Even M$ to keep the old systems even if the new ones are purchased

News 12 March, 2018
  • Photo Fotolia
    In Quebec, approximately 73 servers government have Windows 2000 as your operating system (photo servers for illustrative purposes only).

    Pierre-Paul Biron

    Monday, 12 march, 2018 00:00

    Monday, 12 march, 2018 00:00

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    Quebec is not in a hurry to replace its old Windows systems, which are, however, expired more than three years and cost him millions of dollars in extended warranties.

    Our Office survey revealed a year ago that more than 700 servers of québec public bodies on a total of 2700 were still working under Windows 2000 and 2003. To this day, this number remains high, while costs related to the operation, themselves, explode.


    According to the latest data of 2017, 311 servers still use Windows server 2003, a version for which the american giant Microsoft is no longer offering service or security fixes for almost three years. Windows 2000, which this year reaches the age of majority, which is the operating system of 73 servers of government. The company does not offer any support for this version since… July 2010.

    In addition to the obsolescence of these versions, the invoice that accompanies it has enough to make you jump. For the past few years, Quebec spends a small fortune to keep using them.

    $ 10 Million in extended warranties

    To continue to use these versions “expired” in a secure manner, the government must pay for “custom support” provided by Microsoft. The service comes at a high price and the costs multiply every year.

    In the last year and a half, Quebec has paid out close to$ 7 Million for these “extended warranties” from Microsoft that allow, according to the Centre de services partagés du Québec (CSPQ), ” to obtain critical security patches on the product in question when the support current or expanded are ended “. The total amount reached$ 10 Million since 2010.

    $ 191 Million for the new releases… never installed

    The worst part of this story is that the government could quickly eliminate Windows 2000 and 2003, as it already has the new versions. Quebec has paid the big price, or$ 191 Million over the past five years, to develop new versions latest Windows Server. However, a good part has never been implemented, in particular because of the slowness of government agencies to do the migration.

    $ 31 Million, only to give the right to purchase the extended warranties

    As if that wasn’t enough, the government can’t buy the piece-the custom support for Windows 2000 and 2003. To have access to Quebec must absolutely subscribe to Microsoft Premier Support, a new service of ” security fixes “. Since 2008, the CSPQ has disbursed $ 31 million to subscribe to the service Premier Support from Microsoft.

    The government defends itself

    Asked about the situation, the CSPQ welcomes its progress in migration of servers, including diminished “nearly 50 %” the number of old versions in a year. The servers under Windows 2003, rose from 643 to 311, while servers under Windows 2000 are increased from 86 to 73.

    To explain the timelines, the organization puts the responsibility on the various departments that it serves. As long as its customers are not ready, migration could not be done, period. “The abandonment of this platform is not possible as long as the customers have not migrated all of their apps to the new supported version,” said the CSPQ by e-mail.

    Thus, while millions of dollars in public money are spent, no one really seems in a hurry to speed up the migration to Windows 2000 and 2003 to current versions.

    ► You have information relating to information technology projects failed ? Contact our journalist at the address pierre-paul.biron@quebecormedia.com.


    The weapons of the government in figures

    Number of servers under Windows 2000 : 73

    Number of servers under Windows 2003 : 311

    Support for Windows 2000 :$3 Million

    Support for Windows 2003 :$6.9 Million

    Total costs for Microsoft Premier Support, which is necessary to purchase extended warranties :$ 31 Million since 2010

    Costs of new versions of Windows :$191 Million