Marine Corps battles Windows 10 migration woes

Because the DoD purchases "yesterday's technology tomorrow," the Marine Corps is having problems installing Windows 10 onto brand new systems.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Marine Corps experiences Windows 10 upgrade headaches

The Marine Corps had expected to be able to remotely upgrade 60 to 70 percent of its computers.

The Marine Corps' plan to roll Windows 10 out across its computer network has hit a snag - even brand new systems are having problems with the upgrade.

According to a report by Federal News Radio, technicians had initially believed that they would be able to remotely install - therefore eliminating the need to have someone visit each desktop and laptop - Windows 10 on some 60 to 70 percent of the computers within the Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN).

But according to Brig. Gen. Dennis Crall, CIO of the Marine Corps, in reality that figure is closer to 10 percent.

"Our challenges are with hardware, and hardware that is older than a couple years is having more difficulty accepting Windows 10 than hardware that is new," said Brig. Gen. Crall.

The problem - outdated hardware.

"And when you look at what 'new' means within DoD," continued Crall, "we purchase yesterday's technology tomorrow. A lot of our brand-new systems are having difficulty with the upgrade as soon as they come out of the box, and we didn't anticipate that."

The Marines are working closely with Microsoft engineers to work around the issues, and it believes that virtualized desktops may be part of the answer, along with reducing the number of systems in use.

So why is the DoD investing so much time getting Windows 10 onto its systems? Security.

"We've never had an operating system that's had this much security baked in from the beginning," said Terry Halvorsen, the DoD's CIO. "We're going to put out some guidance for our employees in general, listing the characteristics of what Windows 10 would give you if you put it on your home system. That's about as close to an endorsement as I can get for a software product."

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