Navy Paying Microsoft Millions to Maintain Obsolete Windows XP

Navy Paying Microsoft Millions to Maintain Obsolete Windows XP

U.S. plans 10-month warship deployment to Singapore
By Millie Dent

Microsoft first introduced Windows XP in 2001. Last April Microsoft discontinued official support for the software. However, one major customer just signed a $9.1 million contract with the company in exchange for ongoing support of the system. The customer? The U.S. Navy.

Although the Navy has begun transitioning away from XP, it has about 100,000 workstations still using the software, including computers on ships, submarines, and other vessels. The entire contract could wind up costing the Navy nearly $31 million if it lasts until the June 8, 2017 deadline, according to CNN Money.  

The Navy didn’t acknowledge the termination of the software until Vice Admiral Ted Branch, deputy chief information officer for the Navy, issued a memo in July 2014 requiring all PCs to transition to Windows 7 by April 30, 2015.

While Windows XP no longer receives regular security updates, Microsoft will supply the United States Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) with custom security fixes for its products. Without the updates, the Navy would be susceptible to security threats.  

The Navy still operates numerous applications and programs that rely on older versions of Windows, according to Steven Davis, a spokesman for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego.

The Navy isn’t the only Microsoft customer that’s a little behind on the times. The Army signed a support agreement with Microsoft in April, and the IRS is also paying for custom support. In the corporate world, a staggering 44 percent of corporations still have the software installed on at least one PC.

Chart of the Day: Long Way to Go on Coronavirus Testing

Healthcare workers with ChristianaCare test people with symptoms of the coronavirus in a drive-thru in the parking lot of Chase
Jennifer Corbett
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.

After Spending $2 Billion, Air Force Bails Out on Planned Upgrades of B-2 Bombers

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber flies over the Missouri Sky after taking off from the Whiteman Air For..
© Hyungwon Kang / Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.

Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”

Big Hurdle for Sanders’ Plan to Cancel Student Debt

Chip East / REUTERS
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.  

The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”

Number of the Day: $7 Million

NY mayor cites climate stance in endorsing Obama
By The Fiscal Times Staff

That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”