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Fukushima nuclear plant ordered to upgrade its computers from Windows XP

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Windows XP

Well, this is scary. The Japan Times reports that the Tokyo Electric Power Co., a.k.a. Tepco, has come under fire from an independent auditor for trying to save money by delaying its computers’ upgrade from Windows XP. Among other things, Tepco has been using Windows XP to run computers at the Fukushima nuclear power plant that suffered a terrifying triple meltdown back in 2011.

 RELATED: Microsoft ended support for Windows XP almost a year ago… and it still has more users than Windows 8

“Tepco — effectively nationalized through a government bailout after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011 — was hoping to save ¥3.6 billion ($30 million) by continuing to run about 48,000 computers on Windows XP until 2018,” writes The Japan Times. “In a report last month, the Board of Audit warned the company not to be so stingy.”

It’s been well over a year since Microsoft officially ended support for Windows XP, however millions of computers around the world are still using the ancient operating system. When Microsoft ended support, it meant that Windows XP users stopped getting any more automatic updates and were no longer able to download Microsoft Security Essentials for their PCs anymore. Microsoft made a big push to get people to move away from XP for security reasons and upgrade to newer software, particularly to Windows 8 or 8.1.

At this point, however, Tepco might be better off just waiting for Windows 10 to come out in the fall, although it might have to use Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 as a stopover first if it’s in dire need of an upgrade immediately.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.