army seeks support for XP devices

Army seeks alternative for Windows XP support

The Army is looking for a new source of support for its Windows XP users.

According to a request for information, the Army said it will be ending its support contract with Microsoft but wants to ensure it can still avoid security vulnerabilities on its 8,000 Microsoft Windows XP devices. 

After Microsoft ended software updates for the popular operating system in April 2014, the company offered “custom support” for $200 per device for the first year. After that first year, the cost of custom support was expected to double, Michael Silver, vice president and distinguished analyst for Gartner's mobile and client computing group, told Redmond last year.

Now the Army wants to find a company that will provide 100 percent of continued coverage for security updates for vulnerabilities rated “critical” and for security hotfixes rated “important” from May 1, 2015, through April 30, 2016, while the Army continues its migration off the outdated operating system. 

Moving off of XP has not been easy for agencies with legacy applications. Earlier this year, Labor Department CIO Dawn Leaf said her agency still had 10,000 people running Windows XP, despite efforts to upgrade.

And even though Windows XP has not been officially supported by Microsoft for the last year, some 250 million users were still actively the OS in March 2015, according to market analysts.

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