Government offers Microsoft millions to keep XP going

Bitterwallet - Microsoft logo The UK Government doesn't like the idea of Windows XP dying on the 8th April, so has decided to throw £5.5m at Microsoft to continue supporting the operating system for a further 12 months. This will mean that Microsoft will be able to carry on providing support and security updates for XP, Microsoft Office 2003 and Exchange 2003.

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) - one of those new cabinet office departments - said in a statement: "By combining demand, on behalf of Central Government departments and the wider public sector, Crown Commercial Service has demonstrated the benefits of government working as a single customer to achieve best value for the taxpayer, whilst continuing to build good working relationships with our technology suppliers."

Apparently, this will save the government around £20m and buy them time to migrate to a new OS. It is good news for the NHS though as around 85% of their PCs are still using XP. It is good news for a few of our ATMs too.

A Microsoft spokesperson said: "Many organisations have made good progress in moving to a modern desktop operating system and have successfully mitigated the risk that running Windows XP will bring. However, some organisations will not have moved off Windows XP by 8 April."

"We have made an agreement with the Crown Commercial Service to provide eligible UK public sector organisations with the ability to download security updates to Windows XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003 for one year until April 8 2015."

"Agreements such as these do not remove the need to move off Windows XP as soon as possible."


  • snitch
    at just 5.5m Microsoft will do nothing but import a few security patches. what a waste of taxpayers money.
  • Chiggers
    Excellent. So that'll go for all tax-paying users of Windows XP too, eh? Since, you know, we're forking out the $5.5m for it. Thought not.
  • John
    This is nothing remotely remarkable, there will be plenty other companies forking out to continue XP support as well.
  • God
    Since the government is paying this using OUR money, does that mean WE will get these updates and security fixes as well?? Not bothered either way - just wondering..........
  • Am y.
    I develop and maintain programs for some Govt departments. It isn't the fact they use XP thats the problem, its that they're still using Internet Explorer 6!!!! I'd charge them a lot less if they upgraded!
  • dumbass
    Does this mean the government will pay us to provide them with defunct products and services? I've got a 10 year old laptop in the cupboard. For £5.5 million I'll be happy to provide them with security and software updates for it.
  • jokester4
    "Apparently, this will save the government around £20m and buy them time to migrate to a new OS." - No, this is costing £5.5 million and they still have to upgrade anyway. A "saving" of MINUS £5.5m. Stupid cunts.
  • jt
    Microsoft had already said they were going to continue providing security patches for another year, so what exactly are we paying them for?
  • rhodeuk
    XP end of life has been known about for 3 or 4 years. So they've done very little in that time and have wasted 5.5 million which is money they could have spent migrating. What a bargain! Pat on the back for the IT directors i think because the 5.5 million will show up in another column of the spreadsheet and will make them look good because they aren't wasting money upgrading infrastructure. Cigars all round!
  • JonB
    I think we're being a bit unfair. It's possible that the machines running WinXP cannot run Win7/8 as they are too old or don't have enough disk space. Upgrading the hardware could cost much more than £5.5million. On top of that they may be using bespoke software which has not been ported to Win7/8 yet. However, it needs to be done sooner or later so they should just get on with it.

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