Toshiba is offering SMBs £100 cashback on each Windows XP machine they trade in for a Windows 8.1 device through a reseller as part of a new migration campaign which launches today.
The vendor is working with Microsoft on its Get Modern with Toshiba campaign, which will see its European partners given a range of marketing and sales tools to encourage small firms to ditch XP before Microsoft ends support for the 13-year-old OS in April.
The trade-in offer is valid until the end of March and ensures old equipment is disposed of securely and in an environmentally friendly manner, Toshiba claims.
On top the cashback offer, partners will be able to tempt customers into upgrading with the Toshiba Reliability Guarantee which allows customers to claim a free repair or full refund if the model breaks within a year.
The vendor said that about 30 per cent of SMBs are still using XP, and with small firms making up 65 per cent of the total PC market, there is a huge opportunity for partners to cash in on migration.
"Mid-market companies and big corporations have IT departments, but when you talk about the smaller sector - startups and so on - they have no dedicated IT [staff] so need this awareness campaign," said Santiago Alviar-Baquero, Tohisba's head of SMB and distribution in Northern Europe.
"They need the guidance and training [partners can offer]."
When Windows 8 first hit the market at the end of 2012, it received a mixed reception due to its drastically different user interface. Microsoft tried to make good on some of the negative feedback with last year's Windows 8.1 launch, but according to the latest figures, the two operating systems combined have only eked out about 10 per cent market share so far - well below that of Windows 7 and XP.
But Alviar-Baquero said he did not foresee partners having any trouble encouraging SMBs over to the divisive OS.
"Our main campaign is about upgrading to Windows 8.1; that is the focus," he said.
"When you talk about SMBs, they are early adopters and like to have the latest OS. There is desktop mode to give full capability on Windows 8.1 and it is touch-screen [enabled]."
When the one-year countdown to end of XP support began last April, Microsoft and a band of migration specialists and channel partners began extoling the virtues of upgrading early in order to avoid any time on the unsupported OS.
When asked if the two-month Toshiba campaign was long enough to ensure SMBs could migrate in time, Alviar-Baquero said: "That's a very good question... we want to get as many SMBs aware and transferred to 8.1 with the latest technology [by then].
"We want to drive awareness and hope the support and marketing across EMEA will be able to [show] the benefits of changing."
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