April 8 will be the last Patch Tuesday for the 12-and-a-half-year-old OS, but many institutional customers have negotiated for extended support.
The day that Microsoft first warned about in 2007 has finally arrived: it’s the last Patch Tuesday for Windows XP.
Microsoft’s stoic operating system was first introduced to the world in August 2001 — that’s still used by an estimated 27.7 percent of all PCs — will no longer be supported by Microsoft as of tomorrow. While this date has been known for approximately six years in order for users to make plans, the last set of patches does not address a critical zero day vulnerability in RTF files that allows for malware delivery (Microsoft will be issuing patches for newer versions of Windows and World).
But for many, support for Windows XP will be available for a year at a hefty price. Some enterprise level customers of Microsoft, which have an active Premier Support agreement with the company, can continue to have Microsoft support the operating system for another year. Microsoft hasn’t announced an exact figure for this stop-gap support, but Gartner reports that number to be in the $200-per-desktop range with a maximum fee of $5 million.
One of the customers paying for an additional year of support is the United Kingdom’s government. For approximately $9 million, the UK government will have an extra year of support for Windows XP as well as Office 2003 and Exchange 2003.
Microsoft has publicly confirmed that ”there is not a consumer equivalent” to this level of custom support being given to enterprises and the UK government.