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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2014 @03:46PM (#46735293)

    right into the pocket of microsoft thanks to mismanagement

  • by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy@nOspaM.tpno-co.org> on Saturday April 12, 2014 @03:47PM (#46735297) Homepage

    Shouldn't that result in the patches being released for anyone to use?

    AHAHAHAHA, sorry. Had to make the joke.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @04:12PM (#46735461) Homepage

    Yep. It's a total waste of money.

    Those machines aren't going to implode because they don't get updates.

    Keep running them, keep on replacing them. Block all external web sites to employees (which they should be anyway).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2014 @04:12PM (#46735463)

    I work at a large public organization that runs multiple large hospitals and a throng of clinics. We have not completed the XP -> 7 transition in time and are paying Microsoft for this extended support. Upgrading tens of thousands of systems with a myriad of specialized software isn't as easy as upgrading your home computer.

    We must wait for vendors to upgrade their applications, ensure the updates work, and train users; this delayed us deploying new systems. Since medical applications aren't sexy nor cheap to make (HIPPA compliance being one of the reasons) Linux isn't an option.

    Our goal is healthcare, this is the price for ensuring you have the best. Likewise the I.R.S' goal is collecting taxes, this is the price for them to implement that in the best manner they can.

  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @04:14PM (#46735483) Homepage

    Every corporation and agency is independently paying millions and millions to have them continue to patch their computers. I would not wager a guess at how much it costs to continue producing patches, but I cannot imagine it is more than a handful of full time devs.

  • by Roadstar (909257) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @04:27PM (#46735551)

    XP Works. Vista, 7, and 8 really don't

    Wow, this has got to be one of the most opinionated and/or misinformed things I've read in quite a while. XP was the last consumer Windows that was more or less designed for the "isn't everybody an admin?" mindset. Part of Vista's bad reputation was due to it being the messenger that got shot while delivering the "hey guys, the party's over. We really need to stop assuming every user can write to system locations. This time for real." message to developers and users. Naturally the ultra-paranoid UAC settings didn't help with that. In 7 and 8 the new security model was fine-tuned to actually work instead of bombarding users with multiple confirmations for the same operation and as a result the modern versions of Windows are reasonably secure, especially when compared to the security nightmare that XP was prior to SP2.

  • About XP . . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mmell (832646) <mmell@hotmail.com> on Saturday April 12, 2014 @04:50PM (#46735671)
    I have many non-technically gifted friends. I've heard at least two of them state "XP is great - I can make it do whatever I want, better than any other version of Windows." Even among my (non-techie) friends, the prevalent attitude is "Why should I upgrade?" - several have made it clear to me that they don't care if their machines are botted, as long as their games run okay. As non-techies, they insist that they're not at risk for identity theft, often saying "I don't do banking/online shopping/anything involving money or credit", and in general refuse to change their minds (and yes - when I failed, I've tried bringing in other technically aware people to try their hand at convincing them. I only convinced my wife by force, not a very good way to go).

    What makes XP so great to them? The ease with which software may be installed and configured. The stability of the platform to play Grand Theft Auto, et. al. What makes XP so terrible to technically knowledgeable people? The ease with which software may be installed and configured. The stability of the platform to provide elevated privileges and get an open connection on port 113 and run Sasser, et. al.

  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @05:47PM (#46735975)

    But the IRS doesn't care. It just asks for more money from Congress to go after more citizens for more money. The IRS doesn't care about how inefficient it is. That is inherently what is wrong with a massively complex government system which is specifically designed to be complex.

    There are solutions for this, but it means dismantling the IRS and firing a lot of people, so how do you think we are going to do this. Similar to the quasi-governmental Post Office.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @05:58PM (#46736059)
    The amount mentioned is not what the IRS pays. It is what the article assumes, based on number of PCs running XP and an estimatd average price of $200 per PC. But contracts are negotiated individually. The British government pays less than $10 million for all their computers, which includes about 650,000 PCs running XP in the health service, more than 10 times as many as in the US IRS.
  • Fantasyland (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jonnythan (79727) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @06:01PM (#46736075) Homepage

    If the IRS does decide to pay Microsoft for continued support of XP, the chances of it paying the standard $200 per PC rate is effectively zero.

    The numbers in the summary are total fantasy.

  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @06:08PM (#46736115)

    Thats how RHEL does it-- RHEL 5 (released in 2007) goes out of support in 2020. Apple doesnt provide support nearly that long for OSX-- they EOL'd Snow Leopard (2009) in 2013, so they have approximately 1/3 the product lifespan that MS or RH does.

    Based on your other comments, though, you really just have a personal axe to grind against anything Microsoft for no real (that I can discern) reason.

  • by mpe (36238) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @06:35PM (#46736259)
    Or they could do the sane thing and move their employees off of decade-old hardware.

    Presumably you won't be boarding a bus, train or commercial flight then :)
  • Re:About XP . . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @06:54PM (#46736347) Journal

    Windows XP is the best Win OS ever made.

    It works. It has the best gui. Windows explorer isn't crippled. Apps just work. Websites render just right. Updates do not break it unlike 7 or 8. It works well with 512 megs of ram.

    If it aint broke DON"T FIX IT!

    The reason they like XP is they had win98 and WinME and remember the crapola experiences, crashes, re-installing the OS, etc. XP was the first OS which just worked. Why change?

    People become conservative as a result. Our grandparents who grew up during World War II and the Great depression became conservative and AMERICA IS GREAT during the 1950's when good times hit. Same is true with XP. It came from an era of bad apples preceeding it. Now look at Windows 8 and Vista which came later?

    Can you blame them of being afraid of change?

    XP works just fine and they do not want a cell phone os and risk nightmares of getting things to work and performance problems. It finally works so leave it and they need a reason to change. There is no reason to change what works right?

  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @07:18PM (#46736517)

    So disconnect those XP boxes from any external access. Any information they need for their job can come from internal sites only, or they have special computers they can visit for the strange reason of needing to check the internet (this should be extremely rare). If they need to access the internet too much, then they put in a request for a better computer (this should be a tiny fraction of the staff). Remember, we've gone millenia without the internet.

  • by ttucker (2884057) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @07:43PM (#46736671)
    If a business tried to handle the information that the IRS handles with Windows XP, someone would end up in jail.

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