Feeds

back to article Windows for Warships™ reaches Royal Navy frigates

The Royal Navy's plan to fit most of its fleet with command systems based on Windows boxes continues, with the commencement last week of a programme intended to replace the existing commandware of the Service's Type 23 frigates. The Type 23s will make up the majority of the British surface fleet for the foreseeable future. …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Stop

Oh god

Could everyone please exercise some restraint before making tedious, unfunny and predictable jokes about this?

0
0
Joke

like....

error in missile_launch.exe

We are sorry but this program has caused an error and will be closed.

Sorry for screwing up your war. Microsoft apologizes for any inconvenience caused.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Automatic Updates?

Lets hope it doesnt do an automatic update and sneak onto your screen the notice asking if you want to reboot just as you are hitting Enter for another reason!

0
0
Gates Horns

Back to the future?!?

Windows for Warships? Been there, done that, didn't work then either...

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/1998/07/13987

0
0
Gates Horns

@AC - no predictable jokes...

Oh please...

There's new meaning to 'patch tuesday', could become 'bunker tuesday'.

A new quaintness to virus's with names like the 'I love you' virus.

A whole can of worms in the "windows and world domination" area, a possible B3ta comp relating to dressing our beloved paper clip in combat fatigues...

and my of course a whole 'raft' of jokes about 'shipping' software.

No doubt there will be many more to make first day back at work a little funnier.

0
0
Joke

Ah well.

At least they're not putting it on the Boomers. That would be a serious BSOD!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

i have to ask

So when's the Vista "upgrade" scheduled for...?

0
0
Thumb Down

WTF OK'd this

Someone at the civil service/MOD has obviously taken a bung to OK this move. Letter off to my MP this afternoon demanding an enquiry,

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Open for business

Running to the docks with for some wardriving.

0
0
Stop

a question of size

LP wrote: "It would seem that one large customer at least ..."

erm...

In the overal scope of M$'s customer base the total of all UK computing doesn't really amount to very much

of which UK official computing is a small fraction

of which UK MoD computing is a small fraction

of which RN warship computing is a small fraction

so, not much to see here, then, move along

0
0
Thumb Down

No, we can't excercise restraint, sorry

"You seem to be trying to start a war, would you like some help?"

0
0
Flame

@Danger Mouse

Personally, I'll be asking for an inquiry...

0
0

@ Oh god

No. I only come here for the predictable jokes.

"It looks like you're attacking another ship. Would you like help?"

0
0
Stop

How long...

Until someone posts a pathetic unfunny unoriginal load of bollocks about a BSOD, supposedly disguised as a joke.

You are the joke.

0
0
N
Bronze badge

BSOD becomes reality...

Windows detected an incoming Exocet missile & has had to close.

Try freeing up some memory or disk space

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@ Jeremy

If the joke is funny then by all means post it. Most of what passes for 'humour' in the comments on this site is just smug, self-serving waffle.

I didn't mean to come off as being quite so miserable in my first post!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

here's a thought

With the US now in full swing with its plans to develop uber viruses and other goodies to crash and burn networks and systems, is it really wise to build your military systems with off the shelf kit?

0
0
Coat

I've got a..

sinking feeling about this ...

Mines the one in DPM firmly entrenched on land.

0
0
Go

Frigate Windows

"Made in America, tested in England". At least it isn't Fat Man or Little Boy.

Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Naval Destroyer".

0
0
Coat

it gives . . .

a whole new meaning to the term

BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH

OMG !!! lol

0
0
Flame

HMS Microsoft

Did the RN agree to the EULA? Does this mean that Microsoft can now, on a whim, take possession of our naval fleet? (Not that we have much of a navy left).

How much did the bribes^H^H^H^Hfact finding trips cost?

0
0
Thumb Down

Zune?

let's hope the warships work on years with a Julian date of 366?

0
0

muhaha

Considering M$'s "oh-we're-just-updating-the-updating" backdoor, Mr. Gates actually manages to get paid to take control of some expensive military gear. You have to admit, that is no small feat, even if WiFoWaShi probably only can be disabled remotely.

Seriously, this HAS to be some sort of giant hacker-recruiting ploy. It's hard to imagine a more enticing soft target.

I simply refuse to believe that IT workers at the MoD are dumb enough to actually let this become a reality.

Mine's the one with 'I Do Not Want To Believe This' on the back.

0
0
cor
Paris Hilton

Is there an ulterior plan here?

France's defense system runs mainly on a Linux derivative.

Paris, because even she'd defend her honour with something more reliable than Windows.

0
0
Coat

Come on! just ONE joke...

Microsoft did customize this version of Windows.....

The BSoD is now renamed and recoloured to the "NBSoD" (Navy Blue Screen of Death)...

...mine is the one with the built in survival suit...

0
0
Gates Halo

Is Windows for Submarines a sunk cost?

Actually compared to the lads who usually write software for the Military Industrial Complex (MIC), Microsoft is the good guys.

After all the F-22 dateline crash had nothing to do with Microsoft.

But if we yanks do go to war with your limeys, we'll be sure to attack on Dec 31st, 2012 when Microsoft's quadannual leap year bug will crash all of you'll's systems.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@cor re: France's defence systems

Shame the cheese eating surrender monkeys will never actually use such systems in combat though.

Unless of course they are in control of white flag hoisting control systems.

0
0
Silver badge

At least WfW won't crash

but it might just sink.

In response to "god", the answer has to be a profound No! This has far too much potential for humour to be passed up.

However, in response to the article:

> beat the dreaded supersonic sea-skimmers of the future to the punch ......

> ... they will need to let their command systems shoot instantly

err, no. Check your maths. If a missile inbound at 1000 mph can be detected at about 10 miles away. (as happened during the Falklands) That gives the target roughly half a minute to act before the "boom", or splash, if the missile is also running WfW (or WfM). Hardly an instant response, provided of course you don't spend that time waiting for the anti-missile system to boot up.

0
0
N
Bronze badge

@AC

No disappointments there then!

0
0
Gates Halo

What's the beef?

Surely running on Windows is better than trusting to some opensource OS that any radical loon could have contributed an undetected back door to?

0
0
Coat

err

Blue Ensign of death anyone?

Mine's the lead-lined kevlar one by the way

0
0
Silver badge
Pirate

Calm down, calm down ......

Commentators lambasting the Windows component, which they may imply to be a weak link, would do well to re-read the paragraph ...."According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), HMS Montrose has now entered a planned docking and refit period during which BAE Systems plc will replace her original DNA(1) gear with DNA(2), said to be "based on the system being fitted to the Royal Navy's powerful new Type 45 Destroyers". This means it will be based on fairly everyday hardware running legacy Windows OSes - people who have worked on these programmes inform us that both Win2k and XP will be in use across the fleet." ..... which informs that the refit is with DNA(2) gear based on fairly everyday hardware running legacy Windows OSes.

The Porsche 911 Turbo is probably based upon the Love Bug Beetle but to consider it compromised by it is quite obviously absurd.

0
0
Gold badge
Happy

Hmm, it says here....

....that this article was posted at 12:27 GMT. By my reckoning it's now past 2, so it's probably time to ask the $64k question.

Is it still up?

Oh, and @cor: I refer you to the famous list of great French military achievements which may go some way towards explaining why the MOD has taken a different route. To help I have transcribed this, verbatim, below:

0
0

lol

Have to laugh at some of the jokes, but...

Seriously, as stated the old software is hardly up to the job as it is. So a standard Windows build is probably better. But windows only really becomes a problem when you let the users have a degree of power over it. Anyone really think that they'll be installing dodgy computer games and "free" screensavers on these machines? Lock down the pc and 2K and XP become very stable. So with that in mind the only real issue becomes the hardware, which we all know is the next least reliable thing. But with standard hardware and software even that becomes less of an issue. My betting is they'll have some built in redundancy, not to mention a handful of boxes in storage just in case the inevitable happens. BSOD is not always a software fault remember :p

0
1
Joke

The Reason ....

Windows comes with Minesweeper ;)

1
0
Dead Vulture

Windows Embeded Version

We've already been round this loop in the last few weeks.

Please could someone close to the solution let us know definitively whether:

a) The Royal Navy are procuring a control system based on the same retail Windows version which consumers buy in PC world, then installing it on some indeterminate hardware with a bunch of third party binary only drivers, and then allowing automatic changes to software to be pushed from an outside source without any verification, or

b) The Royal Navy are procuring a control system based on Embeded Windows, which is configured specifically for control systems, running on a carefully chosed set of hardware with rigorously verified drivers, and where any patch or update is subject to verification and approval before application.

While it is quite diverting to post comments as if it is (a), there is every evidence that systems based on (b) are as stable and trustworthy as *nix or VXworks based ones.

But hey, let's not allow anything to get in the way of some rather tired waggishness about Microsoft.

0
0

Not that old one again. (@AC)

"Surely running on Windows is better than trusting to some opensource OS that any radical loon could have contributed an undetected back door to?"

If the source code is open you can't hide anything. If it is closed you can hide everything.

1
0
Flame

Better?

So let's get this straight.

The Navy is boasting about implementing operating systems that the manufacturers have been trying to replace for a loooong time?

Mwah ah ha.

Alternately: "Soooo Meester Bond. By now you already know that we've infected your fleet with the 'MOD-R-Lamerz' worm and we're about to use your ships to launch a full-scale nuclear assault on London..."

1
0
Thumb Up

@AC @Jeremy

I come for the smugness, but stay for the waffle.

0
0
Silver badge

@AC:What's the beef?

Open source code is open to inspection by anybody. This means that a coder's ability to insert an undetectable back door is just about impossible. Unless of course one could get every single person capable auditing the code to agree to remain silent about such a feature. If there is a person who is able to convince hundreds of thousands of people, all of whom have differing agendas, goals, ideals and reasons for living to agree to such silence then yes, there maybe a problem.

Microsoft software however is closed and the source code tightly controlled. I, not that I am unduly paranoid, fear the use of Microsoft software anywhere, let alone in mission critical systems, especially systems capable of wiping whole cities of the face of the Earth.

Microsoft's track record of making reliable, secure software should have at least made those responsible for making this decision raise an eyebrow in concern, if not dismiss the idea at the point of suggestion.

As Alien8n has stated XP is now in fact very stable. It is fine on a desktop PC providing the user has some idea of what he/she is doing, is running behind a hardware forewall and is aware of common attack vectors. However, using any Microsoft software in mission critical situations is sheer lunacy.

1
0
Thumb Up

@Dunstan Vavasour

Like the "rigorously verified" Windows Server updates that managed to down financial trading systems last month?

Seems to me there are always two types of people when these stories turn up, those who see the funny side of Microsoft (who have never innovated a single thing) getting involved in <ahem> mission critical applications and enjoy the rib tickling. Then there are the others, who cannot stand the humour being directed at their delicious software of choice when "everyone knows you only have to reboot once per month".

Personally, I love these jokes all the more because they are directed at such a useless piece of shit software. And the parasites who make it.

Keep the jokes coming, the only thing funnier is watching these twats get hot under the collar.

Cmdr Rogering. RN MSCE.

1
0
Paris Hilton

Title

Is this a resurgence of the MS policy "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish"?

0
0
Gates Horns

USS Yorktown

C'mon, what's the problem? Windows worked on the USS Yorktown, didn't it?

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/1998/07/13987

Oops! P'r'aps not.

Seriously, I wouldn't put Windows on a railway information board:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/erikhanson/2899521852/

much less anything really critical. Someone in the MOD must've had a backhander.

1
0
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

National Security

Anyone who thinks this doesn't mean that the US government can override any command given by the captain of such a ship (by the simple expedient of turning its control systems off) is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Anyone who approved installing these systems is a moron.

1
0
Silver badge

@Dunstan Vavasour

> a bunch of third party binary only drivers,

It's probably much, much worse than that. I would fully expect that a lot of the critical stuff is classed as restricted technology (or whatever the weasel-words de jour are) by the US govt. and are therefore not released in source to any third party, just as happened to the Chinook softs and another recent case that slips my mind (a fighter?)

That would leave us with a fleet of floating scrap metal, completely beholden to a foreign power and without the ability to remove it or make any changes to it. We would probably have to agree to some usurious software maintenance deals for periods of time so long that the hardware would be obsolete decades before the licensing agreement ended. Further, we probably couldn't even sell off the warships when they reach end-of-life, due to the end-user agreements surrounding the software.

So far as quality and timely fixes go, forget it. Given how dearly the US holds it's ideas of democracy, you'd expect that their electronic voting systems to be the most completely debuggered software in the history of the planet. Given that they can't even get that right, can you imagine the amount of importance they'd attach to fixing bugs in systems that are operated by another country completely? Also, forget the idea that we'd have any leverage, either economic, military or legal - they've shown that they don't consider their military to be subject to the same international laws and agreements that everyone else signs up to.

0
0
Linux

Windows For Warships

A ship without hulls.

Just wait until some fuck wit plugs in a cheap Chinese USB stick into the system, this is your 14 year old hacker captain speaking from my bedroom and you are now under my command.

1
0
Gates Halo

@adnim: What's the beef?

"Open source code is open to inspection by anybody. This means that a coder's ability to insert an undetectable back door is just about impossible. Unless of course one could get every single person capable auditing the code to agree to remain silent about such a feature."

I fear you speak from somewhere behind the scrotum.

Linux is full of obscure drivers which have never been looked at by more than one or two developers - and that aside, it is easy to write obfuscated C code that can perform entirely unexpected operations even though, on the outside, it looks innocuous.

0
1
Bronze badge
Gates Halo

Hrm

"France's defense system runs mainly on a Linux derivative."

And now we know why the MoD went with windows. How do you want to surrender today?

0
1
Bronze badge
Gates Halo

Sensitive Technology..

"I would fully expect that a lot of the critical stuff is classed as restricted technology (or whatever the weasel-words de jour are) by the US gov"

Aside from the fact nothing about windows itself is classified, and when I last saw there was talk about access to windows source code being part of the contract negotiations for this particular project - on the point of classified technology there is precedence for access to this stuff, not least as part of the JSF project. http://www.reuters.com/article/companyNewsAndPR/idUSL1278309720061212

I do recall when all this started engineers at BaE were very unhappy at the prospect, especially considering all their experience was with UNIX systems. The problem is *UNIX* you're not going to get any better terms than from Microsoft over support, license terms, source code access nor pricing. Apple is more the same, and Linux has no real go-to backers, and worse, at least at the time - Linux systems were uninsurable with regards to business continuity.

What you have to remember is that this stuff project has been going on for a number of years now, and that you can't just throw a copy of Ubuntu on these systems and expect to be waiting for a forum reply when xorg segfaults.

Make all the funny comments you like but even if they started this project today I'd still call them nuts if they picked *Linux* out of the bunch - Apple won't do anything for you and Unix developers or no better. So what is it you want?

And also, this is a British government IT project - and it's ahead of schedule and actually works.

0
1
Gates Horns

Don't go to war with China

Remember that Microsoft allows the Chinese to examine the source code for Windows.

So your source is open, at least to the other side.

-HJC

1
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.