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U.S. IRS misses XP deadline, pays Microsoft millions for patches

Gregg Keizer | April 14, 2014
Tax collector has 58,000 PCs still running the aged XP; will spend US$30M to upgrade to Windows 7

The IRS isn't the only government agency that has acknowledged paying for post-retirement XP support. The U.K. government, for example, has paid Microsoft more than 5.5 million (approximately $9.2 million) for Windows XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003 patches for the next 12 months.

In a follow-up statement today, the IRS said that its XP problem does not extend to the systems that handle tax filings by individuals and companies.

"None of our filing season systems or other major business operating systems for taxpayers use Windows XP," an IRS spokesperson said Friday. "The IRS emphasizes the situation involving Windows will have no impact on taxpayers, including people filing their tax returns in advance of the April 15 deadline."

In other words, the IRS will not let taxpayers use the XP situation as an excuse not to meet the next Tuesday's filing deadline.

"The IRS ... is working to complete the updates [to Windows 7] by the end of calendar year 2014," the spokesperson added.

The agency, like most businesses and organizations, will face the same situation in less than six years: Microsoft plans to pull the patch plug on Windows 7 in mid-January 2020.

 

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