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Windows For Submarines: Please Tell Me This Is A Hoax

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The British Royal Navy is actually boasting of rolling out a new "next generation" installation of Windows 2000 and XP on their entire fleet of 11 nuclear submarines, and they're so pleased with it they want to do the same to their battleships. I am not making this up-- they are boasting and they are happy, and they are saying "next generation" with straight faces.

In my younger days I had big dreams of being a successful fiction writer. As you can see, real life is far stranger and more implausible. This has to be a hoax. Please, make it be a hoax.

I've seen reports that say they replaced a SPARC/Solaris infrastructure, though I haven't been able to verify it. This has me so flummoxed I am at a loss for words-- they're claiming a savings of 22 million pounds over the next ten years. A savings from what? Is your fleet of nuclear submarines really a good place to penny-pinch? I doubt they're saving any money anyway, and I'll bet money that Microsoft did the TCO and ROI "studies".

Details are sketchy and I couldn't get anyone to talk to me, so I'm clinging to a feeble, lonely hope that these are insignificant systems, like entertainment and gaming. Please let it be that, and not any kind of control systems.

I give up-- there are no words. However, the punchlines practically write themselves, so here are a few choices quotes from Slashdot:

"Not Bliss Wallpaper

"They did indeed learn from past mistakes and are remarkably forward-thinking. They made a boat that was doomed to fail miserably, named it the Titanic, and said it was unsinkable. Many years later there was a movie made about it that was a box-office smash hit. They're now seeding an even bigger future movie by making certain that ALL their boats will sink."

"Tech support: "Can you tell us the problem with your submarine?"

HMS Bob: "Das Not Boot.""

"Slashdot people often said that a Windows computer is only secure when encased in a steel box and sunk beneath the sea. So, why complain now?"

"I can't wait for the first national nuclear emergency to occur because of Windows Genuine Advantage (tm)"

"The last time I drove my car into a lake the windows didn't last past 15 feet. Of course my car is American, and those Brits have that funky metric system, so who knows?

(Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week)"

"You seem to be trying to launch a nuclear attack. Would you like to do one of the following:

Blast Russia of the face of the earth

Blast Iran of the face of the earth

Launch a single nuke at China from within Pakistani territorial waters. Let them sort it out!

I'm an Al-Quaida Infiltrator. I'll target London, New York and Washington please"

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