IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions for Custom Support

The IRS isn't exactly known for playing fast and loose with deadlines—your deadlines, that is. But when it comes to its own, its apparently a lot more willing to take their chances. In this case, that means paying millions of dollars to keep running Windows XP long after the deadline has come and gone.

As we all know, Microsoft cut its support for XP on April 8, a date it drilled into our heads over, and over, and over again. Nevertheless, April 8 came and went with the IRS still having failed to update over half of its computers to Windows 7. Of course, with tax day less than 24 hours away, the IRS can't exactly risk leaving any part of its system vulnerable, so it'll fork over millions to Microsoft for custom security and support.

In an IRS budget hearing last week, the Financial Services and General Government subcommittee chairman, Rep. Ander Crenshaw, was less than pleased:

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. I know you probably wish you'd already done that.

Fortunately, the IRS claims that none of its "filing season system or other major business operating systems for taxpayers" currently run on any of their many outdated computers." It's hard not to enjoy the touch of irony. That is, until you remember that those fees are coming out of your tax dollars. [Computer World]