Why Feds Are Still Buying IT That Works With Windows XP

Aliya Sternstein | Nextgov.com | April 1, 2014

During the past year, various agencies have bought or expressed interest in buying products compliant with a Microsoft operating system set to lose security support next week, according to a review of federal solicitations and the agencies themselves. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as the Veterans Affairs, Labor and State departments are a few of the Windows XP holdouts.

Microsoft will stop updating the 12-year-old operating system on April 8. With the company's software developers out of the picture, hackers who find holes can drop "0-day exploits,” or malicious software that penetrates systems running XP before anyone has time to fix them.

But some agencies need Windows XP to run mission-critical applications that are incompatible with newer operating systems. Others, fearing they might miss the cutoff date for security support, want products that will function on existing systems.