Microsoft ends support for Windows XP today, and Google is using the opportunity to promote Chrome OS as a replacement. It's beginning to offer a number of discounts on its Chromebooks for Business program that will run through the end of June, with hopes that businesses finally being forced to switch away from the classic operating system will look to Chromebooks instead of new PCs to replace it. It's a small gesture by Google — just a $100 or so discount — but it underscores the continuing battle between it and Microsoft, which has been using its "Scroogled" campaign to malign Chromebooks and other Google products.
It seems that Microsoft has become afraid of Chromebooks, and rightfully so. Google's simple OS is familiar to anyone who's used Chrome before, and it runs well on inexpensive hardware — just what businesses might be looking for to replace their old PCs and laptops. Convincing businesses to move away from the familiarity of Windows and Office will still be a huge hurdle for Google though. And while Windows 8 may look a little strange to longtime XP users for now, Microsoft has already teased something a little more conventional for the future.