updated 09:36 am EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
Deal mandates agencies have a migration plan for April 2015
On what is effectively the last minute before Windows XP's support expiry, the UK government has struck a deal with Microsoft offering another 12 months of support to the elderly operating system. The £5.548 million ($9.2 million) deal extends support for Windows XP, Microsoft Office 2003, and Microsoft Exchange 2003 to governmental agencies in the UK.
The deal mandates that agencies must have a plan to shift away from XP before the extension expires. The UK's National Health Service alone has more than a million devices still on Windows XP four days before the the previous expiry of support, which had already been extended four times.
"The need for such a deal calls into question why so many government organizations have failed to act at a time when cyber threats are on the increase," said IT monitoring firm TechMarketView research director Georgina O'Toole. "Budget cut pressures? Poor IT management? Problems due to bespoke software being built for XP? The clock has started ticking all over again."