People could soon turn to the black market for Windows XP updates

Microsoft ended general support for Windows XP earlier this month and now anyone who wants to get continued patches has to fork over extra cash to Microsoft. However,Computerworld’s Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols points out that individuals and companies who don’t want to pay Microsoft full price for additional support will likely have another option to keep their Windows XP machines safe from viruses: The black market.

“Hey buddy.” “Yeah?” “I’ve got what you’re looking for.” “What do you think I’m looking for?” “XP SP 4.” “Jeeze. Really?” “Yeah, but it will cost you…” I expect conversations along those lines to happen in real life on, say, May 13, 2014. Why that date? It will be the first Patch Tuesday when Microsoft will no longer be releasing patches for Windows XP — unless you’re one of those big XP customers, such as the IRS, that didn’t leave themselves enough time to get off of XP. If you’re one of those, then Microsoft will allow you to buy XP support for at least another year via its Custom Support plan. Custom Support isn’t cheap. Estimates are that it will cost you at least $200 a PC.

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