Federal Parliament opts for Vista

Summary:Microsoft's Windows 7 has been out for over a year. But Australia's Federal Parliament will reportedly ignore its release in the short term and instead focus on upgrade its much-maligned predecessor, Windows Vista.

Microsoft's Windows 7 has been out for over a year. But Australia's Federal Parliament will reportedly ignore its release in the short term and instead focus on upgrading its much-maligned predecessor, Windows Vista.

In unrelated tender documents, the Department of Parliamentary Services, which provides IT services to the nation's federal politicians, their staff and employees of the parliament itself, said it was "partway" through upgrading its approximately 3900 workstations from Windows XP to Vista Service Pack 1.

The department's desktop fleet consists of Compaq EVO, HP DC7100, Acer Veriton and Dell Optiplex machines, including laptops used by politicians. The parliament didn't give a reason for its decision to pick Vista instead of Windows 7 in the documents.

With most organisations continuing to run the long-lived Windows XP platform, Windows Vista has been broadly ignored because of the problematic development cycle it suffered. A number of features promised for Vista didn't make it into the end release, and reviewers pinioned Microsoft for stability and driver problems in the platform.

However there have been several notable installations of Vista in the Federal Government.

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, for example, became one of the first organisations in Australia known to have deployed Vista in its 2007 rollout to some 5500 machine, upgrading from Windows 2000 at the time. In early 2009 the agency stipulated it had no plans to upgrade to Windows 7.

As Windows 7 was released in late 2009, the Department of Finance and Deregulation, which houses the Information Management Office, deployed Windows Vista Service Pack 2 to its 1870 desktop PCs and laptops.

Other agencies, however, decided to wait for Windows 7. When Windows 7 launched Centrelink said it would make the system it's standard by this year.

Telstra in April 2009 also revealed plans to shift its tens of thousands of desktops onto Windows 7.

Vista was initially released in January 2007. Two years later analyst firm Forrester released a report showing that Vista was powering just below 10 per cent of all PCs within enterprises in the United States. At the time the analyst firm noted "considerable interest" in Windows 7, slated to be released later that year.

Topics: Government, Government : AU, Microsoft, Windows

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