Welfare agency Centrelink has praised early test versions of Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 operating system, saying they show a jump in quality over the much-maligned Windows Vista.
(Credit: Renai LeMay/ZDNet.com.au)
Microsoft's latest opus is widely expected to be released in the second half of 2009, although Redmond has not yet set a launch date for the software. On 9 January this year, the first official beta of Windows 7 was released to general praise from reviewers and the public.
In a statement, Centrelink said it had been testing the early versions of Windows 7, with the agency's first impressions being that they displayed a "significant improvement over [the] performance and quality of Vista".
The agency confirmed it had long-term plans to migrate to Windows 7 from its current standard operating environment, based on Windows XP.
"Improvements in deployment, management, performance and reliability make it the preferred long-term corporate desktop over Vista and XP — depending on availability and testing and certification of [the] final version," the statement said.
Windows 7's predecessor Vista was broadly ignored by the public sector, with the exception of the Australian Customs Service, which rolled out Vista to its 6000-odd desktop fleet in conjunction with new hardware. The agency had been using a combination of XP predecessors, Windows 2000 and NT previously.
Any roll-out to Windows 7 would be a significant undertaking for Centrelink, which operates a desktop environment involving more than 30,000 desktops around the nation, and one of the largest known enterprise implementations of a new Windows operating system in the past few years.
Keep an eye out for our ongoing series on Windows 7.