Unless you have managed to completely disconnect from the internet for the past several months, you can’t help but have noticed that support for Windows XP has now come to an end. IT has been known for some time, but there are still plenty of businesses, individuals and governmental organizations using the ancient operating system. The costs involved in upgrading large computer systems means that many, many computers are not going to be upgraded to WIndows 8.1 in the near future and companies are therefore having to paying Microsoft for expensive custom support packages.
But the cost may not be quite as high as first expected. It transpires that just before XP supported ended, Microsoft actually dropped the cost of custom support — although no precise details have been provided.
In a statement to Mary Jo Foley, a Microsoft spokesperson said: “We’ve been working with customers and partners on the migration from Windows XP since we announced in September 2007 that support for Windows XP would end on April 8. 2014. As part of this effort, we’ve made custom support more affordable so large enterprise organizations could have temporary support in place while they migrate to a more modern and secure operating system.”
The sheer number of systems still running Windows XP, including in ATMs and other system that require high levels of security, means that keeping old machines patched is incredibly important. Receiving out of schedule updates for problems that are discovered is required to prevent new flaws from being exploited, and it is likely that Microsoft used the price cut as a way of encouraging those companies who are determine to stick with XP for a while longer into ensuring that any future bugs are squashed.
It is not clear just how long Microsoft will continue to offer paid-for support for XP. The time will eventually come when ties have to be cut, and the ultimate aim is to migrate every system to Windows 8.1. But in the meantime, the cost of being in love with Windows XP became slightly cheaper.