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US Tax Authority Misses XP Upgrade Deadline, Will Pay Millions for Security Patches

The 8 April 2014 end of support for Microsoft Windows XP poses a security risk for those still using the operating system, which includes businesses and government agencies that have failed to upgrade. Notable among them is the US Internal Revenue Service. Although the agency planned to migrate to Windows 7, in a budget hearing today, the agency said it needs $30 million to complete the task. Despite six years’ notice of the end of support, a mere 52,000 of the tax agency’s 110,000 Windows-powered computers have been upgraded to Windows 7. IRS commissioner John Koskinen claims this was but one of several IT projects worth a total of $300 million delayed because of budget issues. A portion of the $30 million needed to finish the task would be paid to Microsoft for Custom Support, a service providing help for customers with outdated software. Microsoft raised its prices for Custom Support from a cap of $200,000 per customer for the first year of service to an average of $200 per PC for the first year of service. Based on this, the IRS would pay Microsoft $11.6 million for a single year of Custom Support. The remainder would likely be used to purchase new PCs to replace the oldest systems. The IRS is not alone. The UK government has reportedly paid roughly $9.2 million for security patches for Windows XP, Office 2003, and Exchange 2003 covering them for the next 12 months.  (SlashDot)(Engadget)(Network World)

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