Government Agencies Ban Windows Vista

    March 14, 2007

In the past, large organizations have been reluctant to switch over to a new Microsoft operating system due to factors of cost, new training, and the possibility unknown bugs still lurking about in the software. In this case, however, reluctance has given way to outright refusal.

It’s not exactly been a banner year for the Windows brand. Microsoft released Vista in early 2007 only to be met with a lukewarm reception from both the enterprise and personal computing markets. Dell is also ramping up efforts to offer a Linux alternative to Windows for customers purchasing new computers from the store.

It’s not just the private sector, however, that is displaying hesitancy to upgrade to Windows Vista. Government agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration have publicly acknowledged the fact that finding alternatives to Microsoft products, such as Linux-based operating systems and Google’s Premier Apps office suite, is becoming a higher priority.

The FAAs efforts in this regard seemed to have worked their way up the pipeline, as now the Department of Transportation, the entity under which the FAA is affiliated, has officially prohibiting upgrades to Windows Vista, as is the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Here’s an excerpt from a January DOT memo documenting the rational behind such a decision:

Based on our initial analysis (from internal recommendations and analysis provided by Gartner Group), there appears to be no compelling technical or business case for upgrading to these new Microsoft products. Furthermore, there appears to be specific reasons not to upgrade including:

·    The cost of performing the upgrade (hardware/software upgrades, application upgrades, labor for planning and implementation, etc.)

·    Previous version compatibility concerns regarding Office 2007 suite components (primarily Word)

·    The protracted FY07 Continuing Resolution (CR) which limits available funding

·    The more to the new Headquarters DOT building that would be competing with the same IT expertise required to support the migration to any of these products

So, not only are these government agencies effectively banning the implementation of Windows Vista, but they are also preventing users from upgrading to the latest versions of Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer, a move that the top brass in Redmond can’t be too thrilled about.