Microsoft no longer provides support for Windows XP, so many of the companies and governments whose departments are still using this particular operating system have decided to purchase custom patches from the Redmond-based tech giant, which basically helps them keep computers secure until they’re all moved to a newer operating system.
The company, however, warns that the custom Windows XP should only be considered the last resort if you’re still running this OS version, and migrating to a modern operating system should be the number one solution for everyone.
In a statement for Business Insider, a company spokesperson explained that custom support is just a measure supposed to help large companies, as OS upgrades are usually easier for small businesses or end-users who only work on a few computers.
“Custom Support is provided to large, enterprise customers whose migration from Windows XP was not complete by April 8, 2014. It is a temporary measure designed to help large customers with complex migrations. It should be considered as a last resort for customers who are in the process of migrating from Windows XP to a modern operating system,” the company says.
The United Kingdom government is one of the Microsoft customers that decided to purchase custom support, paying a total of £5.5 million ($9.1 million / €6.6 million) in exchange for critical and important security updates for Windows XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003.
The deal signed by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and Microsoft states that extended Windows XP support will be provided for a period of 12 months until all computers used by the local government, charities, schools, and the NHS are expected to be successfully moved to another OS version.
“This is an important deal, which will provide continuity for all eligible government and public sector organisations while they migrate on to alternative operating systems,” said Rob Wilmot, crown representative for software at CCS. “It is an excellent example of collaborative purchasing and demonstrates Crown Commercial Service’s new joined-up approach to commercial arrangements to achieve best value for the taxpayer.”
In addition to the United Kingdom, many other organizations and authorities across the world have already signed deals or at least started negations with Microsoft for extended Windows XP support. These deals usually involve several million dollars clauses, so everybody’s wondering how come all these organizations haven’t actually started the migration to a newer OS sooner and they’re now having to pay so much money to keep their computers protected.