IRS will reportedly pay Microsoft millions for extended Windows XP support

Himanshu Arora

Posts: 902   +7

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service, which is supposed to get paid this time of year, will be shelling out millions of dollars to Microsoft for extended Windows XP support, according to a ComputerWorld report.

In case you haven't heard yet, the software giant has officially pulled the plug on Windows XP, one of the most popular Windows versions, launched more than 12 years ago. The company has said that it will not provide support or security updates for the venerable operating system.

Of course, it will continue to provide "custom support" to those who haven't yet migrated from XP to a more modern operating system, and IRS will be one of them. Out of the agency's approximately 110,000 Windows-powered desktops and notebooks, only 47% have been upgraded to Windows 7, while the remaining are still running Windows XP.

"The IRS is working to complete the updates [to Windows 7] by the end of calendar year 2014", an IRS spokesperson said.

John Koskinen, commissioner of the IRS, said that the delay in migration happened because the agency had $300 million worth of IT improvements on hold due to budget issues. One of those improvements was the XP-to-7 migration, for which $30 million were allocated.

Microsoft currently charges $200 per PC for the first year of Custom Support. This means that the government agency would pay the company $11.6 million for one year of Custom Support, the report notes. The remaining $18.4 million would be used to buy new PCs to replace the oldest ones running XP.

Apart from the US, the governments of the UK and the Netherlands have already entered into multi million dollar agreements with Microsoft for extended XP support.

Permalink to story.

 

cmbjive

Posts: 777   +139
"The remaining $18.4 million would be used to buy new PCs to replace the oldest ones running XP."

If only it were as simple as just buying a new PC. My work still has me on XP because there are several programs I use that are not compatible with Windows 7 in their current forms.
 

Neojt

Posts: 246   +87
Wow

why would you need custom support for a 12 year old OS ? im pretty sure if they havent fixed all the main bugs yet it aint gona happen in the last year!

Kudos to microsoft for getting a truck load of free monney by doing ... well nothing
 

MilwaukeeMike

Posts: 3,214   +1,468
"The remaining $18.4 million would be used to buy new PCs to replace the oldest ones running XP."

If only it were as simple as just buying a new PC. My work still has me on XP because there are several programs I use that are not compatible with Windows 7 in their current forms.

That's probably why it's a $30 million upgrade and not a $3 million one. Where I work it costs a few million to upgrade a windows version and the vast majority is testing and changing any software that doesn't work.
 

Vrmithrax

Posts: 1,592   +654
Yep, makes me feel so much better paying taxes, when I know they're being put to SUCH good use...
 

dividebyzero

Posts: 4,840   +1,270
Yep, makes me feel so much better paying taxes, when I know they're being put to SUCH good use...
You never know, now Microsoft have the IRS on board, maybe they'll strike a deal with the Attorney General and Fair Trade Commission- They get extended support in return for not pursuing costly litigation that ends up being overturned on appeal or a wristslap ;)

[/sarcasm]
 
G

Guest

That's what happens when you have lazy people running your IT department. When push comes to shove I can run windowed dos programs without an issue, so tell me again why they "Can't" upgrade yet?
 

Tanstar

Posts: 659   +201
Wow

why would you need custom support for a 12 year old OS ? im pretty sure if they havent fixed all the main bugs yet it aint gona happen in the last year!

Kudos to microsoft for getting a truck load of free monney by doing ... well nothing

You actually don't understand at all. There has never been a perfect OS, and every update that fixes a flaw also makes a new flaw. With an OS as popular as XP, there are tons of exploits invented every month, so Microsoft is always putting out security updates to fix them. Now those same exploits are being made . . . and there are no security fixes being made. For a company that has access to EVERY important financial and identifying number of EVERY law-abiding citizen in the U.S. this is ridiculous and unacceptable. You know how they could've gotten around this budget crisis? By not waiting until the last possible minute to upgrade! Microsoft didn't announce thi in January, they announced the date YEARS ago.
 

Mark Fuller

Posts: 359   +15
Tanstar has hit the nail on the head. Also, some websites have stopped supporting IE8 which is the latest version you can get with windows xp.
 

Mark Fuller

Posts: 359   +15
Also, I think I read on this very website that 30% of pc's are still wxp, and that means a field day for the hackers waiting to exploit the fact that microsoft no longer automatically downloads security updates.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

Posts: 8,645   +3,289
XP must be making MS more money than all other Win OS's combined, I can't see them forsaking this cash cow anytime soon.
 

jsonUK

Posts: 7   +1
XP must be making MS more money than all other Win OS's combined, I can't see them forsaking this cash cow anytime soon.

I can see these "extended support" deals giving a lot of extra cash. Maybe it will give MS the much needed boost it requires.
 

yukka

Posts: 1,018   +167
If these companies are paying this sort of money for Microsoft to make security patches, Microsoft should release them to consumers for free. Or am I crazy. Probably crazy. Some kind of "can be used by consumers but not enterprises" kind of deal unless the enterprise pays. Stop releasing patches when enterprises stop paying for them, stop the incoming waves of ddos attacks bound to start flying out of the combined non-patched windows xp consumer fleet worldwide.
 
R

Raoul Duke

More sheer negligence. I worked for a 50,000+ employee outfit so I know there are real problems with proprietary software, and the magnitude of the change, but come on, the end of XP has been known for how many years now?
 
G

Guest

That is just making me think that I am so safe and that my social security number is so safe knowing that the IRS increased my taxes %400 but yet they cannot afford a free and secure operating system like linux to keep my information safe and have to rely on XP that is from the 90's. The government is soooo cool. Kudos.
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 998   +410
If these companies are paying this sort of money for Microsoft to make security patches, Microsoft should release them to consumers for free. Or am I crazy. Probably crazy. Some kind of "can be used by consumers but not enterprises" kind of deal unless the enterprise pays. Stop releasing patches when enterprises stop paying for them, stop the incoming waves of ddos attacks bound to start flying out of the combined non-patched windows xp consumer fleet worldwide.

You took the words right out of my mouth. But to re-iterate what you are saying in a slight variation, we, the taxpayers of the United States of America are footing the bill to Microsoft for the incompetent bozos at the IRS to continue being protected on their XP systems. If Microsoft is going to be releasing security updates for Windows XP and the I.R.S. ANY DAMN WAY why not release them to the general public who pays the bill? Why intentionally keep something good from the public that could be used by EVERYBODY just as easily? If the security patch for Windows XP can protect an IRS computer from an exploit why can't it protect EVERYBODYS computer from the same exploit.

A government of the people, for the people and by the people, right? LOL. Yeah right.
 

tonylukac

Posts: 1,388   +72
They don't want us to procrastinate on taxes, but what do they do? Xp is one of the most insecure oses ever with no prevention of spyware downloading (uac) and no prevention of spyware sending out its malicious data (windows 7 firewall). I'm glad I don't officially file taxes like ge or boeing to have my data on their computers. April fool, I guess.
 

Route44

Posts: 12,015   +82
So I see our good 'ol IRS following the lead of both the British and Dutch Governments who gave MS multimillions to keep XP usable. Millions spent not on upgrading now (which should have begun at least 3 years ago) but on the old which will lead them to spend even more $ in the future. But, hey, its not their money, it's ours. What do they care?
 

dividebyzero

Posts: 4,840   +1,270
Millions spent not on upgrading now (which should have begun at least 3 years ago) but on the old which will lead them to spend even more $ in the future.
The nature of government bureaucracies everywhere. Introduce efficiencies in money management and personnel usage, and their budget gets cut for the following fiscal year. The easiest way to maintain your slice of the taxpayer pie is to spend, spend, and overspend!
 

Railman

Posts: 708   +100
So I see our good 'ol IRS following the lead of both the British and Dutch Governments who gave MS multimillions to keep XP usable. Millions spent not on upgrading now (which should have begun at least 3 years ago) but on the old which will lead them to spend even more $ in the future. But, hey, its not their money, it's ours. What do they care?
But don't forget that the OS is only part of the equation. Without doubt they must be using a variety of legacy programs possibly Oracle based that run on older OSs. That is why upgrading is often expensive and complex. I would not be surprised if the relevant IT professionals have been ignored by the chiefs on the need to upgrade. The Public sector is affected by budget cuts and the Banking industry have been fixated by their bonus/shareholder focus. It is no wonder that so many systems are not fit for purpose.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 13,141   +6,439
Software or hardware? Who really cares why they need more time. This is a prime example of why drastic changes like Windows 8 will never be excepted by the majority. Anytime Microsoft makes a drastic change, you can bet your bottom dollar they are "testing the waters" and can afford a flop.