Linked by Howard Fosdick on Wed 28th Nov 2012 01:24 UTC
Windows The clock is ticking for XP users, with Microsoft ending support with its final security update after 11 years on April 8, 2014. Netmarketshare's desktop browser statistics show 40% of users are still using XP, totalling about 500 million users (versus Windows 7 at 45% and Vista at 6%). Gartner and Forrester analysts predict that 10% to 20% of enterprise PCs will be running XP after April 2014. Options for companies include: speed up XP conversions, sign up for Microsoft's Custom Support Program for after-retirement support, and add a supported browser to XP to replace unsupported IE8.
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Government is the worst
by Morgan on Wed 28th Nov 2012 09:27 UTC
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I work full time for a local government (law enforcement) office, and our county IT department has a fetish for staying with XP despite the coming loss of support (I'm guessing they are afraid to continue their education on modern OSes, though I don't blame them for avoiding Vista). In most of the county offices, their solution is to use a virtual machine setup to sandbox everyone, running a stripped down XP image on the server that users must log into to be able to work.

That works fine for most users, but in my particular office we must have a secure VPN to the state's crime index, and that isn't feasible with the VM setup. Therefore, we are running native XP machines from 2004 that use IE8, and connect to the outside world on a separate network from the rest of the county.

Recently the state has issued stricter guidelines for access to their network, and my boss came to me for suggestions on new equipment and software to meet these guidelines. I wrote up a simple preliminary estimate for three computers with modest specs and Windows 7 (which IT so far sees as no man's land) and submitted it to her. When she forwarded it to IT, the response was something like "why are you bringing us this unproven, untested and overblown recommendation from someone we don't know and can't confirm that he knows what he is doing".

Needless to say, my boss was pissed. She knows that I know my stuff, which was why she came to me with the sheriff's blessing (he knows my qualifications too). So, the sheriff is going to do an end run around IT, since the workstations we have to upgrade don't access their network anyway. Basically, we have to do this or stop accessing the state network, which of course can't happen; it's what my department exists for.

I simply can't understand this culture of sticking with outdated and vulnerable software at all costs. Our IT department really needs a regime change, but I'm just a peon in the county so I have no say in that. Just one more thing pushing me towards going full time at my other job.

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