Microsoft, I’ll pay you to support Windows XP

I’m a little late, but I just found out that the UK and Dutch governments paid Microsoft a large sum of money (to give an understatement) to extend support for Windows XP. They are “very grateful”, they said.

I’m quite shocked. How desperate are you that you’ll pay £5.5 million (almost US$9.3 million) to extend the support of a buggy 12-year-old operating system for a year when there are perfectly good free and open-source substitutes out there? They’re worried about how much money it will take to retrain everyone if they switched over to open-source software; I don’t see how paying Microsoft £5.5 million to extend support for a year is better. Not only are you paying to keep support, you’re also paying to keep your antivirus licenses. Does anyone not realize that you don’t need an antivirus on Linux? If you want to pay for support, go get Red Hat Enterprise, SUSE Linux Enterprise, or some other enterprise Linux. Your cost in training users will be insignificant compared to your deal with Microsoft and its associated costs.

Also, to Microsoft, this is bribery: you’ll give support to users if they paid you a ridiculously large sum of money. Either stand firm by your decision to stop giving support or give support to everyone. They had seven years to prepare for the end of support, which is more than enough time to assess alternatives and plan a transition.

I’m very disappointed in both of you.


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