With the imminent demise of support for Windows XP, Microsoft has begun its great operating system migration. As of April 8, 2014, the company will stop providing updates for the long-running system, effectively phasing it out.[1] What does this mean for the PC market, Microsoft and the channel? And how does AMD fit into the picture?


First, the end of Windows XP is certainly not a death knell for the PC. In fact, the opposite is true. With the loss of Windows XP, its approximately 500 million users[2] will be left without a current operating system and a significant number of them will consider upgrading their PC hardware. In turn, that should create a much-needed uptick for PCs.


So why now? Let’s start with the facts: Microsoft XP is still very popular. As recently as last month, it held an estimated 37 per cent share of the desktop operating system market, a relatively close second to Windows 7[3]. But Windows XP debuted almost 12 years ago and its continued widespread use has contributed to dormancy in PC sales. While long-time Windows XP users – in particular, businesses – have been reluctant to update their machines, they now will have little choice.


Of course, Microsoft realizes that this process will take time and is investing heavily in speeding it along with initiatives like its Windows Accelerate Program. The move away from Windows XP is a gigantic undertaking that we believe will act as a catalyst for growth in PC sales.


What does this mean for the channel? We believe it represents an immense opportunity. Naturally, when users upgrade they will seek out machines with the best possible hardware at an attractive total cost of ownership (TCO). That’s where AMD comes in.


At the forefront of the industry, AMD-powered hardware is setting new standards in a variety of arenas, from the latest in gaming to microservers and everything in between. With the recent launch of AMD’s third generation A-Series APU, which combine the power of a CPU and GPU on a single piece of silicon, AMD’s positioned for success across the PC market. These products provide customers an affordable and efficient choice for their new generation PC platform.


The move away from Windows XP represents a tremendous sales opportunity for the channel. As it turns out, the PC market is very much alive and, ironically, the end of Windows XP will play a major role in its revitalization. In turn, AMD will play an integral part in that evolution.


David Kenyon is the VP of Channel Marketing and Business Management at AMD.  His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only.  Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.


[1] Microsoft. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/endofsupport.aspx

[2] Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-to-cut-windows-xp-2013-4

[3] NetMarketShare. http://www.netmarketshare.com/