Windows.

Gah I always hated that "feature" in XP, that and when it vomits icons into a directory all over the place on a drag/drop operation. XP's file manager was near brain dead.

Windows Explorer has been horrible for years (decades?). Directory Opus is a bit expensive but it was well worth the price in my opinion. Of course there are a lot of other options too, many free.

I didn't realize that the action of backing up data was the main reason people were delaying the shift from XP to 7/8.

zhangm said,
WinFS.

I'm sure you probably wrote it in jest, but I still think WinFS is better than what we have today for a variety of reasons.

I think Microsoft really needs to consider offering discounted digital upgrades for qualifying users (proper XP license and all that). If they're so worried about the amount of people using it, cut your losses in order to assist with the death of it!

I wonder if activations will get disabled as well? Probably.

I wonder how they'd stand legally if they chose to cut Windows activations for XP? Ultimately people have bought an un-timed license for it, and would get annoyed if they could no longer use it.

Steven P. said,
I think Microsoft really needs to consider offering discounted digital upgrades for qualifying users (proper XP license and all that). If they're so worried about the amount of people using it, cut your losses in order to assist with the death of it!

I wonder if activations will get disabled as well? Probably.

Couldn't agree more. Right now MS can put the most attractive APIs for developers in Windows 8.1+ but it makes no difference as developers continue to ensure that Windows XP is supported.

If I could upgrade for $20 - $40, I'd upgrade my Windows 7 box at home right now. But MS is kidding itself with its $120 pricing and dropping the upgrade discount pricing (which was ridiculously overpriced anyway). MS thinks they need to price it this high, but I'd argue that they would have more people upgrading, make more money via higher volume sells, which would in turn give more incentive to developers to utilize the newer OS features and drop their legacy code bases.

MS Office is priced about right, now. I'd say that it is 100% worth the cost because MS Office is a money maker. Upgrading Windows to the latest version isn't really a money maker for a company like MS Office is. IT might argue that they can support the latest version better, but their salaries are fixed anyway...new licenses might make their jobs easier but that doesn't mean a company gets to pay them any less.

elangab said,
Really ? You honestly can't afford paying for your OS once every 13 years ?

If it still works, why would they?

CAR ANALOGY TIME!

I personally like to buy a car every couple of years, but there are plenty of people out there that will buy a car new, and then run it into the ground.

Even after all the advances of safety and fuel efficiency, those people are going to stick with their old bangers until either

(a) they decide that they need something better, or
(b) their old banger breaks and it warrants a new car.

Even if the old banger costs them more to run and maintain than the purchase of a new car, they'll choose to stick it out.

Now change "old banger" to "XP". The people still running Windows XP just don't have any need to upgrade at this point. Even if it is soon to be out of support. The people still running XP probably don't care.

elangab said,
Really ? You honestly can't afford paying for your OS once every 13 years ?

There are lots of people with old equipment and it is just enough to put food on the table than to update their old machine. Even so, not everyone has the money. Life happens.

It's not always about pure cost. We have ~3000 machines running XP. Some on new hardware, some on old hardware. Some of that hardware can run Windows 7/8, some will struggle. Some of the software we run won't run on Windows 7/8, or we need new licenses for newer versions of said software - which means possibly training people to use it. Then there's the peripherals connected to those machines - scanners, printers etc. We need to make sure they all have drivers. Then there's the time it takes auditing all of those things, to find out exactly what needs to be replaced, PLUS the time spent doing the installation/upgrade themselves. Largely, this can be automated, but automating stuff like that never really works properly.

We have all this underway - but it's really not always as simple as "lets buy a copy of Windows 8 and install it".

Brian M. said,
It's not always about pure cost. We have ~3000 machines running XP. Some on new hardware, some on old hardware. Some of that hardware can run Windows 7/8, some will struggle. Some of the software we run won't run on Windows 7/8, or we need new licenses for newer versions of said software - which means possibly training people to use it. Then there's the peripherals connected to those machines - scanners, printers etc. We need to make sure they all have drivers. Then there's the time it takes auditing all of those things, to find out exactly what needs to be replaced, PLUS the time spent doing the installation/upgrade themselves. Largely, this can be automated, but automating stuff like that never really works properly.

We have all this underway - but it's really not always as simple as "lets buy a copy of Windows 8 and install it".

Indeed. And explaining what the benefits are after doing all of that to upper management (the ones making the decision) is extremely difficult.

techbeck said,

There are lots of people with old equipment and it is just enough to put food on the table than to update their old machine. Even so, not everyone has the money. Life happens.

+1. Most folks on this website are blindsided by the fact that they are tech enthusiast.

Get off it, people. You are in the minority. MS needs to market pass you folks (in this day and age) to the non-tech-savvy majority in order to be successful.

Majesticmerc said,
CAR ANALOGY TIME

If you wanna go down that road...

If dealers kept stocking car parts for as long as MS has kept updating XP, you'd still be able to easily get brand new parts for your 1972 Ford Pinto.

You can keep riding it all you want, but it comes to a point where you have to stop expecting the manufacturer to bend over backwards for you.

_dandy_ said,

If you wanna go down that road...

If dealers kept stocking car parts for as long as MS has kept updating XP, you'd still be able to easily get brand new parts for your 1972 Ford Pinto.

You can keep riding it all you want, but it comes to a point where you have to stop expecting the manufacturer to bend over backwards for you.

I agree entirely. People still running XP are going to have issues in the coming years no doubt, but plenty of people, grandma, POS sales people, etc, won't care about the lack of support coming. It won't be until the hardware breaks that they'll consider changing the OS.

Majesticmerc said,

If it still works, why would they?

CAR ANALOGY TIME!

Computers are not cars. A new machine could be around 250$. Cars ? Not so much.
Support won't be forever, even for cars... if you have an old car most likely you -

A. Know Cars. It's a hobby, so you know what you're doing.
B. You pay extra for spare parts
C. You're risking yourself because you don't have ABS, Air Bags etc.
D. Understands that the car will keep on driving even after EOS.

Anyway, the "old banger" is not the metal, but the OS - and it just died, so time for a new car

techbeck said,

There are lots of people with old equipment and it is just enough to put food on the table than to update their old machine. Even so, not everyone has the money. Life happens.

Old machine ? No Money ? Switch to Linux. I'm not being sarcastic, it's better to be on Linux than XP.

Plus, if you are struggling with getting food on your table, getting a computer virus due to exploit is the least of your problems.... [Edit: I even think it's better to pirate Windows 7 than using XP. (Honestly, if you're so poor that food is an issue - I guess pirating Windows is OK)]

elangab said,

Old machine ? No Money ? Switch to Linux. I'm not being sarcastic, it's better to be on Linux than XP.

Plus, if you are struggling with getting food on your table, getting a computer virus due to exploit is the least of your problems.... [Edit: I even think it's better to pirate Windows 7 than using XP. (Honestly, if you're so poor that food is an issue - I guess pirating Windows is OK)]

The average user is not going to know how to install Linux and all the apps they need. Or what apps they can use to open files on Linux. This is more of an undertaking than upgrading to Win7 or above...or buying a new system.

techbeck said,

The average user is not going to know how to install Linux and all the apps they need. Or what apps they can use to open files on Linux. This is more of an undertaking than upgrading to Win7 or above...or buying a new system.

True, but these are the same people that regardless are not updating their OS with patches, not making sure they have up to date AV and have toolbars all over the place. So XP being EOS is not so relevant for them.

Spin it and twist it, but I think they can't, and shouldn't, support it forever...

elangab said,
Edit: I even think it's better to pirate Windows 7 than using XP. (Honestly, if you're so poor that food is an issue - I guess pirating Windows is OK)
I was with you until this bit which I think is ridiculous. Being poor is no excuse for stealing stuff. Focus on the food situation first and when you can, learn how and move to Linux if sticking with XP is such a big issue.

Romero said,
I was with you until this bit which I think is ridiculous. Being poor is no excuse for stealing stuff. Focus on the food situation first and when you can, learn how and move to Linux if sticking with XP is such a big issue.

I don't pirate, nor do I think it's OK to do so - but I think we'll sing to a different tune should we get to the point of starving.

You might resort to pirating Windows if you're starving, I've been there and didn't. Is Win7 going to magically put food on your table? I'll repeat, if you have XP working fine then there's no pressing need to pirate Win7, and if security's such a concern switch to Linux for free.

Romero said,
I was with you until this bit which I think is ridiculous. Being poor is no excuse for stealing stuff. Focus on the food situation first and when you can, learn how and move to Linux if sticking with XP is such a big issue.

Don't need to pirate it. Use the Trial installation ISO from Microsoft.com for Windows 8 (before 8 was released, there was a trial for 7). Which can be used upto 180 days.
If you cant afford to upgrade, there are other ways.
Microsoft is very lenient towards consumers regarding Windows.
Or if one of your children goes to college, or a family member or anything. Get the student version, very cheap.

Pirating Windows is not required. There are legit ways of using Windows cheaply or almost free.

Romero said,
You might resort to pirating Windows if you're starving, I've been there and didn't. Is Win7 going to magically put food on your table? I'll repeat, if you have XP working fine then there's no pressing need to pirate Win7, and if security's such a concern switch to Linux for free.

I'm not starving, pirating, using XP or Linux, so all is good here.

Having said that, if someone who's making 100$ a month will pirate (or steal food and clothing) I'm in no position to judge (and granted, he/she has worst things to deal with). I hope you, and all of your family, will never get there.

It's great talking about that from a "First World" POV, but try lecturing that to some poor kid from a third world country....

Shadowzz said,
Pirating Windows is not required. There are legit ways of using Windows cheaply or almost free.
That's cool and a much better (and legal) solution.

Romero said,
That's cool and a much better (and legal) solution.

Not sure if it's per license to transfer your student discount to a non-student user. (Plus, how can you afford school if you can't afford food ?)

elangab said,
Plus, how can you afford school if you can't afford food?
People can get full scholarships for studying, not for food.

Romero said,
People can get full scholarships for studying, not for food.

Maybe in the US, but not in third world countries.

Not all third world countries are so poor as to not have any scholarships whatsoever for the economically disadvantaged. Anyway I think this is just descending into nitpicking and has nothing to do with the original topic. Moving on...

Romero said,
Not all third world countries are so poor as to not have any scholarships whatsoever for the economically disadvantaged. Anyway I think this is just descending into nitpicking and has nothing to do with the original topic. Moving on...

Agree.

Shadowzz said,
Uhm no, it helps you migrate to a newer OS

I think MariosX wanted to point out that unless Microsoft offers it for free people will have an excuse not to upgrade. For a lot of people XP still does what it needs to do. And for some the hardware isnt able to run anything higher. Unless Microsoft buys them a new PC it isnt an option.

Ronnet said,

I think MariosX wanted to point out that unless Microsoft offers it for free people will have an excuse not to upgrade. For a lot of people XP still does what it needs to do. And for some the hardware isnt able to run anything higher. Unless Microsoft buys them a new PC it isnt an option.


Not Microsoft's fault they do not want to upgrade. Or even cant. Any <50 dollar second hand computer will be able to run Windows 8. If sparing 50bucks in 10 years is an issue, no matter how you put it, you have budget issues.
Even cooperations or schools have no real excuse to be still running Windows XP.

If it aint broke, don't fix it, works fairly well. But if you buy a car, after 10 years you can't expect to keep driving it non stop like there won't be mechanical issues. Or fridges, TV's.... Any appliance you might use more then 10 years.
Everything needs maintenence. And for XP its either paying to upgrade or paying for 3rd parties to keep your system fine.

Oh I fully agree but the headline is still wrong. People still have excuses to not upgrade. XP can still work fine for them (or at least they believe so) and they dont want to pay for something that doesnt add anything they need.

MariosX said,
Upgrading to 7/8/8.1 for free from Windows XP?

Upgrade to 7 - yes. From XP to 8 would be more of a downgrade.

DaveBG said,

Upgrade to 7 - yes. From XP to 8 would be more of a downgrade.

This is so wrong I now feel dumber for having read it.

Kaze23 said,

This is so wrong I now feel dumber for having read it.

Care to explain why is it wrong? For many people Windows 8 is less usable than XP mainly because they have to deal with the half baked GUI.

DaveBG said,

Care to explain why is it wrong? For many people Windows 8 is less usable than XP mainly because they have to deal with the half baked GUI.

I love Windows 8's new UI. It might not be optimized for non-touch but I do not want to go back to Windows 7. Care to explain why it is half baked? Because on touch its the best UI out there and while not as good for non-touch, you still have the desktop. You only have to really use the startscreen which is just a fullsize startmenu. So it doesnt really change the experience that much. But at the same time going from XP to 8 means you get a whole lot of new useful features.

Ronnet said,

I love Windows 8's new UI. It might not be optimized for non-touch but I do not want to go back to Windows 7. Care to explain why it is half baked? Because on touch its the best UI out there and while not as good for non-touch, you still have the desktop. You only have to really use the startscreen which is just a fullsize startmenu. So it doesnt really change the experience that much. But at the same time going from XP to 8 means you get a whole lot of new useful features.

How many time should people tell you? I DO NOT WANT TO BE ASKED TO SWIPE FROM THE LEFT ON A MONITOR!!!

DaveBG said,

How many time should people tell you? I DO NOT WANT TO BE ASKED TO SWIPE FROM THE LEFT ON A MONITOR!!!


Why? Its only for metro app tab switching. If you don't use that, why do you need to swipe from left?

From right is also not required if you wish to do anything.

DaveBG said,

How many time should people tell you? I DO NOT WANT TO BE ASKED TO SWIPE FROM THE LEFT ON A MONITOR!!!

What are you talking about? You act as if I've been told before. If you actually knew my posting habbit then you'd know that I'm actually with you on this!

I just hate it when people make a statement without explaining their motivation. For example saying that Windows 8 is half-baked. I can agree or disagree with you on that, depending on your motivation.

I actually think the charms and modern app-switcher should be integrated in some on-screen taskbar the moment you touch the mouse. People experience Windows 8 with a mouse shouldn't have to perform swipe gestures. A bit like in this video (near the end): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6P-uXwG-18

Shadowzz said,

Why? Its only for metro app tab switching. If you don't use that, why do you need to swipe from left?

From right is also not required if you wish to do anything.

Microsoft wants non-touch users to also use modern apps as well as buy from the appstore. They need to make Windows accessible for non-touch users. And lets face it, the swipe gestures and the (relatively) use charm-bar aren't ideal UI elements for a mouse-based UI.

They need to change it. And Microsoft realizes that. In the next update the taskbar will include modern apps. Meaning you dont need to use the left swipe gestures. Hopefully the next change is brining the charms to this taskbar as well. And perhaps removing the chrome from it because that taskbar looks ugly in a modern environment!

So what if they want it? I'm not using them, why should you or anyone else. It's not forced.
Well I do use Skype cause it kicks ass over the desktop client. But other than that, I use no modern apps besides as live tiles. No need for it yet, desktop works perfectly fine without.

Shadowzz said,
So what if they want it? I'm not using them, why should you or anyone else. It's not forced.
Well I do use Skype cause it kicks ass over the desktop client. But other than that, I use no modern apps besides as live tiles. No need for it yet, desktop works perfectly fine without.

You might not want to use them but others do. I use Windows 8 on both my tablet and my PC. So I'm using modern apps for nearly everything. And the experience just isnt the same on non-touch PC. The appswitcher and the charms are the elements that stick out the most. The gestures just feel unnatural with the mouse.

But if you don't use modern apps. Then why are you responding on someone complaining about the appswitcher on non-touch? You have no experience with it since you don't use it.