In case you were wondering what your tax dollars will be used for this year, I may have part of the answer. Engadget is reporting that the IRS will pay millions to Microsoft in order to receive extended support for its computers that are still running the 13-year-old Windows XP operating system.
XP is already a vulnerable operating system, simply because of its age, but a lack of support has made it even more open to attacks. Since the government obviously doesn’t want its computers to be targeted, the extended support does make sense, though upgrading would probably be better.
Upgrading an operating system every decade doesn’t seem like a great idea yet numerous large businesses and governments have already signed deals with Microsoft so that the support doesn’t run out.
The IRS is reportedly going to upgrade all of its computers to Windows 7 by the end of the year, but in the meantime, it needs to pay a few millions dollars to Microsoft.
Given the age of the operating system, and the relative ease of upgrading computers, it seems surprising that an organization that needs to remain secure is still opting to use XP. No one disagrees that XP was a great OS and when compared to Windows 8, it is significantly more stable. However, everyone has known that support for XP would be ending, so upgrading at the end of last year would have been a whole lot better (and cheaper.)
Microsoft has already stated that support for Windows 7 will continue through 2020, which means that this entire situation could very well end up being repeated in a few years. If these governments and businesses were just a little bit smarter and efficient, they would be upgrading at the end of 2013 and in the future, the end of 2019.
Question – Should governments focus on upgrading earlier so that they don’t have to pay millions to receive support?
Summary: The IRS will pay millions to Microsoft so that it can receive extended support for Windows XP computers. The IRS hopes to upgrade to Windows 7 by the end of this year.
image credit: watchdog
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