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IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches 322

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-tax-dollars-at-work dept.
An anonymous reader writes "When Microsoft terminated official support for Windows XP on April 8th, many organizations had taken the six years of warnings to heart and migrated to another operating system. But not the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Only 52,000 of their 110,000 Windows-powered computers have been upgraded to Windows 7. They'll now be forced to pay Microsoft for Custom Support. How much? Using Microsoft's standard rate of $200 per PC, it'll be $11.6 million for one year. That leaves $18.4 million of their $30 million budget to finish the upgrades themselves, which works out to $317 per computer."
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IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches

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  • Windows XP did not instantly become unsafe on April 8, 2014 [], the date Microsoft calls the "end of life" for Windows XP.

    Governments and big corporations are often influenced by people with no technical knowledge. Because of their ignorance, governments have already paid Microsoft probably more than it costs to fix the few security defects found each year. However, the taxpayers of those governments will not be allowed to have the fixes. "End of life" is a way for Microsoft to make more money.

    It's like Toyota told all owners of older Toyota vehicles that the vehicles are unsafe now and owners must buy new vehicles or pay millions of dollars to keep them. Except its worse: Software doesn't have mechanical wear.

    This article contains tips about how to use any version of Microsoft Windows safely that can be shared with people you want to help. Unnecessary computer maintenance is an ugly way to make money.
  • by L4m3rthanyou (1015323) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @06:09PM (#46736123)

    All software has defects, it's the nature of the beast. If vendors were liable for every last bug in their software, the commercial software industry would not exist. (I'm sure there are freetards who feel that would be a good thing, but let's not go there.)

    It's not like Microsoft deliberately released XP with 2,722 flaws with the intent to fix them gradually over the next ~12.5 years. That's the problem with security vulnerabilities- they need to be discovered. Odds are, there are plenty more in Windows XP that have yet to be found. XP EOL isn't going to make your XP machine explode and kill your family. Before long, though, unpatched XP systems will be rife with exposed vulerabilities. Browser updates will drop support for XP. It will become unsafe to use any XP machine in any capacity that involves internet connectivity. Advising your clients to continue using XP is irresponsible at best.

    Really, since you're so convinced that MS is outright evil, I'm surprised you're not trying to push some linux-based XP replacement. Though, for what it's worth, even free operating systems often have an end of support life, absent any profit motive.

  • by plopez (54068) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @06:32PM (#46736241) Journal

    Hypothetical situation. I am an IT director. I track trillions in revenues and hundreds of billions in taxes. Do I 1)
    switch to a new system with unknown security risks and associated costs in upgrading in house systems and applications?
    2) Do I stick with a true and tried system for a few tens of millions more?

    No brainer. Stick with the devil you know. This is not some happy little mobile app like the "Annoyed Nematode" you are dealing with the financial futures of both the US government and each and every person who must file taxes.

  • by Nephandus (2953269) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @06:36PM (#46736271)
    Good luck with that. Aside from the being caught cheating even by their own rules, which is impressive given how circular they are, that guy who actually managed to get them in court for their policy being unconstitutional was explicitly rejected on the basis of IRS policy itself, as in the Constitution only matters if IRS policy says so. Not being a lawyer, I'm still not sure why the judge said he raised good points, while the case was found against him by some IRS guy and not the judge. Apparently by some special rules, they're functionally their own judge too. They'd have to agree to dismantle themselves now.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra