Microsoft has been beating the dump-XP drum for almost three years, but in the last few weeks it has gotten more specific, telling customers that they should upgrade their existing PCs to Windows 8.1 or buy a new computer running that operating system. Both those solutions have been mocked by users stuck on XP, who have suggested Microsoft revive Windows 7 at retail -- most XP PC owners are suspicious of Windows 8.1's sweeping changes -- and offer deep discounts on new devices.
It's unlikely that many will view the $100 discount as "deep," as those who have claimed that they could not afford to drop Windows XP said they didn't have the money for much cheaper, non-touch laptops. In its latest promotion, Microsoft is pitching the premium PCs built by its partners.
According to Internet measurement company Net Applications, XP powers 29.5 percent of all the world's personal computers, and 32.2 percent of those running Windows. Using Net Applications' most recent data, Computerworld has projected that between 22 percent and 25 percent of all personal computers will still be running XP at the end of 2014.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. See more articles by Gregg Keizer. Read more about windows in Computerworld's Windows Topic Center.