April 8th marked the day Microsoft stopped providing support for Windows XP, a popular operating system from the Redmond giant which made its debut back in 2001. It turns out that the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), usually the people who take your money, are now paying Microsoft millions of dollars for an extra year of security patches – they missed the April 8th end of support deadline.
The IRS apparently has approximately 110,000 Windows powered computers, and only 47% of those computers have been upgraded to Windows 7. The rest of the devices still run Windows XP. Unfortunately, due to the budget, the migration was unfinished. John Koskinen, IRS commissioner, defended the unfinished migration, stating that the IRS had $300 million worth of IT improvements on hold because of budget issues – including the Windows XP to Windows 7 migration.
“Windows XP will no longer be serviced, so we are very concerned if we don’t complete that work we’re going to have an unstable environment in terms of security,” Koskinen said, stressing that the migration is necessary and shall continue. The IRS will muster up $30 million out of its enforcement budget to finish the migration, paying Microsoft $11.6 million for “Custom Support” for critical security patches. The IRS will also spend $18.4 million to purchase new PCs to replace the older computers running Windows XP.
The IRS hopes to complete this migration by the end of the year. Don’t worry, according to the IRS, your tax filings are not handled by Windows XP systems. “None of our filing season systems or other major business operating systems for taxpayers use Windows XP,” an IRS spokesperson said Friday. “The IRS emphasizes the situation involving Windows will have no impact on taxpayers, including people filing their tax returns in advance of the April 15 deadline.”Further reading: Microsoft, Security, Windows XP