How to migrate from XP to Windows 8 or 7 before XP support end date?

Is 8 April, 2014 the actual Windows XP support end date? If yes, what will be the impact of no support for Windows XP? Will we have to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 8 or Windows 7? Please read further for useful tips to migrate from Windows XP to other recent Windows versions like Windows 7 or Windows 8.

End of Windows XP

Over the years, Windows XP has been the preferred OS for many individuals and organizations for their PCs. April 8, 2014 will be the last day of extended support for XP platform. Post this date, there won't be any support provided for Windows XP. This loss of XP support could have a severe impact on PCs that might continue to use XP even after the scheduled last day of support.

Effects of no support for Windows XP
  • High security risks with no patches available for any new vulnerabilities.

  • Loss of productivity as XP users will be dejected not to get any solutions to technical problems faced by XP.

  • If XP users face technical problems after support is withdrawn, they will find it very difficult to migrate to other Windows versions.

The above discussed impact that withdrawal of XP support can have in future clearly answers our query as to why should current Windows XP users upgrade to recent Windows OS versions. In this article, I shall try to discuss various ways to do this migration from XP to Windows 8 (or 7) with minimum hassles and cost.

Steps to migrate from Windows XP to Windows 8 or Windows 7

  • Determining the migration destination

    Once you are convinced to perform the migration from Windows XP, it is important to decide the Windows version to which you will want to migrate. Two of the most recent Windows versions are Windows 7 and Windows 8 (even Windows 8.1). While selecting your target operating system, you should consider the longevity it will offer. Most of the Windows smartphones and tablets as well as touch-screen PCs offer support for Windows 8. So, if you are going to handle Windows-based phones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs, then, Windows 8 is the best choice for you. Else, if you are dealing with Android or iOS phones / tablets and won't be working with touch-screen PCs, then, you can even opt for Windows 7.

  • List out the critical apps / programs for daily use

    Track the programs and apps that you use most frequently for smooth operations on a daily and periodic basis. Once you are ready with the entire list, check with corresponding publishers if they also offer support for Windows 7 or 8. You might come across applications or programs that are not supported by the latest Windows versions. In such a scenario, you can search for alternate apps / programs with similar functionality or create a XP virtual machine on top of Windows 7 / 8 machine so as to continue with the legacy application and have constant support for the underlying operating system.

  • Deciding if hardware upgrade will be more beneficial

    As compared to old XP-based computer systems, the latest PCs, tablets, etc. often come with pre-installed Windows versions (7 or 8) offering greater storage capacity, better performance, more CPU power and enhanced memory. So, to improve productivity and efficiency, many organizations might want to invest in Windows 7/8 PCs and get more work done. Similarly, individuals who have a liking towards touch features and innovative OS, might want to upgrade hardware by investing a little more. Depending on your budget, you can take this key decision regarding hardware update.

  • Following key points while performing the actual migration

    After you have raced through the above steps, you are almost ready to start the actual Windows OS migration. You need to take help from user guides and remember below mentioned points:
    1. Ensure a proper backup of all required local data / files as the new Windows version might not preserve them.

    2. Go to Windows Compatibility Centre and determine hardware compatibility of your server to avoid getting stuck at any point during the installation process.

    3. Always remember that you will face some bottlenecks during the migration process. Hence, it will be wise to carry out this process during business / working hours, so as to have the support of IT staff, Microsoft or your PC manufacturer readily available. A quick follow-up will ensure no delays in this OS upgrade process.

    4. If you are an individual, get yourself acquainted with the new features of Windows 8 (very different from XP) or Windows 7 (not much different from XP) by referring online tutorials and videos. If you are doing this upgrade for your organization, ensure a proper training is held to give your employees a feel of the new Windows version they will have to handle in future. This will ensure no time is wasted later on and will keep your organization's productivity intact.

    5. Research and fetch all information pertaining to licensing and registration required for the old Windows version (XP) as well as the new version.

I have tried my best to cover most relevant Windows OS migration steps above. Make sure that you complete this process before the last date for XP support i.e. before 8th April'2014. As an organization, you can even vouch for cutting-edge technology by upgrading to HP Elite series of desktops, notebooks and tablets with latest Windows versions for better efficiency and productivity. Please feel free to share additional points related to this upgradation from XP to Windows 7 or 8.

For organizations, HP specialists can help for XP migration. You can refer the official information at: XP Migration with HP

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