Despite the fact that a sizable number of people still run Windows XP, Microsoft is preparing to discontinue general support for the aging operating system on April 8, 2014. And starting March 8, the Redmond-based company will remind XP Home and Professional users (that have been getting regular updates) of the pending date via a pop-up notification.

The notification will pop up on the 8th of every month until the user disables it (or upgrades to a newer OS). Said notification will also include a link to the XP End of Support website so users can learn more about what it means for them. Ticking a check mark box will ensure it isn't shown again.

A recent survey from NetMarketShare found that XP commanded 29 percent of the Windows market share. That's still a lot for an OS that was released more than 12 years ago, but why are people still clinging to a dated OS when better alternatives like Windows 7 exist?

Microsoft thinks they know why and have come up with a solution to encourage XP users to switch to something newer. Perhaps people simply don't want to deal with the hassle of losing data and settings when they move to a new system. That seems like a plausible enough reason to me.

To alleviate these concerns, Microsoft is partnering with Laplink, a company that specializes in data migration software. Together, they are offering a data migration tool called PCmover Express for Windows XP free of charge. The software will transfer files, settings and profiles from XP to a newer operating system. It'll be available later this week from