The Government has paid technology giant Microsoft more than £5 million to extend support for the Windows XP operating system it uses.

The Windows developer is ending support for the XP version of its desktop operating system on April 8.

However, the Government has signed a deal with the company to extend support for 12 months beyond this date. The extension is said to have cost £5.5 million, with the Dutch government also agreeing a similar deal.

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Thousands of computers will still need to be upgraded in the public sector, with website eHealth Insider calculating in September 2013 that 85% of the 800,000 computers in the NHS are still running XP. In contrast, only 1% were running the latest version of the software, Windows 8.