In an amazing new twist to the seemingly endless death throws of Windows XP, it seems that someone in the corridors of power has managed to negotiate a contract with Microsoft to further extend support, and so prolong use in government departments.
Sales of Windows XP licenses to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) ceased on June 30, 2008, although they continued for netbooks until October 2010. Extended support for Windows XP ended on April 8, 2014, after which the operating system ceased receiving further support or security updates to most users.
When the previous XP support arrangement was signed last year, the intention was to give 12 months breathing space for government users to move off XP. However, in a move that seems to be right out of an episode of Yes Minister, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) had negotiated a contract with Microsoft to replace the one-year deal with a contract to support XP and Windows Server 2003, which reaches its end of life on 14 July 2015.
However, according to Computer Weekly sources, the proposed deal was put together without involvement from the Technology Leaders Network, the forum for government CTOs that governs Whitehall technology policy. Fortunately the Whitehall technology chiefs have vetoed new Windows XP support deal.
It is difficult to describe the continuing use of this ancient and venerable Operating System (OS) in government circles, without making reference to zombies, or the walking dead. Whether the metaphor refers to the Windows XP operating system, or the civil servants haunting the corridors of power, we will leave it to your imagination.
For more information on Microsoft and the Extended Windows XP Support see: