Defense

Navy paying millions for Windows XP, other dated products

The Navy has awarded a $9.1 million contract to Microsoft to support dated products such as Windows XP, which the software firm stopped providing updates for more than a year ago. The award raises the specter of federal agencies grappling with legacy systems and procuring products that the private sector ditched long ago.

“The Navy relies on a number of legacy applications and programs that are reliant on legacy Windows products,” Steven Davis, a spokesman for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, which awarded the contract, told IDG News. “Until those applications and programs are modernized or phased out, this continuity of services is required to maintain operational effectiveness.”

The contract could ultimately run through 2017 and be worth an estimated $30.8 million.

Bob Gourley, a Navy veteran and former chief technology officer of the Defense Intelligence Agency, expressed bewilderment at the award. “I am so embarrassed in my Navy,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “I love you guys, but XP? Really? You were supposed to be getting rid of that!”

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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