“Almost three years ago the naval systems arm of major UK defence contractor BAE Systems took the decision to standardise future development on Microsoft Windows. an immediate effect was to commit BAE’s joint venture CMS subsidiary, AMS, who specialise in naval Combat Management Systems, to implementing a Windows 2000-based CMS system for the new Type 45 Destroyer. But this prompted strong internal opposition from some of AMS’ engineers, who had a sound background in Unix and who had, despite resource starvation and a companywide policy to standardise on Windows, been investigating open source alternatives as a foundation for future combat systems,” John Lettice reports for The Register.
“They lost. Acting as spokesman for the concerned engineers Gerald Wilson compiled a 50 page dossier detailing the unsuitability of Windows as a foundation for a naval command system, and arguing that BAE’s Unix history and expertise made open source UN*X a logical and viable way forward. The company then made him redundant. In May of this year Wilson reiterated his concerns to the board of BAE Systems at the company’s AGM, pointing out that Windows is “proprietary technology owned by a foreign corporation”, has ‘many and continuing security flaws,’ and is not even warranted by Microsoft itself for safety-related use. Why then, he asked, is AMS ‘shunning established engineering practice’ by developing the Type 45’s CMS on Windows… And in case you’re wondering, the Vanguard class boats carry the UK’s Trident thermo-nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles. So some people think that’s a heap of responsibility for Windows to carry,” Lettice reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The MDN reader who forwarded us this link remarked, “Be very afraid…” Are you?