Microsoft announced the end of support for Windows XP way back in 2008 and scheduled its final set of public patches on the 8th of April of this year (just last week). Apparently, even with the 5-year advanced warning, the IRS is still not finished updating their systems and will end up having to pay Microsoft for custom support for Windows XP until the organization is able to upgrade all their systems to Windows 7.
During an IRS budget hearing last week, the Financial Services and General Government subcommittee chairman, Rep. Ander Crenshaw, brought the issue forward saying:
“Now we find out that you’ve been struggling to come up with $30 million to finish migrating to Windows 7, even though Microsoft announced in 2008 that it would stop supporting Windows XP past 2014,” Crenshaw said at the hearing. “I know you probably wish you’d already done that.”
The IRS is said to have approximately 110,000 systems running on Windows with only around 52,000 or 47% of those running Windows 7. That leaves around 58,000 or more than 50% of their systems still running the now retired Windows XP. According to the IRS, they’re paying Microsoft less than $500,000 for Custom Support on the remaining systems but the organization will be spending a total of around $30-million to completely finish updating all their systems to Windows 7.
The IRS also stated that the Windows XP issue does not affect the systems used for handling tax filings; an IRS spokesperson said, “None of our filing season systems or other major business operating systems for taxpayers use Windows XP. 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.”
According to the IRS, the organization is expected to complete the migration of their systems to Windows 7 by the end of year. Additionally, support for Windows 7 has been announced to end in mid-January 2020 so the IRS has around 6 years to prepare to upgrade again.