So should Microsoft adopt drastic measures to accelerate the migration off of Windows XP? The company has tried a few tricks, including offering credit at its stores for users trading in XP PCs and buying new ones with Windows 8.1. How about going further and giving away Windows 7 to users who don't want to buy a new PC but rather upgrade their current one?
Microsoft could take such steps, but ultimately, there is no stopgap measure it could offer, short of extending full-fledged support for another year, that would entirely satisfy and be useful for Windows XP holdouts, Silver said, adding that the best way for companies to protect themselves is simply to upgrade from Windows XP.
And at this point, it's hard to criticize Microsoft for sticking to a deadline that it announced in 2007 and has been diligently reminding people about since then, according to Gillen. "If you don't have plans to move at this point, it's your own fault," he said. "I find it difficult to have sympathy for companies that haven't done anything yet."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.