News

Federal Agency Bans Microsoft Vista

At least two federal government agencies are refusing to upgrade their computers with Microsoft's Windows Vista.

(Washington) At least two federal government agencies are refusing to upgrade their computers with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Vista operating system, citing concern over costs and compatibility issues.

In a Jan. 19 memo to staff, Dan Mintz, the Transportation Department's chief information officer, imposed an "indefinite moratorium" on upgrading desktop and laptop computers with the new operating system, Office 2007 and Internet Explorer 7.

Mintz wrote that there is "no compelling technical or business case" to upgrade to the new products and specific reasons not to upgrade.

He cited hardware, software and labor costs, compatibility issues with current applications and limited funding. He also wrote technology staff will be busy with the agency's move to a new headquarters.

The memo says the software only may be acquired for testing purposes and only with the CIO's approval.

Microsoft did not return calls seeking comment.

The details of Mintz's memo were first reported earlier this month by InformationWeek.

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Reader Comments:

Mon, Apr 2, 2007 Steven Fishman

Here is the letter I sent to Transportation CIO Dan Mintz:
_______________________________Dear Transportation Department CIO Mintz,

It is an apparent contradiction why the Department of Transportation would implement a ban on Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Internet Explorer 7, as reported in the March 22, 2007 edition of ENT News.

What in the world are you thinking?

Windows Vista is by far the most security-enabled, user-friendly and productive operating system ever created. I have used Windows Vista Ultimate since the launch date in January and the productivity and the collaboration metrics have tripled within our organization!

I realize that public entities have zero accountability to determine such trivial things such as ROI, but you are making a grandiose mistake. Your agency has always been highly respected as setting technological standards, and you have chosen to back away from the mission statement of your own agency!

The features in Windows Vista, especially the Performance Monitor, the Reliability Monitor, the Event Viewer, not to mention the aesthetic benefits such as Windows Aero make using the operating system a pleasurable experience.

Please reconsider your position and stop being so compartmentalized in your thinking. Eventually you will realize that stubbornness does not pay. Do you really want to be remembered as a non-adopter of new technology? That is how many of us are viewing your illogical stance on embracing such a positive operating system.

Perhaps not too many people will take the time to write to you about it, but I am particularly incensed and irritated that you, the CIO of the very agency that is supposed to set standards for transportation are rebelling against them within the technology arena.

I am surprised that you haven’t sent out a memo mandating that all of your employees drive 1910 Model T Fords! Your memo demonstrates the same amount of intelligence as that!

Perhaps as intuitive as you are, you prefer the astonishing search capabilities of DOS 5.0 instead of Windows Vista. I would love to hear more about your viewpoint on that. On second thought, perhaps you haven’t upgraded from DOS 4.0 yet.

Please reconsider!

I am NOT a Microsoft employee, although I would be proud to be one. I simply am a user of Microsoft products who is absolutely ecstatic and thrilled at the way they work. Windows Vista and Office 2007 are tools which should be on every computer in our government if we expect to be competitive and set standards for excellence in the world.

I just thought you would like to know what the public is thinking!

Respectfully Submitted,

Steven Fishman
(951) 734-2223 Phone
wayonline@comcast.net

Cc: U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters
DOT Information Services Chief Bill Adams

Tue, Mar 27, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

The other one was Microsoft Federal... ;)

Mon, Mar 26, 2007 Debra San Francisco

The reason is clear for not upgrading to Vista: "no compelling technical or business case." It's common knowledge that applications drive the version of OS and not the other way around. Businesses, especially large ones, won't upgrade if their apps are incompatible with the new OS or if they have not been fully tested on the new OS. They also won't upgrade if their business processes don't need modification. Why should they incur the additional expense of upgrading hardware and purchasing new OS licenses for Vista just because Microsoft says so?

Mon, Mar 26, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

Your article states that "at least two" Federal agencies will not be upgrading to Vista. One is the Depatment of Trasnsportation. What is the other?

Sat, Mar 24, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

in other news ... workman fails to upgrade his shovel until he needs a new one

Fri, Mar 23, 2007 Christopher Upman Baltimore, MD

I don't know any federal agency that has yet to approve a move to Windows Vista. It takes alot of time for deployment, government systems are often phased in over a few years period. This really is not news to the Administration community. However I can see your regular government worker reading this and then making assumptions from this article. As for the prior posts. I agree this is sensationalism. However it worked! I did read this article. I just wisheed it was more informative on the reasons why. It just sites the 3 basic reasons everyone uses as objections to upgrading.

Fri, Mar 23, 2007 Jake Columbus

Can't you do better than this? A copy of a memo? What about an interview? What about an article that details the costs of OS upgrades? Be a journalist not a sensationalist.

Thu, Mar 22, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

Wow! 3 posts in a row that I strongly agree with. Gotta be a first.......

Thu, Mar 22, 2007 Henry Hawaii

I for one welcome the new operating systems. I have a small computer business and these upgrades keep me always busy. New OS's are a fact of life, get with it or keep your old OS, no reason to panic or slam anybody, I always advise my customers NOT TO BE the first to get any new OS. Wait 6 - 9 months at least, unless you LIKE being annoyed with multiple problems. OS's are like wine, better with age.
Happy Camper :-)

Thu, Mar 22, 2007 Scott Punta Gorda, FL

Jeff is on it. This is the same we heard about XP in 2001. Let's get some real news, not more of Vista slams.

Thu, Mar 22, 2007 Jeff Chicago

This is news? Come on, folks!

Not everyone upgrades to the latest version of every OS the moment it's released. People are still getting upgrading to XP, for Pete's sake.

Where are the stories about how these same entities aren't upgrading to Linux or Mac OS either?

I can't believe how much of my inbox of late is full of these non-stories. If you've nothing worthwhile to report, please don't report it. I've dropped several of my "news" sources recently and this one is getting pretty close.

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