Microsoft responds to DOT ban on Vista, Office 2007

Summary:The Department of Transportation has put an indefinite ban on upgrades to Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 7 and Office 2007. Microsoft has issued a response to some of the charges outlined in the DOT moratorium memo.

The Department of Transportation has put an indefinite ban on upgrades to Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 7 and Office 2007, as first reported by Information Week.

Here's the DOT memo outlining the Vista "moratorium," dated January 19.

"Based on our initial analysis (from internal recommendations and analysis by Gartner Group), there appears to be no compelling technical or business case for upgrading to these new Microsoft products," according to the memo from Daniel Mintz, DOT Chief Information Officer.

In fact, there are a number of reasons for not upgrading, Mintz said, including the hardware/software/services costs of upgrading; backward compatibility problems with Office 2007, specifically Word (I'm guessing he's referring to the new XML file formats here, but not sure); internal funding limitations; and a pending DOT headquarters move.

What's Microsoft's response to the DOT's charges? A corporate spokeswoman sent me this statement, via e-mail:

"We respect the customer's decision. As with any of our other Federal customers, it's our job to help DOT maximize the value of its Enterprise Agreement through the adoption of our technology. We are engaged with large, strategic customers across government at every level, and are working closely with them on these products through their participation in our Technical Adoption Programs.

"Windows Vista, Office 2007, and IE7 are widely recognized by independent analysts to offer dramatic improvements in security, management features, new collaboration capabilities and productivity enhancements. Ultimately we think we can help DOT understand how these products can help its enterprise organization.

"As DOT goes through the natural process of exploring the new capabilities of these products we expect they will continue to embrace Windows and Office as the departmental standard of DOT.

"Overall our government customers are excited about the technology as well as our product pipeline. Just last week more than 500 Public Sector CIOs from across the country joined us for our annual US Public Sector CIO Summit. The Summit offered these CIOs to see firsthand how Microsoft is working to be a strategic partner to government and educational institutions of every size."

Anyone know of other companies and/or organizations calling for a similar blanket Vista/Office/IE 7 ban?

Topics: Microsoft


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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