US Air Force to Complete Transition to Windows 10 by January 2018

Rafia Shaikh
Posted Sep 7, 2016
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The United States Department of Defense signed a deal with Microsoft to upgrade their 4 million computers to Windows 10 by 2017. The US Air Force has now announced plans to upgrade all of their systems to the newest operating system by 2018.

Like the DoD, the transition for Air Force to the Windows 10 doesn’t just mean a software upgrade process. But, it will also involve the replacement of old hardware that is not compatible with Windows 10. Reports have suggested the US Air Force has been given a deadline of January 31, 2018 to complete this migration process to Windows 10.  The transition process will officially start later this year, and will also include training of some of the US Air Force staff.

Windows 10 improves cybersecurity – US Air Force

Windows 10 brings new security improvements, and a so-called Secure Host Baseline for the Defense PCs. This Baseline includes pre-configured secure applications for extra security designed for the department. “New security features in Windows 10 will allow the Air Force and DOD to install software patches faster and counter a major cyber-intrusion technique called ‘pass the hash.’ Using this technique, attackers may access remote servers by using a stored hash, or a one-way transformation, of a user’s password rather than the standard plain text password. The new operating system also will increase accountability and transparency across DOD networks, allowing cyber defenders to better detect malicious activity,” US Air Force said in a statement.

Marked as the largest enterprise deployment, we will definitely see both the Defense Department and the US Air Force face some challenges during the process. Earlier reports warned that the departments might miss these deadlines due to compatibility issues and old hardware. Some have estimated that as many as 15 more months could be required to complete the transition process.

In May, Marine Corps CIO, Brig. Gen. Dennis Crall talked specifically about the problems that old hardware was presenting. “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,” Crall had commented.

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