Jane asked in Computers & InternetSoftware · 6 months ago

Why does the US government still use windows xp?

I get that it would be a hassle to update, but surely it would be worth it simply for the security. I mean, with such an old operating system, wouldn't the government be easily hacked? And wouldn't it be harder to hack if they updated to a more modern operating system like windows 10, 8 or even at least windows 7?

Update:

It just seems a little foolish to me not to update.

7 Answers

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  • Joe
    Lv 7
    6 months ago
    Best answer

    If they were concerned about security, they'd be using a Linux distribution.

    More seriously: For general office PCs, the government does use more modern versions of Windows. There are certain embedded applications that are more difficult to migrate: for those, there's a special licensing program to keep XP up-to-date with security fixes.

    A lot of bank ATMs are the same, by the way: still running XP, but getting security fixes by special contract.

  • John
    Lv 4
    6 months ago

    The us government doesn't use computers.

    The computers you see are a stimulus project to boost corporate welfare programs keeping the wealthy wealthier and the poor poorer.

    Plus it gives the foriegn monkies something to do as they leach of tax paying Mexicans native Americans and Cubans.

    In general the us government plays golf and lazes around resorts, ski resorts beach resorts mountain retreats.

    As far as Windows XP?

    Well my friend how wealthy is Microsoft and it's stockholders? I'm sure you'll find every version of Windows on those 'government' computers and all running just fine because they are maintained by those 'free' taxes collected so well.

    Computers have been a real boon to those wealthy stockholders and I doubt they would ever let them stop running which ever version you see on there.

  • Dick
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    It's now "Windows" that gets hacked. It's the security system of the main servers that actually gets hacked. That said the reason for XP is on simple answer: The cost to change is prohibitive!!! The cost of software for millions of computers, servers, etc. and then all the labor cost to install and support a new OS is tremendous. You also have to realize that the use of XP is also dependent on the software the government has to run. Much of what the government uses doesn't even recognize anything above XP. So it's not just a matter of switch and get it over with there are many things and costs to consider. Hope this helps.

  • Jerry
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    You got some very good answers but the big one is that centain programs were written especiallly for Windows XP and they do NOT run well or at all on newer operating systems.These programs are in wide spread use by the Govermnet and they don't want to spend money to have the programs re-written when they work fine on XP.

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  • keerok
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    XP is stable, efficient and gets the job done. When was the last time you really met someone using XP say they were hacked?

  • 6 months ago

    Yes, it's a hassle to update. Each installation, and each security update has to be evaluated. So what exactly is your plan? You can't update all those systems overnight, and even if you made some dedicated push to get rid of Windows XP, by the time you were done, in say, three years, somebody would say "Why does the government still use Windows 7?" So you'd start a push to remove Windows 7, and by the time you were done, in another three years, somebody would say "Why does the government still use Windows 8?" So you'd start a push to remove Windows 8, and by the time you were done, in another three years, somebody would say "Why is the government still using build 1507 of Windows 10?"

    The government's computers, even if architecturally similar, are not just run-of-the-mill desktop or laptop computers. If one controls, say, the missile control system on a destroyer, you have to pull that ship off duty for retrofitting, possibly port or rewrite the programs it uses to a newer system, update the hardware it uses if too old to run the newer operating system, and then test that system before a full redeployment. And your spending the millions of dollars it would take to do this because the operating system has vulnerabilities that can't be exploited anyway, because the computers are not connected to a publicly accessible network?

  • 6 months ago

    And election systems should be using a secure variant of a unique O/S, but money rules.

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