Your Tax Dollars Are Enabling The U.S. Navy To Limp Along With Windows XP
Windows XP enjoyed a nice, long run, but after over a decade of faithful service, Microsoft finally pulled the plug on the legacy operating system and discontinued support in April of last year. All but the most diehard fans have since moved on, though it's still installed on more desktops than Windows 8.1, and on almost as many as Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 combined. You can count the U.S. Navy's system among them.
According to a contract page at the U.S. Department of Defense, the Navy opted to pay Microsoft over $9.1 million dollars to continue offering custom support services for Windows XP. The contract also covers Office 2003, Exchange 2003, and Server 2003. As part of the deal, Microsoft will dole out critical software hotfixes, just as it did before ending support for the 14-year-old OS.
"This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $30,842,980. Work will be performed globally and is expected to be completed by July 12, 2016. If all options are exercised, work could continue until June 8, 2017. Fiscal 2015 operations and maintenance (Navy) in the amount of $9,149,000 will be obligated at the time of award, and the funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year," the U.S. Department of Defense states on its contracts page.
The Navy isn't alone in paying for extended support. The same goes for the Internal Revenue Service, though it's not likely paying over $9 million to avoid upgrading its infrastructure, let alone close to $31 million, which is how much the Navy will have forked over to Microsoft if all its options are exercised.
Many ATMs and digital signage applications also continue to run embedded versions of Windows XP.