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Send off Windows XP by blowing it up with Microsoft's help

From the good-sport department, Microsoft takes a shot at itself with a Web game that encourages players to send Windows XP back to the early naughts, permanently.

Microsoft takes aim at itself in this savvy satire of a Web game. Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

As Windows XP begins its long demise, you can't accuse Microsoft of lacking in gallows humor. As support for the endurance champion of modern OSes ended this week, the Internet Explorer team released a hilarious self-deprecating Web game called "Escape from XP" to have a little fun while also encouraging folks to upgrade to newer versions of Windows and Internet Explorer.

The game play itself isn't quite up to par with what's come out of the Xbox team, like, ever, but who cares? This is a glorious 8-bit self-satire that features an evil Clippy lording over a battlefield of ancient PCs, Internet Explorer 6 logos, and other digital relics from an age before the MS Office ribbon when Justin Timberlake was still just a member of 'N Sync and Friendster was king.

If you do get into the game play, be sure to switch up your weapons for the opportunity to blast all those old PCs with a ray gun of available battery life.

In the end, no matter how well you perform (the game's universe is quite limited and it seems intentionally super-difficult), you'll likely be overwhelmed by the XP and IE6 hordes within a few minutes, at which point a Microsoft support chopper comes in to rescue you and forces you to nuke XP once and for all -- yes, Clippy too -- so they can gently nudge you to upgrade to receive such great support in the battlefield of the modern Web (get it?)

It's recommended to play the game in IE, but I can confirm it works in Chrome, just don't tell anyone at Microsoft -- I really wouldn't want a scorned Clippy showing up on my doorstep.