It has been reported that the UK Government is prepared to pay £5.5m to extend support for Windows XP.
This is a good deal – £5.5m or 10s of millions spent on upgrading to Windows 7/8. I suspect this arrangement will continue for several years hopefully with a slow rollout of upgrades or a natural upgrade as windows XP hardware dies.
Crucially, extending support includes security updates – this intrigues me.
Most Microsoft security patches over the last few years cover all their operating XP,7 and 8 – you very rarely, if at all, get am update solely for XP. It would not have been difficult for Microsoft to continue with these updates for XP but we all know the real reason behind their decision to stop support – get everyone to buy Windows 8. With the UK Government deal and other similar deals around the world they are effectively continuing to release security updates for XP. So not only will Microsoft manage to persuade lots of customers to buy windows 8 they have also managed to monetize ongoing support for XP.
However, there is one flaw – those security updates are being made available to the government to install on their XP desktops. How long is it going to take for those updates to leak out, especially from a large public organisation. I predict they will be disseminated and available widely – specialist software to torrent download XP updates anyone?