LONDON'S METROPOLITAN POLICE FORCE has confirmed that Windows XP will be purged from its systems by May this year.
Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP in 2014, but it's remained the operating of choice for the Met Police. Despite having worked to remove the defunct OS from its systems for over three years, the Met was still using 18,000 Windows XP-powered machines as of June last year.
Speaking to IT Pro, Angus McCallum, chief information officer of the Me, confirmed that the force's migration to Windows 10 is currently in an "advanced" stage, with all 50,000 devices to be upgraded this year.
The rollout "will finish around the April-May time", according to McCallum, by which time the force "will be off XP". Although the force may have some devices still running the OS, they "won't be on the network".
McCallum explained that officers are using a range of technologies to boost mobility, including tablets and laptops, all of which are running up-to-date software.
"To give you an idea of the speed of the rollout, last week we rolled out 1,687 tablets," McCallum said, "so we're moving at pace now."
He explained that "operational" and "flexi" officers get access to tablets, while some senior officials are also given laptops. Meanwhile, office-based staff have desktops, all of which run on Windows 10.
The force is investing in new types of technology, too. Thanks to a partnership with Box that was announced in 2017, officers will soon be able to use cloud collaboration tools.
According to McCallum, the force was testing the tools on a pilot programme, which it turned out to be a success. Deployment of the technology will happen by the second quarter.
"What we really wanted was a collaboration tool so we can share securely information with third-parties that can be structured appropriately," he said. "We can make sure it's in the right folders, we can make sure it's not being stored in email, et cetera."
"Rather than them saying 'I've seen something on the CCTV, do you want to come and collect a CD', they send us a link. That saves a lot of time, it's just sent electronically to our control room.
"The officer picks it up straight away, he can look at it, he can determine if there's a crime there or not." µ
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