As you probably know by now, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP—a version of its operating system that’s been around since 2001, making it a twelve-year-old OS—on April 8. That’s next week. The company’s been making a big push to get organizations to get off of XP and onto one of its many newer iterations of the operating system. But apparently the entire country of Great Britain couldn’t be bothered to do that, so instead they’re just going to pay Microsoft to keep supporting them for another year.
According to a post on ComputerWeekly, Microsoft has reached an agreement with the British Government’s Crown Commercial Service, or CCS. The deal cost the British government £5.548 million, or $9.2 million, and grants another year of support on Windows XP, Office 2003, and Exchange 2003 for all public sector organizations throughout Great Britain. That means if you work in an office space that uses Windows XP in Manchester or London or whatever, the government has now arranged to keep your systems running for another year so you don’t have to work it out with Microsoft yourself.
Sara Hurrell, the commercial director for IT and telecoms at CCS, explained that the deal was a great arrangement because it’ll save public sector entities lots of money and energy. But it’s not enough to simply say you’re going to move to a new OS. You have to actually have a “robust plan” in place to make the transition.
“This allows us to have continuity for eligible public sector organizations as they migrate to other operating systems,” said Hurrell. “This is a 12-month breathing space. No one wants to be on an end-of-life infrastructure. We will make sure people have plans that stand up to scrutiny.”
The post also points out that “85% of the approximately 800,000 PCs in [Britain’s National Health Service] still ran XP as of September last year.”
You’ve got a year to figure this out, Britain. Get it together.
If nothing else, this ridiculous problem is a testament to what a good operating system Windows XP turned out to be. To think that this many people would still be using it 12 years after it had come out. I don’t think I even have any t-shirts that are 12 years old.