Just days before Microsoft retired Windows XP from public support, the company drastically reduced the price of custom support agreements that give large companies and government agencies another year of XP patches, experts reported on Wednesday. "I believe that Microsoft changed prices because it decided that not enough customers were enrolling in the program, and it was apprehensive of the ramifications of any Windows XP vulnerabilities," said Daryl Ullman, co-founder and managing director of the Emerset Consulting Group, a firm that specializes in helping companies negotiate software licensing deals. At Ullman's recommendation, one Emerset client had spurned a $2 million deal two weeks ago to provide 10,000 XP PCs with custom support. But Microsoft came back days later with an price of just $250,000. Ullman advised his client to jump at what he called "an insurance policy," and the firm signed on the dotted line.