Defence finally ditches XP for Windows 10

100,000 Defence users have made the migration from the operating system that Microsoft officially stopped delivering support for in 2014.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The Department of Defence has announced upgrading its operating system to Windows 10, finally ditching Windows XP, which Microsoft first pushed on the world in 2001.

The department contracted Leidos for the migration, which saw 100,000 Defence personnel receive a new "contemporary end user environment", for a cost of AU$67.6 million over a three year term.

A statement from Assistant Minister for Defence David Fawcett said Leidos has been contracted to provide ongoing sustainment support for Windows 10, including "maintaining a reliable and secure ICT capability, and managing access to applications for users".

Microsoft extended support for Windows XP officially ended on April 8, 2014. However, Microsoft seemed willing to release patches for its customers that had paid enough.

XP is fraught with problems, explained by ZDNet's Jason Perlow following the WannaCry outbreak that plagued XP systems across the globe in 2017:

Let me say this as simply as possible: If you are still using XP, you are the end-user equivalent of an anti-vaxxer. You are a menace to society and everyone around you. You are a walking malware vector. You should be shipped out to a remote island with no internet access to fend for yourselves so you can't infect anyone else.

And, if you are an IT professional who serves in a decision-making capacity with an organisation that continues to use XP or Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005, you should be fired. You should never be allowed to work in the computer industry again.

Read more: Upgrade already! If you're still using Windows XP, you're a menace to society

Defence announced earlier this month that Leidos had been appointed as the Prime System Integrator to deliver the first tranche of Joint Project 2096 Phase 1.

For a cost of AU$500 million, the first tranche of Joint Project 2096 is expected to see Leidos integrate selected intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data and applications.

"This project will allow intelligence analysts to rapidly search and discover collected data to improve intelligence and decision support to Australian Defence Force and whole of government decision makers," Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said in a statement.


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