Windows XP Support Ends; UK, Dutch Governments to Pay for Continuing Support


Rumors of the timely death of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows XP have been greatly exaggerated, at least for the two European governments offering the company millions to keep the operating system supported for their computer networks.

While support for Windows XP will end for most users on Tuesday, the United Kingdom and the Dutch government are negotiating multimillion-dollar deals with Microsoft so that the tech company will continue to offer support for their Windows XP-based computers. The announcement that service would end was originally made in October 2012.

Computerworld UK reports that the United Kingdom negotiated a 5.55 million pound ($9.11 million) contract for an additional year of support for its computers that still use Windows XP. The contract is meant to cover Windows XP-based PCs used by U.K. government offices as the British government continues to update its computers. Part of the deal stipulated that the government would finish most of its migration plan by April 2015. The Telegraph suggests that about 20,000 government computers still use Windows XP.

The Dutch government’s deal with Microsoft to extend its support is a multimillion-euro deal that extends to approximately 34,000-40,000 computers, reports Dutch News. The news outlet also said that two out of five local councils in the Netherlands still use Windows XP.

Businesses can also pay for additional support for their Windows XP-based computers. In a statement made to PC World, a Microsoft representative said that support would be continued for larger companies to ease their migrations to newer operating systems.

“While many customers have already completed their migrations to a modern OS, some large customers with complex Windows XP deployments may not have their migrations complete by April 8,” a Microsoft spokeswoman said to the publication. “To help those customers, we offer Custom Support for Windows XP as a temporary, last resort to help bridge the gap during a migration process to a modern OS, as the newest technologies provide the optimal chance to be and stay secure.  We are sure that our customers are taking the necessary steps to protect their customers.”

In other words, smaller computers — like those for home users — are expected to be able to transition to a new operating system by the deadline.

Windows XP was introduced in 2001; it was a follow-up to Windows 2000 and Windows ME, both of which were introduced in 2000. It was succeeded by Windows Vista in 2007, Windows 7 in 2009, and Windows 8 in 2012. Microsoft recommends that business users who need to update their operating systems get either Windows 7 or Windows 8.

The company also recommend that home users update to Windows 8.1, the latest version of Windows 8, and consider buying a new PC if their current device cannot run that version of Windows 8. Its website also features a countdown until the end of support for the 13-year-old operating system.

Support for Microsoft Office 2003 will also end on Tuesday. Some Windows XP-based software, like that used for ATMs and point-of-sale systems, will continue to receive support after Tuesday’s deadline.

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