ANDERSON, Ind. (Herald Bulletin) – According to 24-Hour News 8’s news gathers partner, The Herald Bulletin, Microsoft’s decision to end security upgrades for Windows XP, will cost local units of government more than $200,000 for the purchase of new computers with a new operating system.
Microsoft will no longer support the 12-year-old XP operating system with Madison County and city of Anderson Information Technology departments converting to Windows 7.
Several county offices have used discretionary funds to purchase the new personal computers and software so the funding hasn’t affected the county’s general fund operating balance.
“Microsoft is not supplying security or updates for Windows XP,” Lisa Phillips, of the Madison County IT Department said. “It makes the devices vulnerable to intruders and viruses.”
Phillips estimated the county has replaced 150 computers and still has 100 to replace at a cost of $790 each or an estimated of $197,500.
Jerry Branson, director of the county’s IT Department, said many of the computers being replaced were four years old.
He said that five years ago the county budgeted $100,000 to start replacing computers every three or four years. Branson said the budget has been reduced over the years and only $12,000 was budgeted in 2012 and 2013.
“We have not been able to continue to rotate the purchase of computers,” Branson said.
Pam Stafford, coordinator for the Anderson Information System Department, said the city purchased 30 new computers at a cost of less than $30,000.
City Controller Jason Fenwick said the computer purchases were funded from the capital improvement fund.
“Microsoft provides updates until they retire the operating system,” Stafford said. “There was some warning. We were holding out hope that they would continue providing the updates.”