Sometimes Newer Isn’t Always Better: U.S. Navy is Paying Millions to Keep XP

Posted by

In March 2014, Microsoft announced that it was phasing out support for its Windows XP operating system, including the continued release of patches protecting against hackers and other intrusions. Although the Windows XP platform, originally released  August 24, 2001, has been replaced by updated versions, the United States Navy agreed to pay Microsoft $9 million annually for continued support of the XP program, which runs many of the Navy’s critical systems, including the Space and Navy Warfare Systems Command.  While only 10 percent of government computers run the XP system, as it relates to critical infrastructure, reliance on a proven system that has been adequately tested is more beneficial than upgrading for the sake of having the new product (and there have been several since XP came out). That said, the Navy is currently in the process of updating its systems. For now, Microsoft has agreed to continue providing critical systems support.

When it comes time for a business to consider its operating system and other large software purchases, management is well advised to weigh the positives of new and upgraded features against the reliability of older programs to prevent hackers and other intrusions.