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Microsoft could get $31m because the U.S. Navy still runs XP

Lawrence Lewitinn
Lawrence Lewitinn

The American taxpayer could be shelling out nearly $31 million to Microsoft (MSFT) because the U.S. Navy hasn't updated some of its computers from Windows XP.

The tech giant ended support on XP back in April 2014. But to keep old software running, the Navy still has about 100,000 computers using the discontinued version of the Windows operating system.

The Navy is also paying for support on other phased-out Microsoft products as well, including the 2003 versions of Office and Exchange.

A list of defense contracts was recently released showing the company is getting more than $9 million this year alone. The Navy has options to extend its contract with Microsoft until 2017 with additional payments, making the total potential cost $30,842,980.

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According to data compiled by Net Applications, nearly 15% of desktop computers still run XP, which was launched in 2001. Microsoft began winding down that version of Windows at the end of the last decade, but it remained immensely popular.

By the time Windows 8 was launched in 2013, nearly 40% of computers ran XP -- almost as many as those running the more recent Windows 7. As of June 2015, more computers used XP than Windows 8.1.

Microsoft offers consumers still using XP the ability to upgrade for $199 per computer.

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