As Windows XP fades into the sunset, Ubuntu community members are trying to reach out to millions of Windows XP users to get them to switch to Linux. The Ubuntu pitch is pretty simple: Stick with your existing Windows XP hardware and switch to Ubuntu, rather than spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on a new PC running Windows 7. The big question: Will Windows XP users embrace the Ubuntu message?

The Windows XP-to-Ubuntu migration pitch is particularly loud on LinkedIn's Ubuntu Users Official Group. The big question posted to the group:
What stops XP-users from switching to Ubuntu? Can we make a plan together to help those millions of XP-users (63% market share) not to have to buy a new computer?
The question comes from PrimeCortex, an IT trainer and open source consulting firm located in The Netherlands. The question has attracted more than 300 user comments in recent days.

Canonical's Position?

The VAR Guy wonders: Will Canonical, promoter of Ubuntu, jump into the conversation and launch an XP-to-Ubuntu migration campaign? Hmmm... The VAR Guy is checking in with his Canonical sources now.

Despite Windows XP's massive installed base, The VAR Guy thinks the XP-to-Ubuntu window of opportunity is fairly small. Microsoft ended Windows XP with Service Pack 2 support on July 13, 2010. Meanwhile, Windows 7 has received mostly positive reviews and consumers seem to be flocking to Microsoft's latest desktop operating system.

Can Ubuntu Score With Businesses?

On the business front, many organizations are still contemplating potential migrations from Windows XP (and in some cases, Windows Vista) to Windows 7. In some cases, major vendors such as IBM are mentioning virtual desktop integration (VDI) opportunities that leverage Ubuntu rather than Windows. And Dell continues to offer Ubuntu on selected desktops, notebooks and netbooks.

Still, Ubuntu seems to be catching on in emerging markets rather than within traditional businesses. But The VAR Guy will be watching to see if Ubuntu scores any Windows XP migration wins with consumers and businesses.

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