Victorian government agencies have committed to spend $4.4 million in the next year on Windows Server 2003 custom support after failing to migrate off the operating system before Microsoft stopped supporting the product this week.
State IT service provider CenITex has signed a 12 month arrangement with Microsoft under which it will pay extra to continue receiving updates and patches for the software, which is still in use by CenITex and a number of its customers including the state health department and police force.
Between them, the DHHS and Victoria Police employ roughly 27,000 staff.
If the agencies don’t make the switch to a newer version of the operating system in the next financial year, the state will need to continue paying a premium to stay on the software.
Victoria Police found itself in the same position last year when Microsoft pulled support for its Windows XP desktop operating system.
The force's IT team has been working to migrate all the agency’s PCs and laptops onto Windows 7 by the middle of this year, paired with a desktop hardware refresh that will see the 17,000 strong workforce supplied with new Acer machines.
Microsoft is pushing its customers to migrate onto Windows Server 2012 R2 or one of its cloud offerings.
The final instalment of free Windows 2003 patches were released this week.
iTnews reported last year that Microsoft would double the cost of Windows XP custom support year-on-year for organisations that remained on the aged software. It is unclear whether it intends to do the same for Windows Server 2003.