Microsoft steps up Windows XP upgrade efforts as support deadline looms

Microsoft continues to warn Windows XP users they have 30 days to ditch the aged operating system before extended support for its runs out on 8 April.

The software giant is planning to rollout reminders to users of Windows XP Home and Professional editions on their desktops from 8 March that support for the OS will end next month.

The notifications will only appear for people who have Windows Update switched on, and will include links to Microsoft's end of support website for Windows XP, which will advise them on what action to take.

The notification will appear on the eighth of every month unless the user deactivates it.

Furthermore, Microsoft has partnered with PC migration software firm Laplink to provide people with access to a free transfer tool that copies files, settings, user profiles and documents from a Windows XP machine to a new device.

"This tool will copy your files, music, videos, email and user profiles and settings from your old PC to your new device, transferring across your home or work network, and even enables Windows XP users to customise exactly what they want to bring to their new device," wrote Microsoft in the Windows Experience blog.

The Laplink software is called PCmover Express and will be available to download from later this week, the company confirmed.

Redmond has also launched a website called to help users work out what version of the Microsoft operating system they have installed on their machines.

Users simply have to type out the URL, before being told whether or not they are running Windows XP.

These tools and resources are the latest in a long line of initiatives Microsoft has trotted out in recent years to encourage PC users to dump XP.

Last month the company was derided for suggesting buying a brand new PC was the "easiest way" to move off Windows XP.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.