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Hard Data on Windows XP Support Costs from the Navy

A recent U.S. government contract extension sheds a lot of light on the price of big contracts to extend custom support for Windows XP.

The U.S. Navy is entering Year 2 of a Custom Support Agreement (CSA) with Microsoft for 100,000 workstations running Windows XP, the Office 2003 suite and Exchange 2003. Eagle-eyed editors at Ars Technica spotted the contract notes amid U.S. Defense Department notices and wrote about them this week.

Extended support for Windows XP ended a little over a year ago on April 8, 2014. The U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) signed a one-year agreement with Microsoft for custom support that expired June 8, 2015.

The Navy has better excuses than many organizations for lagging on the Windows XP upgrade. Cited in Navy documents are the fact that shipboard administration networks are not available for long periods of maintenance. In other words, the ships are out at sea. Some of the systems are ashore, and those upgrades have been postponed by cascade effects of delays in the Next Generation Network (NGEN) contract.

As for the numbers, an official notice awarding the contract to Microsoft earlier this month put the cost of the CSA for this year through July 12, 2016 at $9.1 million. Should the Navy be unable to complete the migration of systems to Windows 7 and need the support for a third year, the costs will roughly double. If the Navy exercises options in the contract to continue the contract through June 8, 2017, the total cost of the contract could come to $30.8 million.

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Posted by Scott Bekker on June 24, 2015 at 11:55 AM


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