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To think Microsoft is holding the NHS to ransom too ...

(28 Posts)
doctorsassistant Sun 14-May-17 13:25:17

... because they routinely withdraw support for "old" operating systems (in this case Windows XP) without regard to whether their customers can afford to upgrade their systems.

alltouchedout Sun 14-May-17 13:26:34

That's capitalism for you.

user1469914265 Sun 14-May-17 13:27:04


Why would company spend money to support an obsolete system. Where is the fiscal benefit to them?

PastysPrincess Sun 14-May-17 13:27:05

No, because the patch which would have stopped this was available 2 months ago.

scaryteacher Sun 14-May-17 13:27:15

Iirc, the upgrade to Windows 10 was free, but perhaps not for business users. Microsoft are a business, not a charity.

Devorak Sun 14-May-17 13:29:49

They're a company looking to make money. XP was supported for 12 years. A very long.

Ransomware can attack any OS and infact, older ones tend to be a little more secure as they've had so many patches released. There's a severe zero day vulnerability recently discovered and currently unpatched in some Windows server operating systems at the moment.

This routinely withdrawing support is very accurate as in it is a matter of routine which everyone is aware of and whoever spent all that money in the past on the NHS-wide OS would have been very aware of this.

You're being very unreasonable and very, very clueless.

Chloe84 Sun 14-May-17 13:33:15

I'm annoyed that Applepay isn't available on iPhone 5. That is also forcing people to upgrade.

I won't be shelling £600 for the 6 or 7.

thirdDozen Sun 14-May-17 13:35:39


Completely untrue.

BigChocFrenzy Sun 14-May-17 13:37:24

The US govt PAID Microsoft to continue XP support for key areas, e.g. for their nuclear subs

The UK govt chose not to pay for support.

Worrying because e.g. the UK Vanguard fleet - the Trident subs - run on XP
< hoping a tiny corner of the Uk defense budget quietly stretched to this. They'd be crazy not to ...>

CrazedZombie Sun 14-May-17 13:37:43

Microsoft announces plans to stop supporting an OS well in advance. If the NHS can't afford Windows then it needs to look into cheaper alternatives like Linux maybe? (I don't know if Linux is used by businesses) Windows 10 was a free upgrade for home users - was it for businesses? I don't think that Microsoft is to blame at all.

AuntMabel Sun 14-May-17 13:38:31

It's not Microsoft's fault that some NHS Trust's do not prioritise investment in IT. There is no standardisation of systems and hardware where it should be across the entire country.

brasty Sun 14-May-17 13:39:05

The Public Sector routinely spend as little as they can on IT equipment. Staff use ancient computers in some places. This is the result.

Wando1986 Sun 14-May-17 13:40:16

OP, you don't work in a corporate IT dept do you? Most still run shells of previous releases that are reliable as back-ups and can be tweaked. XP was supported for over a frigging decade.

thirdDozen Sun 14-May-17 13:41:59


It isn't the actual licences which cost the money. It's usually the man-hours and roll out and training.

Why would Linux be cheaper?

RedBugMug Sun 14-May-17 13:44:16

what if you have systems (imaging, complex databases) that means you can't upgrade you operating system...

TiggyMP Sun 14-May-17 13:53:46


Why the speech marks? It is old. Really really old. It's been out of date for 11 years.

SacharissaCrisplock Sun 14-May-17 13:59:03

Nope. It's entirely the fault of the government for not renewing the support contract and also for not investing in IT infrastructure to phase out older systems (which is really not as easy as it sounds).

cdtaylornats Sun 14-May-17 14:00:17

I suspect the Trident fleet isn't on the internet. Lots of real systems aren't. I worked on Air Traffic Systems and the nearest internet connection to the live system was in the next building. The ATC System didn't do email either.

BigChocFrenzy Sun 14-May-17 14:14:18

Phew, thanks TD That's more reassuring !

BigChocFrenzy Sun 14-May-17 14:14:42

cd ! < cleans specs >

IreneHolmes Sun 14-May-17 14:25:42

Windows XP is 16 years old and obsolete. Technology has moved on and these systems are insecure and need to be upgraded as no amount of patching will properly secure it.

A system doesn't need to be on the internet to be at risk. A dropped USB with malicious code has proven to be remarkably successful.

Doobigetta Sun 14-May-17 14:26:24

It isn't the work of moments to upgrade the os right across an organization, especially if they have large numbers of legacy applications that aren't compatible with the new one (I'm guessing that's the case witn the NHS. But Microsoft would extend support for a big customer if they paid for it.

c3pu Sun 14-May-17 14:32:22

Yep, any system that is sensitive should be "air gapped" from the internet. People wanting bring data into the system need to have it virus checked on a separate "sheep dip" machine before it gets put onto the sensitive network.

This mitigates the risk of running less secure operating systems.

EngTech Sun 14-May-17 14:38:29

If I see the words, Government and IT in the same sentence experience has shown me it ends in tears and you pay through the nose for it.

Perhaps this might be the wake up call that is needed but not easy to upgrade, patch multi linked systems though to be fair

scaryteacher Sun 14-May-17 15:01:49

Think about it Bigchoc The Trident delivery system is a submarine. Submarines spend most of their time under the water. I am not aware that one can access broadband when dived, and I'm pretty sure that 4g isn't available at the depths at which a boat will operate. A boat needs to remain undetected which is why any transmissions are done in very quick bursts at periscope depth.

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