TheRegister updated their “Windows for Warship” campaign news, saying that Windows is making its way into the command and control system of surface warships as well as underwater ones. For TheRegister’s regular standard, it is surprisingly pro-Windows. Since I know the difference between a western style of military equipment (bleeding edge but very fragile) compared to the Communist bloc’s style (high tech but sturdy) from my work experience with a aircraft instrument repair company, I totally understand and agree with Page’s sentiment.
What surprised me is we are looking at a mixture of XP and Windows 2000. I tought we will be looking at only one edition of Windows only. On second thought, it might be a good idea to have two systems: If one got compromised and you have a duplicate on another, then the damage is limited. Even if you do not, at least the risk of 100% system failure is reduced.
One reason for using older software is the software is well understood. However, only time will tell if Windows XP is too well understood. Is there any bugs/viruses/vulnerability that we don’t know about that will now be upgraded to weapon grade by hostile country to cripple the Royal Navy? I hope MoD remembered to ask BillyG for the source code, since when XP goes out of maintenance, and that is sooner if BillyG gets his way, BillyG is not going to provide patches anymore and MoD is on its own.
Pages gets one thing right: Unlike us, MoD’s supply of XP is not going to be cut off anytime soon. 😉