THE METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE (MPS) is still running Microsoft's now-defunct Windows XP operating system on 19,000 PCs.
This figure, confirmed to the INQUIRER's sister site V3, marks a decrease of 7,500 from the 27,000 MPS PCs that were running Windows XP in August.
This means a total of 15,500 machines have been upgraded from XP, although only to Windows 8.1, rather than Microsoft's newer Windows 10 platform.
A spokesperson for the MPS told V3 that the upgrade was progressing well but that it would take longer than other organisations given the unique nature of some of its systems.
"The upgrade programme is not as simple as it would be for many other organisation due to the amount of specialist legacy software upon which, parts of the MPS still rely," they said.
"Replacements or remediation for this software, which are compatible with a more modern operating system, have to be ready before the roll-out is completed to ensure continued operational effectiveness."
While the migration takes place the Met is having to shell out £1.65m for extended support for Microsoft, although this will end in April 2017.
"This [...] means we have no security concerns as a result of our continued use of XP," the spokesperson added.
It is not clear if the migration from Windows XP will be completed before this deadline. If it is not, the Met will likely have to pay up again to Microsoft to maintain its support.
The Met did say, though, that it is looking at replacing many of its older machines that cannot be upgraded from Windows XP, and that this will require a major estate refresh. No time frame was given for this work.
"Plans are being developed to address the remaining XP desktops including reducing the overall number used by the organisation, replacing with laptops, tablets and disposing of equipment that cannot support Windows 8.1 and beyond," it said.
"At this stage we cannot give a date for the completion of this programme, but it is being progressed as rapidly as is possible. MOPAC has recently approved funding for the replacement programme."
The use of the ancient machines is in stark contrast to the Met's rollout of body-worn video cameras. Over 3,000 of a planned total of 22,000 are now in use, and the force confirmed last week it is using Microsoft's UK data centres to store the data captured.
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