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Microsoft gives U.S. Navy special extended support for Windows XP

Even though Microsoft has made a big push to attract everyone to its newest operating system, in particular by offering free upgrades to the upcoming Windows 10 for Windows 7 and 8.1 users, not everyone is ready to move over. The United States Navy is in many cases still using the 14-year-old Windows XP, despite Microsoft officially dropping support for it last year.

However, in a special contract deal, Microsoft has now agreed to continue offering support to the Navy for XP, Office, and Exchange 2003, in exchange for a cool $9.1 million.

The reason for this special case is that despite Microsoft urging people to update, over 100,000 Navy systems are still using the antiquated operating system. The plan is for Microsoft to ensure that the systems aren’t vulnerable while the Navy pushes to update them, though you have to imagine that a concentrated upgrade drive before now would have been a smarter plan.

Related: Windows XP refuses to die, Google Chrome helps keep it on life support

Many of the systems that need updating are found in shipboard computers, which are rarely brought in for maintenance, explaining why they are so woefully out-of-date. The Navy is well aware of this deficiency with, as Ars points out, Admiral Jonathan Greenert announcing last September that with the support of a newly formed “Microsoft Eradication Team,” he would see the old OS removed from all Navy systems.

Similar programs are currently in place in various military organisations around the U.S., with the Army also running a smaller-scale custom support contract with Microsoft while it replaces some 8,000 devices which still make use of the old OS.

Did anyone spot the reference to these sort of updates in the recently released Chappie movie? One of the scout maintenance machines had the XP screensaver running.