Microsoft Windows XP

Microsoft is encouraging tech-savvy users to encourage their friends to leave Windows XP and upgrade their computers or buy new ones. (Jeff Christensen / AFP/Getty Images / October 10, 2001)

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Microsoft plans to end support for Windows XP on April 8, but there are still many users whose computers run the outdated software. That's why the company has asked tech-savvy users to encourage their friends to upgrade their computers or buy new ones.

In a recent blog post, the Redmond, Wash., company said readers of its Windows blog are likely running a more modern version of the operating system, but their friends and family may not be.

"We need your help spreading the word to ensure people are safe and secure on modern up-to-date PCs," Microsoft said in its blog.

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Microsoft will no longer run tech support for users of the 12-year-old Windows XP software or issue updates that protect the operating system from viruses after April 8. The problem is many users still run Windows XP and either don't want to upgrade their machines or don't know that they need to.

In the post, Microsoft said tech-savvy users should encourage their friends to check and see if their computers are capable of upgrading to Windows 8.1, the latest version of the computer software. Users can run the Windows Upgrade Assistant to see if their machine can upgrade to Windows 8.1, the company said.

But Microsoft is also quick to point out that users who upgrade their machines will not be able to keep any files, settings or applications. They'll have to back up their files. Instead, the company suggests that users simply get a new PC.

"The easiest path to Windows 8.1 is with new devices," Microsoft said. 

The company does not mention that users can also upgrade to Windows 7, which is an older version of the software but one that is still supported by the company. Users whose computers can't run Windows 8.1 may be able to upgrade to Windows 7.

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