There is something a bit old-fashioned about the Marines. While many join the more technologically advanced branches of the armed forces to gain a skill or learn a trade after a few years service, many (if not a majority) of those who join the Marines want to defend this nation by fighting and often stick around to do so much longer.
Marine Corps still requires technology
Calling the Marine Corps the least technologically advanced branch of the armed forces is by no means a disservice to the marines. It’s also not to suggest that the Marines don’t require technology to keep its fighting men and women alive and out of harms way. Modern warfare simply dictates that technology is necessary, but the U.S. Marine Corps is not launching satellites, developing hypersonic missile systems or particularly interested in the latest drone technologies.
But unfortunately for the Marine Corp, many of its computers might not receive an upgrade to Windows 10 simply because its hardware doesn’t support remote upgrading, something that Microsoft plans to do for the U.S. military this year based on a contract it signed.
The contract stipulates that Microsoft will upgrade no less than four million PC’s owned by the Department of Defense by the end of the year, however, it’s believed that less than 10% of the USMC computers can support remote upgrading and there is no money in the contract for on-site technicians to do the job.
Our challenges are with hardware, and hardware that is older than a couple years is having more difficulty accepting Windows 10 than hardware that is new. And when you look at what ‘new’ means within DoD, we purchase yesterday’s technology tomorrow. A lot of our brand-new systems are having difficulty with the upgrade as soon as they come out of the box, and we didn’t anticipate that,” Brig. Gen. Dennis Crall, the Marine Corps CIO, was quoted as saying saying recently.
DoD is not pleased with this and calls for upgrades regardless
This is why the DoD is asking for some features of Windows 10 to be removed by Microsoft in lieu of the promised purchase of new hardware by the USMC.
“Their assessment was that if the hardware is not compliant for all of the features we want, it’s still better to migrate to the new operating system because you have improved security,” David Cotton, the deputy DoD chief information officer for information enterprise.
This, in Cotton’s opinion, would save the USMC money when they did buy new hardware and insists it gets done due to the numerous security improvements incorporated into Windows 10.
The DoD is adamant about getting these upgrades done by the end of the year and hopes to have 80% of its PCs running Windows 10 by 2017 for security gains and potential risks if not done. The remaining PCs that won’t be upgraded are simply on ships or needed on missions that the DoD views as essential and can’t be “turned off” while upgrades are taking place remotely or otherwise.
The DoD’s Chief Information Officer, Terry Halvorsen, believes that if the Marines’ computers are not upgraded “there will be consequences.”
“I’m not going to get into the specific repercussions. But the first repercussion would be around how people are spending their money,” he added.
“Military men” might not be known for their sense of humor but Halvorsen had a great line when speaking to the other repercussions that many Windows users will likely find funny when he said that the worst part of failing to upgrade is that the machines in question are running “Windows XP and before.”