Word hit the web that the NHS, the UK's national healthcare service, is in talks with Microsoft to purchase extended support for Windows XP. The cut-off date for Windows XP support is April 8, 2014 but the NHS still has a whopping 1,086,000 PCs and laptops running Windows XP at trusts, GPs and other health groups!
According to The Register, Microsoft's standard fee for the Windows XP special protection program starts at $200 per desktop for the first year, going up to $400 in the second and $800 in the third year. The software giant deliberately picked a high price as an incentive for customers to upgrade to newer versions of Windows asap.
The NHS hopes to migrate as many PCs as possible to Windows 7 by next year. One of the reasons why the NHS hasn't moved beyond Windows XP is because many critical applications weren't updated to work with Windows 7 until last year. Such applications include the Patient Administration System and Choose and Book, a browser-based tool that could only work with Windows XP's Internet Explorer 6/7.
Extended support has only been made available by Microsoft to its largest customers who ask for it, who expect to be running Windows XP after 8 April.
Negotiations between the government and Redmond over the migration and extended support package and should conclude “shortly” we were told.
Pressed by The Register following our investigation into the state of Windows XP migrations across the public sector, the Department told us: “We are discussing plans with Microsoft for putting in place a migration plan and extended support for the NHS."
As for the cost, the DoH did not say how much it expected to pay Microsoft.