Surface Forces: Windows for Warships, the Operating System


March 5, 2007: The British Royal Navy has adopted a specialized version of Microsoft Windows 2000 ("Windows for Warships") for its new Type 45 destroyers. This is a big step forward, as many British warships are using computers, and operating systems, a decade or two old, and much less powerful than current PCs. While Windows has long been criticized for its unreliability, that is not the case with Windows 2000, and it's successors (XP and Vista). All three operating systems are widely used in commercial operations (including manufacturing plants, labs and commercial ships). The Royal Navy has already installed similar systems in other ships and submarines. The major expense in using "Warships for Windows" is writing the software that will connect the networked PCs to ship sensors and communications. The navy has found large flat displays excellent ways to view sensor data, and information in general.

As in the U.S. Navy, the sailors took the lead here, bringing their own PCs, usually laptops, aboard soon after these systems became available. Sailors often used their own computers to automate some of their work. In some cases, they were allowed to rig their PCs into some ship systems. It eventually became pretty obvious that PCs were the way to go. Again, the commercial shipping industry had already created a market for PCs customized for use at sea, and for dealing with typical shipboard operations.


Article Archive

Surface Forces : Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close