U.S. Navy re-ups with Microsoft for more Windows XP support

“Despite reaching its official end of life over a year ago, Microsoft’s Windows XP is still bringing the company some significant revenue — largely because Department of Defense and government customers can’t seem to get rid of it,” Sean Gallagher reports for Ars Technica. “And the Navy is one of Microsoft’s best custom-support customers.”

“The US Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) has closed a $9.1 million contract extension with Microsoft that the agency originally announced in April to further extend custom support for the venerable Windows XP operating system, as well as the Office 2003 suite and Exchange 2003 e-mail,” Gallagher reports. “The renewal, according to SPAWAR officials, will buy the Navy ‘time to migrate from its existing reliance on the expiring product versions to newer product versions approved for use in Ashore and Afloat networks, and will provide hotfixes to minimize risks while ensuring support and sustainability of deployed capabilities.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In related news, the U.S. Navy’s nuclear sub screen door installation program is also proceeding swimmingly.

South Korean Samsung said to be near deals to supply Android devices to U.S. FBI and U.S. Navy – July 18, 2013
French navy fighter planes grounded by Windows worm; Mac-based naval systems unaffected – February 25, 2009
PC virus attacks UK Royal Air Force and Royal Navy – January 19, 2009
Windows worm loose on International Space Station; Mac-using astronauts unaffected – August 27, 2008
UK Royal Navy will run nuclear bomb-carrying warships on Windows 2000 – September 07, 2004

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]


    1. You guys will obviously say Microsoft sucks and the Military are idiots for not using Macs. The reality is ur a bunch of basement dwelling fanboys that don’t know much about anything.

      There’s a reason the military uses XP/older operating systems. It’s primarily because there are much less viruses for them and much less people using them. So their software and systems becomes more secure and proprietary.

      Further XP is stable and efficient as is the software that runs on it. And it has low hardware requirements.

        1. mcmalus:

          I was an Information Systems Administrator in the Canadian Forces in the Navy. I managed large arrays of client machines and servers linked to Naval HQ on the East. The client machines ran XP. I am absolutley qualified to make those comments.

        2. The Canadians have an excellent Armed Forces. The 4th Canadian was organized under the US Army’s VII Corps during the Cold War (where I served at HQ) and they were excellent troops.

          Their history in WW 1 WW 2 and in more recent conflicts show a highly capable military staffed by highly professional troops.

        3. I get tired of the French surrender bit from WWII. Not that they didn’t but why. After WWI they spent a lot of money on building a heavily fortified wall between them and the Germans. The Nazis invested in aircraft to get over it. There were a lot of fascist French that helped the Nazi. The people who talk about the French the most support us building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. They don’t believe in going after businesses that knowing hire illegal aliens. They also want to defund history in school. If the people who actually vote knew why the wall can’t work they would start to fallow the money.

        4. Dftrdftr:
          you missed my point. the article is about NMCI. the perspective from your end of the helpline may be generally relevant for IT systems management, but irrelevant in the case of NMCI. The new version of NMCI (NGEN) is evaluating android and apple devices on the network. the carryover is due to the long tail of the transition process, not security. this network is big and soaks close $1B/year to just operate. HP won the contract for 5 years are a price of $3.5B just for their support. the navy is losing the modern efficiencies and patches from XP’s follow-on versions as they delay transitioning. they will have to teach new recruits (18 years old) what an “XP” is. even in the RCN, they know it takes a long distance to turn a large ship. that is the story here.

      1. Apparently, you have never been in the Navy since you don’t know squat. I’ve been in the Navy for over 25 years. And, I’m still serving. The primary reason for the Navy for sticking with XP is not because it’s stable. It’s because they have a lot of legacy apps that are tied to it. The Navy knows that XP has more holes than Swiss cheese. The problem is that they can’t get off of XP fast enough.

        1. silverwarloc:

          One of the reasons to stick with an older operating system is for legacy app support. That is only one of the reasons. Everything in the military is done in the context of security. We use XP because there are far less viruses in circulation for it and far less new viruses being created. I didn’t make the decision.

          When it comes to holes in XP, you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. The security issues with XP… holes… many have been identified and plugged over time. That is why it’s so attractive and good to use an older operating system because issues have been revealed and rectified. With newer operating systems this is not the case.

          If you want to discuss the security of the latest Windows or OS X, we could do that to. OS X is far from secure as is the latest Windows…

        2. Funniest piece of misinformation I’ve heard in a long time… yeh sure, the Navy use XP because it’s secure through obscurity.

          I’ll have whatever it is you’re smoking, it must be pretty strong chronic for you to honestly believe what you are typing.

        3. RastaMouse:

          You people are some of the most hopeless, unsophisticated and easily manipulated lot around. You say nothing. Your comments childish and lacking in any merit.

          This is why you worship corporations and feriously defend them in the face of any criticism. You’re brainwashed sheep and it’s sad.

        4. Dude, I work for HP. I use Windows, Linux, whatever I need to get the job done.

          What you are saying is just plain wrong, and your defence is to accuse us of being fanboys when in actual fact it is you behaving like a fanboy by defending the utterly indefensible.

          Like I said, pass the douchie man… I think you’ve had enough.

    1. Hey … Army here. We got rid of XP back in 2010.

      Granted, we did go to Vista…but that’s now been transitioned to Win7.

      And on the mobile front, Blackberry’s on its way out, and when the employees are given the choice between an 8GB iPhone 5C and a Samsung Galaxy-whatever, it is running around 7:1 (85%) for the iPhone

  1. Navy…
    reminds me of another nautical use of Windows machine.

    Windows was key factor in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig disaster in the gulf which killed several and was the largest oil spill in US history.

    Computerworld 2010:
    ” A computer that monitored drilling operations on the Deepwater Horizon had been freezing with a “blue screen of death” prior to the explosion that sank the oil rig last April, the chief electronics technician aboard testified Friday at a federal hearing.

    “Blue screen of death,” or BSOD, is a term most often used to describe the display shown by Microsoft Windows after a serious crash that has incapacitated a PC…. In his testimony Friday, Michael Williams, the chief electronics technician aboard the Transocean-owned Deepwater Horizon, said that the rig’s safety alarm had been habitually switched to a bypass mode to avoid waking up the crew with middle-of-the-night warnings.

    Williams said that a computer control system in the drill shack would still record high gas levels or a fire, but it would not trigger warning sirens… The machine had been locking up for months, Williams said, producing what he and others on the crew called a “blue screen of death.” “It would just turn blue. You’d have no data coming through,” Williams said today”
    NOW Navy Systems using Windows really reassures us… (not)

    1. If a Windows machine starts blue screening after years of operating properly, that points to a hardware problem and not the software or O/S. Like nobody here’s ever had a sad mac!

      1. No, a blue screen doesn’t “point to a hardware problem”, even if it starts happening to a previously-working computer. A BSoD can be caused by corrupted drivers, a corrupted directory that prevents Windows from properly loading drivers, incompatible drivers (updates?) or yes – a hardware problem.

        Yes, I’ve had a few kernel panics in my day, but I’ve seen far more Windows BSoD, and use Macs at least ten times as much as Windows. Besides, you realize this is a Mac site, right? Do you really expect objectivity here?

  2. I was in the Navy. They could be 10 years ahead and 40 years behind at the same time. They also never get rid of tech if it still works. I was on a WWII era ship. We had a navigation system from the 50’s called Omega, LORAN-C from the 60’s, Sat-Nav of the 80’s and GPS in the 90’s, and of course a sextant. Sometimes it actually does take an act of congress to change things in the military. Remember they are dealing with thousands of computers all over the world that run proprietary systems. There is also the military-industrial complex back room deals, cost overruns, and pay offs. Oh and they don’t give a shit about how something would make sailors lives better.

  3. You gotta love this:

    Part of the Navy’s strategy was forming a group designated the “Microsoft Eradication Team.”

    Oh only if such a team could multiply like rabbits……..


  4. The government is so inefficient that it’s sickening. They have innumerable problems that need optimization but instead of examining it closely for improvement whatsoever, we throw tons of money at it to shut people up and then more problems come up so it needs even more money. If the US were a corporation, the board of directors would have forced the CEO out and gotten the right person to fix the core issue. But the US continues to vote in entirely incompetent people for the wrong reasons, and will soon become a third world country. We need a business leader to fix this shit. Stop electing scumbag career politicians playing a popularity game who want to play ruler.

    1. Morons are running every department of every aspect of the government. Why? Because if everyone is lazy and inefficient then careers are a breeze for apparently 5% of the country (the numbers of “government workers” that were hacked all over the news is equal to a 5% of our entire population?! Wtf do we need that many government employees?!)

      Any time I walk into a government building, I have to stand there waiting until they eventually have to stop BS’ing and then get all frustrated because you’re actually making them work, and then they start asking their coworkers how to even do their basic simple job with the excuse of “we’re having computer problems”. F you, the problem is between the chair and keyboard, asshat.

    2. Nothing to do with IT. Pretty sure the IT folks are fed up with it too. It’s all the outdated software which requires the legacy OS that’s the probably. It’s nice to sit here and be the couch sysadmin but in reality we have no clue of the monumental task needed to rewrite all the software and test and roll out across the entire force. Think about it for a second. Could be years of work. I think they’re just buying themselves time with this contract

  5. The Federal Government is often unwilling to spend the money to keep applications current; creating their own unique set of problems. I support a NAVAIR Program Office that uses a CM (Configuration Management) program that runs on Windows ’95. The application won’t run in compatibility mode (DOS, dBase IV, Clipper), so we’re stuck using Win ’95 until the PMA spends the money to update the application, or develop a new one. This sort of thing is not uncommon. It happens all throughout government. Guess they don’t bring in enough revenue to pay for new office furniture AND application updates.

  6. Yes it sucks that a lot of computer systems run on XP and other versions of Windows, but Apple explicitly states in the EULA certain restrictions that largely rule out the use of OS X in many such enterprise products/systems.

    No Hackintoshes allowed. Not too many vendors are going to put a non repairable Mac mini, iMac or Trashcan “Mac Pro” in their turnkey vendor systems and Apple will not let them run it on 3rd Party hardware.

    Tell Tim Cook to bring back the server and offer a tower for enterprise sales.

  7. Frankly, I’m getting a bit weary of Apple’s endless yearly OS updates. I certainly am not about to move to Windows, actually truly dislike it. But it is getting very difficult to establish a professional level system (video, photo) that lasts more than a few months before everything changes. I know it drives sales, but I am planning on freezing my systems before the next major OSX update. Not interested in becoming a perpetual revenue stream. Hardware or software.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.