March 13, 2007 1:57 PM PDT

Federal agencies ban Windows Vista

As Microsoft is out touting the "wow" of Windows Vista, two federal agencies are among those saying "whoa."

The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cite fear of compatibility problems as one of the reasons not to allow their tens of thousands of employees to upgrade to Microsoft's latest operating system.

"We are temporarily not permitting computers with the Vista operating system to be connected to our networks," Michael Baum, a NIST spokesman, said Tuesday. The organization's technology staff is testing NIST applications and evaluating the security in Windows Vista. The same holds true for Internet Explorer 7 and Office 2007, he said.

It is not unusual that agencies aren't rushing to install major software updates. Large organizations in particular tend to do a lot of testing before upgrading. The same happened when Microsoft released Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. The actions by DOT, which employs about 54,000 people, and NIST, with 2,900 employees, were first reported by Information Week.

The DOT also bans Vista, Office 2007 and IE 7. In addition to compatibility concerns, the department lists cost, available funding and a pending headquarters move as reasons not to upgrade, according to a DOT memo dated January 19 (click for PDF of the memo). The memo is still current, a DOT representative said Tuesday.

"There appears to be no compelling technical or business case for upgrading to these new Microsoft software products," according to the memo. The department plans to issue an update next month to clarify its strategy for 2008 and beyond, the representative said.

In a statement, Microsoft said it is working with many government agencies to help them adopt its latest products. "We respect the customer's decision," the company said.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the largest organization under the DOT, is taking the opportunity to consider alternatives to Microsoft's operating system and productivity software, said Tammy Jones, an FAA spokeswoman. This includes including running Linux on desktops and using Google's online applications, she said.

"We're trying to see what the cost impact would be to the FAA to convert to the new Microsoft products," Jones said. "We want to explore what some of the alternatives are. Google is one that we're looking at, so is Linux." The FAA has about 45,000 employees.

Vista has been available to businesses since late November and was released to the general public at the end of January. About 90 million copies of the operating system will be installed this year, predicts IDC. The analyst firm also foresees that consumers will be first to adopt the system. Businesses should be cautious, IDC advises.

"Business customers should take a cautious approach to adopting new Windows technologies and need to go through a normal evaluation cycle," IDC analyst Al Gillen wrote in a recent report. "Most organizations should incorporate a move to Windows Vista in their longer-term road map--unless they are planning to move toward competitive solutions."

Many organizations will need up to 18 months after the Vista ship date to verify their applications, get other software makers to support the operating system and run tests, analyst firm Gartner said in a December report. "Sooner or later, most organizations will deploy Windows Vista," Gartner's analysts said.

See more CNET content tagged:
memo, agency, organization, Gartner Inc., Microsoft Office 2007

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Posted by Ian Kirkland (48 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Another Non-Story on News.com
Who cares if particular federal government agencies don't upgrade to Windows Vista because of application incompatibilities? Since when do consumers take cues from their Department of Transportation?

This is such a non-story. The article makes it sound as if this problem is unique to Windows Vista when in truth, it was the same problem between the 9x-to-NT kernel switch and the switch from Mac OS 9 to OS X (blasphemy!)

The Federal government shouldn't upgrade for hundreds of reasons (Vista's poor performance on older hardware, expense, etc.), the least of which is application incompatibility.
Posted by dbthree (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Considering that Vista isn't exactly a hot seller...
Even MSFT has said as much - they're experiencing nowhere near the growth they saw when, say, Windows 98 came out, or when NT began eating Netware's lunch.

Nowadays, MSFT is actually losing overall marketshare - to Apple (homes), to Linux (servers)... while this loss isn't exactly monumental (at least in the home user markets), it is a decline.

Sure - Vista will be the forced default on any new home-PC Dell or HP, or Gateway... but considering recent talks from OEM makers, how long will that continue to last?

One of MSFT's biggest source of licensing income - the US Federal Government - is now slowing things down (used to be that the only agencies that really took their time were folks like the Department of Defense, the FBI, and folks who would naturally be more than just a little sensitive about security... now it's everybody).

On the corporate front, we have large Fortune 500 companies doing pretty much the same thing, where 5-10 years ago the bump to whatever New Windows version just came out was no big deal, and usually happened quickly.

Of course, there's different dynamics at play nowadays: computer usage in most big sectors are at or near saturation, data security isn't just the nightmare of secret agents and soldiers anymore, and quite frankly, people are giving the bloat and bog of Vista a much harder look than they would've with Windows 95.

When they speak of upgrades, they're talking new hardware in addition to new software. (Even w/ Win2k and XP, one could easily enough keep the old hardware and just bump the OS... not the case w/ Windows now, is it?)

Another tidbit that bodes ill for MSFT has to do with agencies [i]looking at viable alternatives to Windows entirely[/i], where 10 years ago they wouldn't have even bothered.

All of these combined would look poor to any marketing analyst in Redmond.

Now, couple all of that with the fact that MSFT stock depends largely on company growth to be a viable stock. Overall growth used to be measured in three digits... not it's maybe one overall, and slipping fast.

(PS: Most mid and large businesses usually went with Windows NT 4 if they used Windows, so there was no "9x-to-NT kernel switch" there for the most part; that was the domain of small businesses at best).

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
Here's why it's a story:
Microsoft's operating system domination has come about because they have done a good job of maintaining backward compatibility. Once they start to break that compatibility, the incentive to stay with Microsoft is considerably lessened.
Posted by extinctone (214 comments )
Link Flag
But...
This time it isn't a kernel switch. This time it's just a screw up.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
OSX
OSX didn't have compatibility problems. It is a completely different OS then OS9. Vista is built to be backwards compatible, yet is riddled with compatibility issues, not to mention the security problems because of this very issue.

See the difference?
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Link Flag
Sooner or later most will be using Vista!
So what if it takes a year or two for most to get Vista, the time will come when you want your old computer to do what Vista will do, then you'll buy a new unit with Vista or whatever MSFT is pumping at the time.

It will happen!

As for Mac/Linux, sure, less than 10% of all computers users use Mac/Linux, if they grow a % or two, it really doesn't matter much to MSFT!

If you need a new OS, you'll pay for it...
Posted by gary85739 (613 comments )
Reply Link Flag
OH yee of short sight. :-)
I think you are giving in to the doom and gloom of Microsoft too soon. People look at the precanned numbers -- Apple sells less than 6% of the worlds computers.
But lets look at consumer systems of mediun computers sold in USA and you start talking around 15 to 20 percent over the last year. Apple is now number 4 and about ready to over take Dell and Lenovo, in sales numbers.

Don't blink. If you do you may miss the revolution. :-)

JMHO
Posted by eldernorm (220 comments )
Link Flag
Sooner or Later
The percentage won't matter much now, but when a few govt agencies and businesses start considering and adopting Linux, things may be different for MS in the next 5-10 years.
Posted by halbert70 (18 comments )
Link Flag
Serious Question here:
"[i]...the time will come when you want your old computer to do what Vista will do...[/i]"

Now, the question I have is ...what? What does Vista actually do at a fundamental level that XP cannot?

Leave aside the pretty new interface, leave aside the UAC (since it apparently seems to only hinder operability instead of allowing it...)

What does Vista do in its current form that XP cannot? I realize that a service pack may change the dynamics of this question, but it still remains to be asked - what?

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
Dell
Problem is that we like Dell, but Dell wont sell you XP unless you buy the overpriced Latitudes and Optiplexes. Same AFAIK for HP. Normally I love MS, but maybe this is something the conspiracy guys might look at.

Apple fanboys take a bite - Apple wont sell you XP either.
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dell Doesnt Need To Offer XP
Any OEM or retail Copy of Windows Vista Business Or Ultimate has "Downgrade Rights" Meaning you could install Windows 2000 or Windows XP and it would be a valid setup (You can even dual boot between the two) there is one catch you need to have a XP install CD since Microsoft will not send them out for free but if you have a Dell XP disc it is completly legal to install it on your new Vista PC Here is a link to the downgrade rights chart at Microsofts website <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://g.msn.com/9SE/1?http://download.microsoft.com/download/d/2/3/d23b9533-169d-4996-b198-7b9d3fe15611/downgrade_chart.doc&#38;&#38;DI=6066&#38;IG=7590cd52fbe14350a809734bdd5464a3&#38;POS=1&#38;CM=WPU&#38;CE=1&#38;CS=AWP&#38;SR=1" target="_newWindow">http://g.msn.com/9SE/1?http://download.microsoft.com/download/d/2/3/d23b9533-169d-4996-b198-7b9d3fe15611/downgrade_chart.doc&#38;&#38;DI=6066&#38;IG=7590cd52fbe14350a809734bdd5464a3&#38;POS=1&#38;CM=WPU&#38;CE=1&#38;CS=AWP&#38;SR=1</a>
Posted by steverez (7 comments )
Link Flag
Still don't see what the fuss is about
I still don't see anything in Vista I want or need.

And, have you seen the prices lately? What a rip-off.
Posted by Mergatroid Mania (8395 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft SUCKs
I just left those idiots, they employ a lot of Indians and now
Chinnese and their product quality has suffered. I could bearly
communicate with them, it was very frustrating.

Plus MS treats it's vendors like crap.

Viva Linux and OS X, I hate MS, they are selling our jobs
down the toilet to foreigners.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who isn't??
Everyone is shipping their support overseas. Cisco, Dell, HP, all the big companies. You're an idiot to "hate" MS for that. Everyone is going to do it eventually because India &#38; China know how to educate people. You think there are no foreigners working for Apple or any Linux distro?? Moron.
Posted by crakhors (2 comments )
Link Flag
Apple SUCKs
Every government on the earth has outlawed and "banned" Apple. That's because Apple sucks huge ones.
Posted by iZune (58 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not as much as you.
Zune lover.
Posted by extinctone (214 comments )
Link Flag
And How's the Zune Sucking, iZune?
You have no clue iZune.

You are missing out on the most evolved, established system on
planet Earth.

iZune -- great name to represent a dying OS.
Posted by dansterpower (2511 comments )
Link Flag
Zzzzzz....
No news here. Just more iZune rant.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
Re: Apple SUCKs
Every government on the earth has outlawed and banned Apple..?? I
didn't realize it was possible to sick ones head up ones a$$ so
deep..
What are you, a 14 year old Troll...??
Posted by imacpwr (456 comments )
Link Flag
Apple SUCKs
Every government on the earth has outlawed and "banned" Apple. That's because Apple sucks huge ones.
Posted by iZune (58 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Amiga SUCKs
...what? I just wanted to get in on the parroting fun here!

(Next up, an analysis as to why BSD is dying, and how Netcraft confirms it! Stay tuned... )

;)

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
LMAO -
Name them. Come on iZune, you are known as the community
idiot, let's see if you can change that reality.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
Why they don't use Apple...
its not because Macs couldn't handle the daily computer related
tasks. Actually it would more than double the efficiency of the
average worker, (Next to no crashes, virus free and Macs have
less IT related fixes as compared to Windows).

I believe its because its more expensive to overhaul an entire
setup that revolves around old PC hardware. That also another
reason why they won't run Vista (the markup is high, and old
hardware won't run it). Thats why the only other choices are
Linux &#38; Google's Web 2.0 Application offerings. Why they never
considered Open Office, beats the pants out of me. Last I
checked it was free.

But in order for Apple to succeed in Gov't agencies, they would
have to move all their Mac Hardware to Intel processors and
atleast allow Macs dual boot in either Linux, Windows or the Mac
OS

Oh wait its been done.

I guess its only a matter of time, before they wise up, I suppose.
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Price!
Because Apple chooses to make products that are far more
expensive than the median price at which PCs sell. Ask Apple why
they won't compete with fullly outfitted $500 PC systems.
Posted by nicmart (1829 comments )
Link Flag
Why the government doesn't use Macs
First of all, the NSA has published guidelines to using OSX in
government systems (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.nsa.gov/snac/" target="_newWindow">http://www.nsa.gov/snac/</a>
downloads_macX.cfm?MenuID=scg10.3.1.1), so it's hardly
banned. And ServedUp makes valid points (what's the old
saying? "Nobody ever got fired for buying Windows"). Although
I'm an Apple user and would love to see them expand, I see
some distro of Linux actually making inroads into government
over the next five to ten years.
Posted by Gomphos (13 comments )
Link Flag
Does this tell us....
... that "Macs have less less IT related fixes as compared to Windows"

This CNET NEWS article's headline reads;

"Apple megapatch plugs 45 security holes"

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/Apple+megapatch+plugs+45+security+holes/2100-1002_3-6166971.html?tag=nefd.top" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/Apple+megapatch+plugs+45+security+holes/2100-1002_3-6166971.html?tag=nefd.top</a>
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Link Flag
When did the
DOT switch off of green screens and Unisys A12's?

Yeah they will be ready in 2015 to move to Vista, after billions of our dollars are spent to do a study to see if its feesable.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hey "Lindy01"...
... While it would not matter to the Commander... but, should that spelling be "feasible" rather than "feesable". By the way, did you get a peek at Lotus Notes 8.0 by way of Beta 2? <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www-142.ibm.com/software/sw-lotus/products/product4.nsf/wdocs/notesdomino8" target="_newWindow">http://www-142.ibm.com/software/sw-lotus/products/product4.nsf/wdocs/notesdomino8</a> When you do the Commander is quite sure your mind will be blown and the beauty is not only is it available for Windows; if comes LINUX ready to enable that potential "Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)" switch!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Link Flag
WHYYYYYY?????????
I do not understand what the problem is. SOLITAIRE STILL
WORKS !!

P.S. Yes.. you guessed it... I use a Mac.. :-)
Posted by Sabroson (88 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Disgruntled Vista User
I believe they will have problems working with Vista. I have a long list of issues I posted on earlier news replies. One of the latest is I cannot run OCR Software from previous version of windows. I had to update me Brother Laser printer drivers only to find that it will not do OCR. This was very important to me and was the reason I bought this printer late last year. I went to the OCR website "Nuence Scansoft" to see if they have an update only to find that purchese a new version for 150.00. I had to buy the Virtual Drive Update for 30.00. Since I run two monitors I had to pay 300.00 dollars and I forsee these costs adding up. I really feel that Microsoft and other software companies are in cahoots with the raping and pilliging of the Americian people or should I say the worlds people. Life is now hard enough and the little guy (ME!) is really gettin hurt by these greedy giants. I wonder how the goverments and other compinies feel about this. Are goverments spending the tax payers money wisely?
Posted by Ted Miller (305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
brought it onto yourself?
Why did you go to Vista in the firsr place? Got suckered in by the hype? If so, well, you asked for the problems. Multiply your stress by the thousands and then you know why major companies won't be upgrading to Vista any time soon. MS depends on compliant vendors and companies like CNET to push their half-baked products to gullible consumers.
Posted by oxtail01 (308 comments )
Link Flag
not an ad for HP but
should have baught an HP for taht price. ( not an ad for HP)
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
Are goverments spending the tax payers money wisely?
More wisely than you, it seems.
Posted by Jimmu410 (10 comments )
Link Flag
Vista and XP
When XP came out, same thing happened. While some companies were ready for the change, most were not and they had to play catch up.

I'm waiting till I've performed all my hardware upgrades first, then I'll buy vista home premium, install and activate it.

By the time I do that, They'll have Sp1 ready to roll.
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Exactly
Exactly,

This has happened every time there has been a new OS release.

I have been running windows since it was a DOS overlay for Excel and my first Macintosh was a Lisa.

For my company, Vista is not ready to deploy, on legacy systems, but as history teaches, it will be.

Regards?
Posted by SPasse (18 comments )
Link Flag
Exactly
Exactly,

This has happened every time there has been a new OS release.

I have been running windows since it was a DOS overlay for Excel and my first Macintosh was a Lisa.

For my company, Vista is not ready to deploy, on legacy systems, but as history teaches, it will be.

Regards?
Posted by SPasse (18 comments )
Link Flag
Big Picture
IF Vista OS is "the most secure OS that we have ever created at
Microsoft &#38; I dare anyone to disprove that..." Citizen Gates on
why Vista OS is great for enterprise operations... THEN WHY
WOULDN'T THE US GOVERNMENT NOT WANT TO USE IT AS SOON
AS POSSIBLE?

By having multiple Government agencies stating that they will
not upgrade to Vista OS for quite awhile &#38; that their staff cannot
upgrade their laptops / desktop computers to Vista OS for
interconnecting to the government servers, THAT IS SENDING A
MESSAGE to the public at large that Vista is NOT as secure &#38;
reliable as Citizen Gates thinks it is...

This is a rippling effect that will cause many people in business
to stop, think, wait &#38; see, let all the bugs &#38; security issues with
Vista be ironed out before we think of maybe upgrading in the
future...

Not a good sales motivator for business, staff &#38; IT departments.

Security &#38; reliability was a big selling point for Microsoft to get
the government &#38; business people motivated about upgrading
to Vista OS...

Not good for Redmond One.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Compatability Issues
Compatability issues are a major reason. Only computers made within the last year are physically equiped to handle the OS, and that's just the tip of the iceburg. Many agencies require extensive testing of their custom built applications to make sure they are compatable. No business, including the government, will use any operating system unless it runs the applications they need (many of them custom built). Lets also mention that almost all government agencies require a level of security certification by an independent agency before they are even allowed to bring it into the building. Vista is new so I doubt it will have that certification for some time to come.

These are all requirements that would be made of any operating system, and knowing the government, will probably take atleast a year at the soonest. Don't expect to see vista in government agencies before then.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
No
the big picture is really that many government computers havent been upgraded since early 2000 and may not be able to run the software efficiently. Simply, the article stated that the GOV not adapting the OS is a standard practice shared by many large corporations and agencies,.. So basically, the article is saying Feds ban Vista, but would have banned every other OS, ahd those OS's even had a shot at being the standard Fed computer basis. The only reason other OS's arent in the title of this article is because Vista IS their choice, they just won't be upgrading now. Learn subtlety young padawan.
Posted by theprof00 (50 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vista and IE 7
I agree that MS doesn't give anyone tine to make their applications compatible with any of their changes. As for me I started with DOS 1.o and have been thru maybe 100 updates to their OS's. I have learned thru thru the years. I'm still on Xp sp2 and IE 6.0 with all the updates.

I'm 79 this year, so I may never see Vista or IE 7. Good luck to all you young pioneers.. Ed..
Posted by TALLY628 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Don't count on it!
I do not mean to sound bad, but in the human DNA are codes that
dictate man to live up to 120-150 years of healthy life. So you still
have a lot time to look up to Windows Vista SP2, or even SP3.
Better yet, why not try other platforms that might prove to be
easier and more formidable than Windows Vista, like Unix/Linux or
Mac OSX? Just an uncalled for comment.
Posted by benjiernmd (123 comments )
Link Flag
How long will it take???
I read most comments that people left about why they don't switch to a mac.. I agree macs are the best, I can't complain I have had mine for 3 years going for the 4th and it runs better than my pc that is 2 years older that i had to upgrade and so many times, now it crashes more than ever (PC). I know that training new IT's and everything is going to cost money, and it will but if you start swich one by one and training the IT the same, in 2 years you can have a company running macs only, it will cost money but it will save money in the long run. But what do i know.. Here is the question that I've been dieing to ask HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE BEFORE THE WINDOWS VISTA GET'S TO BE AS BAD AS WINDOWS XP? it wont take to long will it? plus that windows vista is so different to use (Premium version) it almost a different OS than XP. It's stupid everything you do u have to accept, is this the answer microsoft? To download something from IE7 you have to disable a bunch of things, it horible.
Posted by Joao Eduardo Pereira (26 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vista OS = XP Server OS + Mac OSX GUI
So...Vista is already as bad as XP, just new eye candy to fool
people into thinking that it's just like a MAC. (not)

When will all the Windoze people wake up &#38; realize the only
reason Windows exists is because of Apple OS &#38; the only reason
Windows was started was to rip off "the Mac" Apple OS &#38; load
onto a cheap POS PC box?
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Link Flag
Yet, the Gov't / Army DO use Apple MAC OSX + XServers
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/science/profiles/colsa/" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/science/profiles/colsa/</a>
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No, the army doesn't
Reread the article you linked to...They mention the Army at the beginning, but they're really talking about an Army contractor. The only stated users are the HMT team at COLSA Corporation. The Army doesn't regulate what platform that civilian contractors use to do the work they're contracted to use. The Army isn't using Macs themselves.
Posted by jehrico (27 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Flamers SUCK!
This is pointless, but some of you need to take a chill pill. I'd be willing to bet that most of you flamers a) have no life; b) have barely any real computer skills; c) play with yourselves a little to much; and d) still think your opinion matters more than anybody else's. Grow up.

First off the government didn't actually ban Vista. They simply aren't going to rush out and buy it without testing it first. In the meantime they are evaluating other platforms. In a year or two they may very well be using Vista or Linux or even a Mac or some combination of the three. Who knows.

Here's some points. First off just because people aren't flocking to Vista doesn't mean they are migrating to some other OS. Business invest a lot of money in software and some (or probably most) of it won't run on anything other than Windows. Chances are they aren't going to toss away millions of dollars just because they decided they don't like Microsoft. If they migrate it will be slowly over many years. Same goes for the government.

I don't comment much anymore (not than any of you care) because ninety percent of the comments here are posted by clueless basement dwellers who live in fantasy land. Oh, well see you all in the funny papers.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
...hoist by your own petard?
Seriously - you start a post saying "Flamers SUCK!", then proceed to [i]flame away[/i] at (apparently) anyone who doesn't agree with you concerning Windows Vista?

Nice knowing you, I guess...

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
Golly, a large company (govt. agency)...
says, hold up people, we need to get a plan in place so we can maintain business operations without any massive downtime and unplanned implementation headaches. After a time period, we'll know what needs fixed before we start putting this new product on the desktop, at which point, it all should work without causing mass confusion and network downtime.
Whoa, headrush man.
Posted by boratebomber (26 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Army Creates Mac-Compatible Battalion
Army Creates Mac-Compatible Battalion - The Watley Review.

The Army announced today that it would be switching over a
battalion in the 1st Infantry Division to operate entirely on the
Macintosh OSX platform.

"Our goal is to become better, faster, and pack more of a punch.
Basically, we want to think different," said Brigadier General
Oscar Trent. "We're confident that the new software will enhance
both the combat effectiveness of this mechanized division, as
well as improve field conditions for our soliders."

Today's mechanized infantry battalions routinely depend on
computers for command and control, individual vehicle and
weapon systems control, and counterintelligence, among other
things. The Army has been struggling for years with the Cold
War era system of contracting, under which each device or
system had software separately contracted and coded.
Consequently, there are over 243,000 programs to run a typical
armored unit, most of which are catastrophically incompatible
with each other.

"Part of the problem, too, is the increasing level of sophistication
expected of the average solider," said retired general and Watley
Review commentator Arnold Frumm. " Let's face it, most people
with good computer skills don't sign up for four-year stints
carrying 80 pounds of gear through the deserts of Afghanistan.
Expecting these young men and women to cope with separate
software platforms for their night vision goggles, their GPS units,
and their MRE self-heating systems is a bit much."

The military has made previous attempts to adopt off-the-shelf
software, most infamously when the Navy installed Windows 95
on an aircraft carrier battle group. In 1999, fifteen destroyers,
along with the nuclear carrier U.S.S. Nimitz, spent an
uncomfortable four days drifting near the Arctic circle as they
combated the "blue screen of death." Another attempt to save
money, by installing Outlook Express, caused the Pentagon's
intranet to implode under a storm of viruses within six hours of
installation.

"The Macs are less unstable," said Trent, "and having access to
iPods will mean soldiers can dispense with those damn boom
boxes." This will reduce the amount of gear which the soliders
carry by at least 20 pounds.

Copyright © The Watley Review, all rights reserved.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just to make sure
You did mean to put that up as a joke right? Not as proof that the
Army uses Macs. Right?

Here is another version of the same article
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.watleyreview.com/2003/072203-3.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.watleyreview.com/2003/072203-3.html</a>

Now, if you meant to post that as a joke, then that's alright. You
should have indicated it was a piece of humorous fiction though.
Posted by rapier1 (2722 comments )
Link Flag
U.S. Army Website runs on Apple Mac OSX & Xserver
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/itpro/profiles/army/" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/itpro/profiles/army/</a>

" I wanted high-speed systems that could handle any application
we needed, keep the site available 24 hours a day, not be
vulnerable to every passing virus, and fend off hackers without
my staff having to spend all their time applying security patches
."

? Mark H. Wiggins, Lt. Col., U.S. Army, Ret. Former director,
www.army.mil
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
But really
The demands placed on a system for serving web applications
isn't very high. You do need something with decent I/O and fast
disk but most any system will give you that. Peronally, I wouldn't
use NT or any of its variants for a production server either. I
wouldn't use OS X though. For bulk data transfer servers I'd
probably use Linux 2.6.14+ because it has the fastest network
stack around right now. For application servers I'd probably use
OpenBSD or some variant of Solaris. However, that would
generaly be determined by the applications I need to serve. I
might use OS X in some instances but once you start getting into
a heterogeneous compute environment your support costs start
to balloon. As such, I'd probably compromise with Linux and
VMWare for apps that had to use a different OS.

Apple sent us a stack of X Servers a couple of years ago to do
some development/testing work on. Decent machines but the
Linux boxes had, for our application at least, better
performance. I'm still happy Apple sent us those boxes though.
Posted by rapier1 (2722 comments )
Link Flag
Mac users don't need many patches, huh?
If Macs don't have a lot of vulnerabilities, then why did the following article need to be written?

Apple Megapatch Plugs 45 Security Holes

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/Apple+megapatch+plugs+45+security+holes/2100-1002_3-6166971.html?tag=nefd.pulse" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/Apple+megapatch+plugs+45+security+holes/2100-1002_3-6166971.html?tag=nefd.pulse</a>
Posted by djohnson66434-2082550093674339 (5 comments )
Link Flag
just to point out...
"About 90 million copies of the operating system will be installed this year, predicts IDC. The analyst firm also foresees that consumers will be first to adopt the system."

Umm...consumers are forced to buy Vista b/c MS showed it down their throats(and probably paid a nice sum for phasing out XP). Just look around the web, from Toshiba to Dell XP systems are scarce.
Posted by dondarko (261 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Pennsylvania Wilkes University says NO to PCs
Pennsylvania university pulls PC plug, goes all-Mac
Gregg Keizer

March 15, 2007 (Computerworld)

Wilkes University announced yesterday that it has pulled the
plug on PCs in favor of Macs, saying the move -- which actually
began last year -- will save the Pennsylvania liberal arts college
more than $150,000 while still letting students and faculty
continue to run Windows applications.

Touted as one of the first colleges to mandate a campuswide
shift from Windows PCs to Macs, the Wilkes-Barre, Pa., school
wasn't a bastion of all things Apple before the decision, said
Scott Byers, vice president for finance and the head of campus
IT. Macs, in fact, were a minority.

Rather than take bids from the usual PC suspects (Dell Inc. and
Hewlett-Packard Co.) as well as Macs, Wilkes decided to go all-
Apple because the new Intel-based models and the BootCamp
dual-boot software -- the Apple Inc. software is still in beta --
would let the school reduce the number of machines
campuswide. "This is an aggressive technology refresh," Byers
said.

"We'll be able to reduce the number by about 250" across the
campus, said Byers, because labs and classrooms were typically
outfitted with an inefficient PC-Mac mix. A class suitable for 30,
for instance, might be equipped with 20 PCs and 20 Macs,
"because each class and each department had its own preference
for what computers and what software they liked to use," Byers
said.

Now, that class boasts 30 Macs, able to swing both ways at will,
courtesy BootCamp.

"We think it will save $150,000 directly, in buying fewer units,
even though the Macs cost more per unit than PCs," he said. The
school, which enrolls about 4,000 undergraduate and graduate
students, will reduce its inventory from nearly 1,700 computers
to around 1,450 after the changeover. Other costs savings,
however, will be harder to measure. "By standardizing, the IT
department should be more productive," Byers said.

He also cited the additional security of Mac OS X, schoolwide
access to Apple's iLife suite, and Apple's operating system itself
as side benefits. "It is, well, the superior OS, isn't it?" said Byers,
who before the switch was a dyed-in-the-wool Windows user.

The key to the change was Apple's move to the Intel processor in
early 2006 and the dual-boot BootCamp application. The
university's management application, which tracks students from
application through graduation, is a Windows app, for instance,
and couldn't be abandoned. With BootCamp, such a move isn't
necessary.

Although the $1.4 million three-year switch -- which started
last year with the purchase of approximately 500 Macs -- means
Wilkes is all-Apple, students are free to choose any operating
system, said Byers. "There's no Mac mandate."

Most of them pick one anyway: "This generation seems to prefer
Macs," he added.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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