Microsoft canned support for Windows XP and Office and Exchange 2003 in April 2014 - unless you are the U.S. Navy, which is paying $9.1m a year until 2017 to obtain security patches for these obsoleted products. The Navy contract also includes support for Server 2003, which is unplugged from life support on July 2015.
Our hats off for the scoop to IDG Newswire's Martyn Williams, who reveals that that Windows XP lives on 100,000 Navy desktops.
It also looks to be a component of Windows for Warships - if our reading of the nugget he gleaned from an unclassified Navy document that the "Microsoft applications affect 'critical command and control systems”'on ships and land-based legacy systems" is correct.
Microsoft announced the end of support date for Windows XP in July 2011 - giving customers a deadline of nearly three years to plan and execute their migration. Easier said than done for the giant beast that is the U.S. Navy - which has the additional responsibility of having to maintain stuff that kills people.
And before we blether about waste of public money, inability to get act together etcetera, etcetera, let's consider the figure in the context of the U.S. Navy's 326,000 active personnel and $150bn annual budget. The security patches are likely to cost little more than Navy expenditure on toilet rolls. ®