LEXINGTON, KY — The Republican National Committee unveiled plans Tuesday for a complete makeover of all computers being currently used in GOP campaign and outreach offices across the country to Microsoft’s popular Windows XP operating system.
The planned upgrade, currently scheduled for September 2013, spells relief for staffers and campaign workers who have continued to handle all campaign management functions on older operating systems such as Windows 98, Windows 95, and MS-DOS.
“This move is long overdue for the party and signals a welcome change in the GOP mindset,” commented Fox News political analyst Douglas Frome. “The GOP in the 21st century is about embracing exciting new technologies that can be used to reach younger voters, whether that be a World Wide Web program like Mozilla Firefox or a typing and organizing program such as Wordperfect.”
In all, over 840 Republican offices nationwide are slated to receive an upgrade, including over 150 in the District of Columbia alone, and employees at affected offices are being told to expect some significant changes in both the software and hardware used daily. Early reports have confirmed the GOP intends to replace older, outdated desktops and laptops as part of the upgrade, with end-of-line systems to be permanently taken offline. Party officials have privately expressed concern since 2010 that the party’s primary data servers, currently hosted on a pair of Commodore 64 stations, remain a weak link in the GOP’s IT infrastructure.
Cost estimates for the upgrade have been difficult to obtain; party officials have confessed that obtaining valid copies of the software needed for upgrade has been problematic. “It’s unsurprising to find that products such as Lotus 1-2-3 and Macromedia Dreamweaver are tough to find out there,” observed the GOP’s director of purchasing Brian Benson. “We knew they were popular and that we might have to take this thing pretty slow.”
At the GOP’s headquarters in Washington, DC, perhaps no one is more excited than the marketing team, who expressed strong support for the slated upgrade Tuesday and cheered the proposed increase in broadband speeds that awaits the larger Republican party offices in metro markets. With 56K dial-up solutions clearly no longer sufficient for the party’s rapidly evolving needs, most offices should see an upgrade to ISDN or DSL in the next three to six months.
Republican Party Executive Director of Technology Randall Squier, a 78-year-old retired naval engineer with approximately eight months of experience in the field of information technology services, expressed guarded support for the upgrade. “Listen, I fear and distrust change as much as the next conservative. But if the Republican Party is to survive intact, we need to start using some of these ‘techno-tricks’ the Dems keep pulling out their sleeve. If makin’ these changes will get these damn kids on board where they belong, then I guess it’s worth it.”