Oxfam has revealed that it was forced to take out extended support after the UK government’s decision not to renew its Windows XP contract with Microsoft earlier this year.
Oxfam CIO Peter Ransom told V3 that the decision meant the charity had to delve into its own funds to negotiate a deal as it continues to migrate its estate to Windows 7.
“We were running under the government contract, although the government this year pulled out so that left us exposed,” he said.
“It had a commercial impact for us as we had to find money for a deal which was offered.”
Ransom explained that Oxfam’s charitable status meant that Microsoft did offer the organisation a good deal with reduced pricing that softened the blow, but it still had a commercial impact.
“Microsoft was flexible about how we’d pay and gave us some phasing options, but ultimately we had to pay for support,” he said.
Oxfam currently has thousands of devices still on XP, but Ransom said they are on track to all be upgraded to Windows 7 by the start of 2016.
“Once we put [Windows] 7 in we’ll have all the infrastructure to do a [Windows] 10 upgrade quite simply,” he added.
Support for XP ended on 8 April 2014. The UK government initially struck a one-year extended support deal with Microsoft costing £5.5m that covered organisations such as NHS Trusts, schools and charities.
However, it was revealed in May this year that the government decided not to renew this deal.
"The Technology Leaders met last month and took a collective decision to not extend the support arrangement for 2015. The current support agreement ended in April 2015,” the Cabinet Office said at the time. This leaves many public sector organisations and government departments running unsupported operating systems.
Oxfam is not the only organisation still running Windows XP machines despite official support ending over a year ago. The Met Police admitted in April that it still had 35,000 PCs on XP.
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