Microsoft Hikes Price for Supporting Aging Operating System
Just in case companies didn’t have enough incentive as it is, Microsoft could be about to add yet another reason to hurry up and migrate systems off of Windows XP and onto a more modern operating system. There are new rumblings that custom support for the aging operating system could cost companies even more once spring rolls around.
A licensing expert recently told ComputerWorld to expect Microsoft to double the per-PC price of custom support agreements (CSAs) for XP this April. That increase would bring the price tag of CSAs to roughly $400. It would also come about a year after Microsoft retired XP and slashed the CSA cost per PC to the previous rate of $200 per device (capped at $250,000).
CSAs provide critical updates for retired operating systems, like XP, allowing companies to buy themselves a little extra time while they complete migrations to newer versions of Windows. However, companies are only permitted to maintain a CSA for a total of three years, and it must be renewed on a year-by-year basis, likely to keep anyone from getting too comfortable. The first round of XP CSAs are due for renewal in the next few weeks.
This news is going to be anything but music to IT’s ears. After spending the last year weaning their machines and their users off the almost 14-year old OS, companies could see that hard work turn out to be for naught – at least financially-speaking – thanks to having to pay double to cover any of their machines which remain XP-dependent.
That’s still probably more appealing than the alternative: Pressing on without support and potentially leaving your company and your end users as easy prey for cyber criminals.
Despite Microsoft’s efforts to put the final nail in XP’s coffin, the operating system has proven to be surprisingly resilient. In January, 20.7% of all Windows-powered machines utilized XP according to research from Net Applications.
While you’re migrating off of XP, it may also be a good idea to consider modernizing the full complement of your Microsoft environment. Many XP systems still rely on Windows Server 2003 back ends. Server 2003 is set to hit its own end-of-life in just a few short months: July 14, 2015.
If your own Microsoft update and migration efforts are still ongoing, now’s the time to explore a partnership with Arraya Solutions. Arraya has the Microsoft expertise and the project management skills to ensure a smooth and timely system upgrade. This can allow you to minimize costs while at the same time ensuring the security of your network and your corporate data.