back to article Straight to 8: London's Met Police hatches Win XP escape plan

The Metropolitan Police are bypassing Windows 7 and going straight to Windows 8 as they ditch Windows XP from nearly 40,000 PCs. But the force will not have finished the move before April’s end-of-support deadline from Microsoft. Rather, the Met has agreed a custom support agreement with Microsoft to keep Windows XP machines …

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  1. frank ly

    How about ....

    ... "support us and give us a good deal on Win8, or we'll switch to Linux." ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about ....

      Obvious bluff is obvious.

      1. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: How about ....

        The bluff has more credibility since Munich went FOSS. Though they took the best part of a decade to fully switch, and XP support runs out this year next month.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How about ....

          "The bluff has more credibility since Munich went FOSS."

          Unless it was issues around 2005, the bluff has ZERO credibility. Why? Because as you rightly point out it took Munich 10 years (and they are still not Windows free). If the Met started now, with the best will in the world, they would not finish until around 2020 and would need to run XP/migrate to 7 until that time.

          Ergo - bluff is obvious when issued now.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How about ....

          "Though they took the best part of a decade to fully switch"

          Actually, they still havnt fully switched - 30-40% of their users still have to use Windows for at least part of the time - so they are still paying for 2 stacks after a decade!

          HP calculated that including the Limux OS development costs it has cost about €30 million more to migrate than updating the Microsoft stack woudl have cost. Probably they will make savings eventually, but it's peanuts versus the time, effort and upheaval involved, and you end up with a less functional environment - e.g still having to use Windows when you require a version of Office that actually works. Hence why pretty much no one else is going down that route.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How about ....

            HP calculated that including the Limux OS development costs it has cost about €30 million more

            You've already been laughed off this forum for saying that.

            And that report still hasn't been published.

          2. Chemist

            Re: How about ....

            " e.g still having to use Windows when you require a version of Office that actually works."

            One of their first moves was to switch to OpenOffice whilst retaining Windows, once any issues were sorted and the staff used to OO then they switched to Linux.

          3. Chemist

            Re: How about ....

            "Actually, they still havnt fully switched - 30-40% of their users still have to use Windows for at least part of the time"

            The latest figures are ~15500 desktops of which 14800 are Linux. Indeed some of them may be using Windows some of the time -so what . I used to use VAX and Alphas and Linux farms from a Windows or Linux desktop

          4. Adrian Midgley 1

            HP's calculation

            seems somewhat fanciful, not least since Munich give other figures.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How about ....

          >they took the best part of a decade to fully switch

          They still haven't finished the switch - they will hit the target of 13,000-odd Linux seats this year - they are also keeping 2000 seats on Windows 7.

          The requirements in Munich were trivial compared to what's being discussed here in the UK.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. I'm counting

      Re: How about ....

      They've missed th boat on this one, the French started their move in 2004. Shame our public institutions are just so tech illiterate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How about ....

        There is nothing tech literate or not about staying on Windows or moving to Linux, it's all about functionality and costs. To portray operating a 40k workstation environment as requiring more tech literacy with one system rather than another actually points towards it not being as easy to use or cost effective because you need more highly skilled staff.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How about ....

        "Shame our public institutions are just so tech illiterate."

        At least our lot havn't landed themselves with Linux as yet like the French police have.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How about ....

          At least our lot havn't landed themselves with Linux as yet like the French police have.

          Which is more the pity because from what I have seen at the local Gendarmerie their system works extremely well.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How about ....

            "Which is more the pity because from what I have seen at the local Gendarmerie their system works extremely well."

            I'm sure your brief observations on the way to the cells provided you with a fully insightful view of the system's advantages and failings.

            Windows 7+ works extremely well too. For in most cases of migrating from an existing environment, a lot less hastle and cost to get there.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Mark 78

      Re: How about ....

      More likely to be...

      Would you like a nice tax deal like Google or Amazon?

    4. MacGyver

      Re: How about ....

      How about just switching to Linux?

      For that matter, one of the Linux heavy-hitters needs to find out what applications the city uses for its day to day operations, and then go to the creators of them, and offer a bounty on Linux versions of them to be made. (basically covering the cost of porting them)

      Once the apps are available, they can start deploying small pockets of Linux clients. Hiring the support personnel as needed. Slowly swapping out their Microsoft-based IT for *nix-based techs.

      I mean really, the alternative of going to Windows 8 is laughable, I mean really, anytime I think of a 40 or 50-something doing office work with Windows 8, I laugh.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How about ....

        anytime I think of a 40 or 50-something doing office work with Windows 8, I laugh

        Your contempt to humanity disgusts me. You should be ashamed of yourself

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How about ....

          Yes it would be far more correct to say "anytime I think of humanity doing office work with Windows 8, I laugh"

          1. Snapper Bronze badge

            Re: How about ....

            'Humanity'! These are Policemen!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How about ....

          "anytime I think of a 40 or 50-something doing office work with Windows 8, I laugh

          Your contempt to humanity disgusts me. You should be ashamed of yourself"

          It's not contempt, its a demonstration of just how ridiculous our yoof are! That's why they are called yoof. They have a lot to learn and simple mistakes like this need to be made so they can learn not to make themselves look stupid again.

          (Bet he's got an iPhone. His ill-considered opinion, publicly declared, suggests this to be so.)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How about ....

        "I mean really, the alternative of going to Windows 8 is laughable, I mean really, anytime I think of a 40 or 50-something doing office work with Windows 8, I laugh."

        I'm 40 and I can operate a computer running Windows 8, I also do office work on one.

        I also know every version of Windows since 3.x, DOS, OS/2, OS/400, most flavours of UNIX and Linux and a whole host of obscure OSes.

        I also have a boss who is in his 50s, he is the same. Thanks for the smug patronisation though.

        1. MacGyver

          Re: How about ....

          I'm 40 too, surprise, and I almost stroke out every time I have to use Windows 8 (mostly because I have used XP and W7 for so long that I realize when W8 is performing badly at comparable tasks).

          And yes I too have installed Cdroms by modifying config.sys and autoexec.bat and fought to find a free IRQ for my SoundBlaster, but "we" are not the people working at police stations are we?

        2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: How about ....

          "I'm 40 and I can operate a computer"

          Holy shit.

      3. Joe Montana

        Re: How about ....

        This is mostly what's happening, gradually...

        Most new applications are browser (or at least java) based these days, and will usually run on linux even if they don't officially support doing so.

        Once you have cross platform apps, the client lock-in is gone and you can choose the client devices which provide the best value on a level playing field - there is very little if any reason to choose windows in this situation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How about ....

          And that day can't come any sooner.

          I hate being trapped on Windows.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How about ....

        "I mean really, the alternative of going to Windows 8 is laughable, I mean really, anytime I think of a 40 or 50-something doing office work with Windows 8, I laugh."

        WTF? I'm 40+ and use windows 8. It's not that different to previous versions at all really. Everything works and I can just get down to work.

        Lets put the whole linux issue to bed!

        You can't run public services with linux desktops. Leave linux where it works, running a server.

        Windows offers serious support, there is little that can't be done with windows, its ubiquity is part of its strength. If anything doesn't work, an extensive, professional and experienced support network is there to get things running quickly. Not a myriad of support forums full of jack of all trades, who, if they used their sarcasm skills could over come anything.

        All other thoughts are now moot as I am proof, windows 8 works, works well and is easily operated by an "aging" user group. Your negativity is just trolling. Trolling to get more shitting macs or linux desktops. Do so, and that "training" issue really does become a serious problem.

        As a techie, love it windows or loathe it, as a normal tech user, they want something easy to use and understand. Windows offers this. People should make their own decisions and not listen to their peer group.

        1. Chemist

          Re: How about ....

          "You can't run public services with linux desktops."

          You are forgetting Munich, French police and rather a lot more

  2. CAPS LOCK

    Government departments surprised by arrival of April 2014.

    It's sad really. These people don't even own a calendar.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Government departments surprised by arrival of April 2014.

      They're not surprised. From the sounds of it they're going to get free extended support on XP until 2015 which sounds like rather good negotiating.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Government departments surprised by arrival of April 2014.

        The article clearly says:

        "Microsoft charges $200 per PC for a Windows XP custom support agreement in the first year, rising to $400 then $800 in years two and three. It’s not clear what the Met will be paying Microsoft to support Windows XP."

        200$/PC doesn't sound like "Free" to me.

        Keep in mind that the taxpayers actually pays this money. No wonder Bill Gates is the richest man in the world AGAIN! :-(

    2. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: Government departments surprised by arrival of April 2014.

      Actually, they do own a calendar, otherwise the union members wouldn't know what day to go out on strike.

      Unfortunately, what they often do have is an unholy combination of abundant red tape, the worst project managers money can buy and an institutionalised mind-set that is highly insular with little appreciation of the real world and the options that are out there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Know what day to go out on strike

        Aside from the fact that this is the police here, and they cannot go out on strike

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: Know what day to go out on strike

          "Aside from the fact that this is the police here, and they cannot go out on strike"

          No, but they can get 'sick'. >hack, cough<

          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blue flu

  3. Natalie Gritpants Silver badge

    Unbelievable lack of stregic planning

    These organizations should have a plan for what to do when WIndows 8 support ceases.

    Maybe now is a good time to commit crime in London (and don't declare the income to the tax man).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unbelievable lack of stregic planning

      While HMRC has a huge network of old PCs, it is not clear why.

      Their business modus operandi of choice is a mixture of papers and post-people. Offices are still strung across the country and the 'system' requires activity to pass from office to distant office and back again. This is not done via scanned documents accessed via a PC but by shipping papers physically from place to place.

      It usually takes from 5 ~ 10 days for papers to travel between offices, no doubt that aids the employment figures but does nothing for speed, efficiency, carbon foot prints or job satisfaction for the clerks involved.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Unbelievable lack of stregic planning

        >While HMRC has a huge network of old PCs, it is not clear why.

        Unfortunately, as this is a public forum, I'm unable to tell you why certain departments within HMRC are still running legacy desktop OS's - whilst older versions of Windows form the majority, there are other vendors OS's still in use...

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Unbelievable lack of stregic planning

      Coincidentally, I'm once again watching my Yes Minister collection.

      Having read this article, in light of my current experience, I believe that when the circumstances are right, in the fullness of time, you will no doubt be enlightened to learn that the plans concerning this migration are extensive and have been and are still amply discussed at every level.

      There is absolutely no lack of planning. On the contrary, every minute detail is being planned and the plan is being revised as we speak. I'm quite sure that the Division of Departmental Planning will have its report ready on time as forecast, in 2016.

  4. Zane
    FAIL

    Good news

    for criminals.

    Met will be busy with getting the system running for probably the next 6 montsh.

    /Zane

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good news

      I hadn't realised that the same people run the IT system, as patrol the streets. I assumed they had a IT department to look after the computers and a "PC Plod" department to catch the criminals.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Good news

        But if the plod on the street don't rely on the IT system working - then why bother running it?

  5. dogged

    from experience...

    the old bill are one of the few organizations that'll genuinely benefit from Win8.

    They have - by necessity - a whole lot of touchscreens in their support load. All of those currently have touch layers over XP (which suck) and all are integrated into LDAP and centrally managed except mobile (ie traffic) units which have a third-party interface that everyone hates and are roughly as manageable as a tiger with a roman candle up its bum.

    The met will gain native touch support and the ability to integrate their management platform. Although I understand they've toyed with iPads (see what I did there?) so they'll still be supporting multiple OS's.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: from experience...

      Except that the set of touch hardware supported by both Windows XP and Windows 8 is miniscule and may not in fact exist.

      So they'll have to replace ALL of their hardware, not just the desktops but the displays and touch overlays, at Government-procurement rates.

      1. dogged

        Re: from experience...

        > Except that the set of touch hardware supported by both Windows XP and Windows 8 is miniscule and may not in fact exist.

        That's actually not the case. I was surprised to find that in-car ANPR and supporting systems are all supplied with a minimum of a Core 2 Duo chip and 1GB of RAM. Since the C2D chip supports DX9 and Win8 supports both resistive and capacitive touchscreens, all of those little boxes will in fact run Win8 just as well as they run XP.

    2. MacGyver

      Re: from experience...

      When I think of old people (in their 50s) the first thing that comes to my mind is how much they love change, and not just a little, but the kind where you are removing everything they have ever used and replacing it with something completely new. Yep, old people love that. //sarcasm

      The "from experience" part was meant to be a joke I'm thinking, because what they're going to do is make all their "experience" in operating a computer, worthless overnight.

      1. dogged

        Re: from experience...

        You are of course absolutely right in that Win8 changes absolutely everything, has no desktop at all and certainly can't be configured to behave in exactly the same way as WinXP at all under any circumstances.

        Further, there are no Start Menu replacements available and you certainly can't set Win8.1 to boot to desktop by default.

        Except that all of the above was untrue and you might want to think before kneejerking.

        1. MacGyver

          Re: from experience...

          "Further, there are no Start Menu replacements"

          Right, and the first thing most people do when buying a new car is buy one that runs on diesel, then drive it off the lot straight to an aftermarket shop and buy a non-diesel engine to put in it? This is not an excuse. If it was a good design, this wouldn't be necessary.

          "and certainly can't be configured to behave in exactly the same way as WinXP at all under any circumstances"

          Um, It can't.

          Name one, ok, Find. Search and Find are not the same, and Search breaks workflow like nothing I've ever seen before (yes we can buy Agent Ransack, but why need to).

          Name a second. Wifi. Go ahead and set the priority of 3 different Access Points under W8. You can't. (without a 3rd party app)

          A third. Mapped drives work like crap (refreshing and twitching worse than a teenager with Restless Leg Syndrome). Lack of policy tools. Lack of built-in VMs. W8.1 has no ISO loading vector. The list goes on and on. But all of that pales in comparison to users being forced into fullscreen Office suites and calculators.

          It was a marketing push, to try to push loyal users into an Apple-styled walled-garden, and a lot of us don't like being pushed.

          1. Anonymous Bullard

            Re: from experience...

            "It was a marketing push, to try to push loyal users into an Apple-styled walled-garden, and a lot of us don't like being pushed."

            I think that's the number 1 problem, and that's why everyone is finding fault with the damn thing.

            I didn't mind Win8 (after 3rd party add-ons), it's a new OS - some changes are expected. It's mainly the cattle-prod method of encouragement to follow their new revenue stream that made me drop Windows all together.

            I'm not a consumer.

          2. dogged

            @ MacGyver

            This is not about whether you like the OS or about whether "the average consumer" would be able to do as I've described.

            It's about whether the Met's admins can set up a Win8 profile that looks and behaves exactly like an XP profile.

            And the truth is, yes. They can. It doesn't even take long. Rant about Win8 somewhere else if that's all you want to do; your dislikes are not relevant to this discussion.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: from experience... @MacGyver

        >The "from experience" part was meant to be a joke I'm thinking, because what they're going to do is make all their "experience" in operating a computer, worthless overnight.

        Actually that is more of a problem for the 20-somethings, ie. those who have grown up on Windows, who have no real general experience of OS's and their GUI's and "normal" end users.

        Being in my 50's, I can call upon a huge experience of differing computer systems, their user interfaces and the likely terminology that has been used, to helps me to find my way around a new system such as Win8, as I expect can many others here, hence why so many regard the Win8 UI as a joke. Likewise having deployed Win3, W95, W2K, XP and Win7 to 10K+ desktops I'm well aware of just what is involved in a desktop migration project and the sorts of things "normal" users will complain about and will cause them to react negatively to a new system.

        The question which El Reg don't answer is whether the Met are actually going to 8 or to 8.1 or even the yet to be released 8.2, which (if it exists) will probably contain even more enterprise friendly stuff than 8.1.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gross incompetence on many levels

    1) How long have we known when Win XP will be retired?

    2) How long will the upgrade take?

    3) Why did these idiots waited until they have to waste MORE taxpayer's money?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gross incompetence on many levels

      I think you'll find they're actually saving public money, they've fairly obviously got a massive discount on the bespoke support of XP as part of the move to Windows 8. Windows 8 will have longer support than Windows 7, thus meaning that instead of skipping one major version as is fairly normal for most major users, they've skipped two. This will save public money, not cost it.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gross incompetence on many levels

        "they've fairly obviously got a massive discount on the bespoke support of XP"

        Which they wouldn't need if they had timed the migration correctly. So rather than having to spend £10million they only spend £5million. The suits might spin that as a £5million saving but it is in fact a £5million cost due to their lax planning.

        "This will save public money, not cost it."

        Migrating to Linux would save the public money. Ask Munich.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gross incompetence on many levels

          "Migrating to Linux would save the public money. Ask Munich."

          Munich have rather a vested interest in pretending that it all went tickity boo. It is a known fact that they still have over a third of their users on Windows after ten years of migration! That parallel running for so long can't be without significant cost - not to mention running a migration team for a decade. Regardless of if you agree, it doesn't seem like many others are considering it a shining example of why they should move to Linux.There is still near zero movement in that direction.

          1. Chemist

            Re: Gross incompetence on many levels

            "It is a known fact that they still have over a third of their users on Windows after ten years of migration!"

            One of your facts I think not anyone elses

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Gross incompetence on many levels

            "Munich have rather a vested interest in pretending that it all went tickity boo."

            Microsoft have rather a vested interest in pretending that it all didn't go tickity boo.

          3. Adrian Midgley 1

            Re: Gross incompetence on many levels

            The numbers given above are not "over a third".

            The Munich account seems a fairly steady transition.

            Vested interest? I don't see it, they are not selling something.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gross incompetence on many levels

          Actually Munich saved something like 11 million euros over eleven years, not an amount to write home about in such a large environment. That number doesn't tell you how much they would have saved by modernising the existing MS infrastructure, which was widely understood to be an exercise in how not to run an IT system. It doesn't include the cost of disruption caused by an eleven year migration and it doesn't include the amount of money (10s of millions of euros, I can't remember how many exactly) that IBM contributed to help the project along.

          Now, I think that Linux is a perfectly good system to run a desktop on, particularly a business desktop, but it has to be on its merits and people have to be up front about the costs/benefits. Munich has not been a stelar example of how to migrate to Linux.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Gross incompetence on many levels

            "Actually Munich saved something like 11 million euros over eleven years"

            Actually Munich have CLAIMED that. There has been widespread scepticism as to if those numbers show the full picture - in particular it seems that they have dropped a lot of the resulting coexistence costs into Business As Usual and ignored the costs of developing the Limux OS. Munich has so far to date refused to provide any evidence or audit reports to support the claim. A 3rd party review from HP concluded that it had actually cost signifcantly more than it had saved to date. A significant part of that cost was apparently incurred by IBM in building and getting 'Limux' fit for purpose though.

            Even if true, that works out at only about £67 per PC saved per year. I know I would prefer to spend such a small amount extra to get Outlook / Lync / MS Office on Windows if I had to be using it...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Gross incompetence on many levels

              A 3rd party review from HP concluded

              HP is 3rd party, but not exactly independent. The unreleased investigation was also sponsored by MS.

              You already know that.

              that works out at only about £67 per PC saved per year

              £67/pc/year is a lot to save. You can't save much more unless you steal the H/W.

              That's £737 per PC in total? And then there's next year, and the next, etc. it's the gift that keeps on giving!

              I would prefer to spend such a small amount extra to get Outlook / Lync / MS Office on Windows if I had to be using it...

              Because that's all you're able to use...

            2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

              @AC

              "There has been widespread scepticism as to if those numbers show the full picture"

              And never have you once provided the report, or figures, to back up your counter-claims.

              Even if it was cost-neutral, I would be in favour of our government departments switching simply to be free of US corporate control, and to pay for EU professionals to offer the required support in lieu of MS on-going costs.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Gross incompetence on many levels

            Munich saved something like 11 million euros over eleven years

            For a large government IT project like that, you'd expect it to be over budget!

            well done!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gross incompetence on many levels

          As a tax-payer, and a Windows user, it is undeniable that moving to Linux would save them money... hence Microsoft's generosity with extended support.

  7. 1Rafayal
    Joke

    pretty much sums up the average IQ of the Plod really

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm wondering...

    If they pay Micro$oft for extended support and they get a boatload of patches in the mean time,

    Wouldn't it be possible to apply these to other XP machines worldwide ?

    (Or ,knowing Microshaft, those patches would somehow be 'locked' to their own local Windows Update Server...)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm wondering...

      If it was F/OSS; yes.

      As this is MS; no. Unless you beg to be allowed to pay through the nose.

      A government agency using Windows is state-sanctioned robbery. Time the Met followed the Gendarmerie, Extremadura, Munich...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm wondering...

        "A government agency using Windows is state-sanctioned robbery"

        Hyperbole, much? Where do you think the support money paid to, say, Red Hat or Suse, will go?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm wondering...

          "Hyperbole, much? Where do you think the support money paid to, say, Red Hat or Suse, will go?"

          Patches that are freely available globally to any user. You really should go and read the GPL.

          That means the taxation spent with (say) RedHat can also directly benefit the companies and individuals in the UK (and elsewhere). This is not the case with the cash being chucked at MS, and certainly not for this "customer support" cock-up.

          The more the government spends on F/OSS (and open standards), the more the people benefit.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I'm wondering...

            I don't think you understand what support is, patching is only a tiny part of support. Patches may well be freely available (I am perfectly aware of this - I use linux every day). Support is what the supplying company - red hat, et al - do when the patches don't work. It's the advice you get when you want to do something and don't know how to do it, it's the guarantee that you're given, backed up with engineering staff, that the system will work, it's also the SLAs to achieve this.

            Also, if you want to run RHEL, you need to have support if you want your patches pre-compiled, I daresay it's the same for others. If you want to run Linux (or any computer system) in an enterprise or SME, you damn well better be supported.

            1. Anonymous Bullard

              Re: I'm wondering...

              you need to have support if you want your patches pre-compiled

              You obviously have no clue about Linux [they are already compiled].

              I daresay ...

              Please, don't you dare say anything else that you have absolutely no knowledge of.

              Honestly, you need to download a Linux, live boot it or run it in a VM for a bit. Then you'll realise how foolish you've been sounding over past months.

              Then, we can have a constructive discussion about it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I'm wondering...

                If you know anything about Red Hat, you'll know that in order to get pre-compiled patches you need to subscribe to Red Hat support.

                I use linux all the time (CentOS, in order to get pre-compiled patches)

                Don't let your lack of knowledge prevent you from calling me out as not knowing anything though, it's quite amusing.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: I'm wondering...

                  If you know anything about Red Hat, you'll know that in order to get pre-compiled patches you need to subscribe to Red Hat support.

                  You don't get RHEL without getting support.

                  (you can, but you don't.)

            2. MacGyver

              Re: I'm wondering...

              "Support is what the supplying company - red hat, et al - do when the patches don't work."

              No, that's the IT department. Much like they hired "Microsoft Certified Professionals" to do their current IT work, they will either re-train or through attrition hire new "*nix Certified Professionals". Simply backing up the client's data and re-imaging will solve 100% of client issues, and that can be done by a trained monkey. Servers are another thing, but that's why you hire *nix server techs.

              Only good can come from this, and because the hardware won't be swapped out every few years just to work with MS's newest bloatware OS, the money can be saved there too.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I'm wondering...

                Probably cheaper to get *nix admins too.

                There are loads of old farts out there from the dying Mainframe and Midrange worlds (that seem to be invariably migrating to Windows Server these days) that are desperate to leverage their legacy skills.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: I'm wondering...

                  There are loads of old farts out there from the dying Mainframe and Midrange

                  At least they speak English.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: I'm wondering...

                    ... and know what they're talking about

          2. Anonymous Bullard

            Re: I'm wondering...

            Microsoft aren't even releasing the patches to the public!

            The govt are paying for MS to produce patches that the taxpayer can't benefit from. Nice.

  9. Elmer Phud
    Pirate

    How long?

    How long before the 'suppport fixes' are released into the wild?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How long?

      They will be released on the 30th February.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nows the time to commit that crime....

    No chance plod will be able to work out how to do anything on windows 8!!!

  11. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Unfortunate incidents at the Met

    as several hundred Win 8 machines accidentally fall down the stairs and get broken on the way to the cells. "The different interface confused our officers, who were thus powerless to prevent these tragic accidents" said a Metropolitan Police spokesman.

  12. ShirkerUK

    how much!!!

    I'd be interested to know how much in total, UK Gov (and it's subsidiaries) will be paying Microsoft due their inability to upgrade O/S's in time.

    1. RonWheeler

      Re: how much!!!

      The question is more likely to be what old -must have- software have they been lumbered with that simply won't run on something more modern. Or the supplier is holding them hostage to something that involves silly-moolah to upgrade - before the Cisco/Oracle/consultant types all take their pound of flesh.

      Often crapware is foisted on the IT department.

  13. MJI Silver badge

    Huge systems locked into upgrade hell

    As soon as you have changed OS on your huge amount of PCs it will be time to change again, and again.

    Imagine, just finished 2000->XP, now time for XP->7, but will 7 last long enough before 9?

    We actually had stability with XPs long life time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huge systems locked into upgrade hell

      Your comment doesn't make sense - you seem to be saying that we've been with XP for ages and it's all nice and stable. While at the same time saying that if we need to upgrade, we'll never be able to do it before it's time to upgrade to the next version. The fact that you've been on XP for ages demonstrably disproves your comment.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Huge systems locked into upgrade hell

        I am not personally involved in some bit roll out. But it is so obvious, lets say you are looking after 1000 pcs, they tend to work OK, but if you have to replace the OS (with a different one) every couple of years beyond just maintenance you have a lot of extra work.

        And you do get locked into a loop.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Huge systems locked into upgrade hell

          Well, that would be the case if you had to upgrade every couple of years, but you don't. Windows XP has been round for thirteen years, there is no reason to think that 7 and 8 won't also be round that long.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Huge systems locked into upgrade hell

            " there is no reason to think that 7 and 8 won't also be round that long."

            there is no reason to think that MS will be around that long - fixed.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    y2k

    Does anyone remember the hype over that? As a small business owner, I recall going on a 2 day course financed by the government in 99 (er.. 1999) to basically tell me to check all my gadgets for compliance statements on the internet.

    Fast forward 15 years to this debacle. I still have customers contacting me with various issues, sending me screenshots of their Win XP machines running IE6. I point out to them they better get on and upgrade to something else, some seem unaware, others are but insist they only use this machine for occasional stuff so it's not a big deal if it gets burned. I get the impression that most just don't take the threat seriously, perhaps in part due to memories of the failed hype over y2k.

    I suspect this is going to be one of the big stories of 2014.

    1. Brad Ackerman
      Meh

      Re: y2k

      I'm sure the "occasional stuff" your customers refer to is completely low-importance, like filing taxes or something of that nature.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $200 per PC...

    Allo Allo Allo...

    Who said XP wasn't a viable revenue stream for MS?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HMRC

    I was a (very small) part of HMRC's move from NT4 to XP and Server 2003 back in 2006. Then it was around 100k desktops, plus approx 12k server IIRC. It was a massive project, involving 3 service providers, and much-o work for contractors and consultants alike! To be fair though it did go in on time and on budget though, and I still have a nice little mug to commemorate. Some of the work was around integrating systems from HM Customs and The Inland Revenue on to a single platform, and of course validating the lot on the new operating systems.

    Moving companies, and especially public sector organisations, of this size from one operating system to another is an expensive, expansive, painful, and slow process, with plenty of gotchas along the way. I'm guessing that's probably why they've all left it so late.

  17. billium

    "Get the facts"

    Remember the "Get the facts" by Microsoft all about the total cost of ownership. The escalating cost of XP prove the FUD.

    1. TheVogon

      Re: "Get the facts"

      "The escalating cost of XP prove the FUD."

      What escalating costs would those be? You mean the deliberately exponentially escalating support charges for not upgrading from XP when the EOL date was known over half a decade ago? Because other than that, XP costs relatively peanuts to keep running.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Get the facts"

        "What escalating costs would those be"

        See that you had to come along to support yourself then

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Get the facts"

        Give it a rest, Jack.

  18. Bladeforce

    What a complete and utter

    waste of my taxes. 1 million PC's crippled because someone thinks paying for windows is a great option? I'm appalled, will have to start a petition about why the government continue to waste taxpayers money whilst cutting everything else!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a complete and utter

      And it's not a case of liking the OS personally (I do).

      It's the money being pissed up the wall when there's a cheaper option... and it's going to happen again and again.

      sigh

  19. returnmyjedi

    Quite a few machines at my local NHS Trust run Windows 2000 Pro, showing that they're way ahead of the curve (2000 is loads higher than 8, innit?)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In terms

      of usability??

      Light years ahead....

  20. Herby

    Back to the future...

    This just in: Met Police now downgrade laptops to Windows 7, citing "ease of use" problems. Details to follow.

    You heard it here first.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Joining the Met are NHS England and HM Revenue and Customs, gatherer of the nation’s taxes, with more than a million PCs between them."

    So which exec needs sacked for sheer incompetence?

  22. Barnie

    Tendering Process?

    Did they acutually go through a tendering process? Do they have to follow this? https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/making-software/choosing-technology

    Windows 8 will break so much they will have to rewrite & virtualise stuff, They could have gone Linux and virtualised the old infrastructure

    Just the fact that in these times of "Austerity" there is Automatic blank cheque for Microsoft (&Oracle etc in some parts) with no evalution of the alternatives is staggering

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