They might have gotten away with doing nothing at least until Microsoft stops supporting the OS in 2015. But then there was that unfortunate incident in August.
Designed to avoid another large-scale breakdown, the plan would establish faster backups for a key part of the market's plumbing known as securities information processors, or SIPs, which consolidate the quote and trade data from exchanges before it is displayed to the public….
That SIP, operated by Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. runs on the decade-old Windows 2003 operating system, according to four people familiar with the technical specifications. Nasdaq is in the process of updating its SIP operating system to a more recent version, according to people familiar with the plans.
The operating system wasn't identified as a cause of the SIP's failure in August, but some exchange executives and analysts point to the incident as symptomatic of a lack of investment in the technology.