Microsoft has taken double stands in regards to Windows XP support price. The software giant has, one hand, pulled the plug on support for Windows XP and on other hand, it provides Windows XP security patches to big corporate houses which are always ready to pay a handsome amount to avail the service.
In the last month, Microsoft made a substantial reduction in price. On April 8 – the same day when Microsoft withdrew their support for Windows XP – Gartner released a research note, which is available to only the subscribers. It said, on the basis of some of its clients’ reports, Microsoft was reducing the highest price for customer support. Gartner has words of advice for its clients, who are in need of XP patches, “to go through Custom Support Agreement plans for risk reduction and potential cost”.
In accordance with estimation by Gartner, 20-25 percent of enterprise systems are still using Windows XP. For enterprise customers, the reason for their sticking with XP is they have custom peripherals or applications to make migration complex and difficult. In 2012, Gartner said they were informed by some of their customers that Microsoft was charging in the region of $5 million for extended Windows XP support coverage. However, Gartner also added that the cost was reduced to nearly $2 million (maximum).
Microsoft is getting cautious with regards to Windows XP. Officials are unwilling to look like they are, once again, extending their support deadline for the 13-year old OS. But a lot of large and high-profile shops still prefer Windows XP. If these customers encounter security issues, which Microsoft patches could have easily solved, Microsoft will not be considered a good guy. Even after a considerable reduction in max price level, Custom Support Agreements are primarily intended for the large enterprise houses. That gives a clear hint that it is still not meant for the small wigs in business field or individual customers who want to run their system on Windows XP.
It is worth a mention that there is a limit – limit of time – which is yet to be disclosed by Microsoft as to how long the company will provide XP patches to the users who are shelling out for CSA coverage. And the customers, who want to avail CSA coverage, must have proper migration plans in place with a deadline for project completion and quarterly deployment milestones.