National Australia Bank (NAB) is testing Windows 7 to assess its viability for an upgrade from Windows XP, which it finished migrating to last year.
A spokesperson for the bank today confirmed to ZDNet.com.au that Windows 7 tests with Microsoft were proceeding under the software giant's Application Compatibility Factory. NAB currently supports around 700 applications.
The bank is a key partner to Microsoft, according to the spokesperson, who said NAB was the "only organisation in the Asia-Pacific region" which was a member of the so-called global Microsoft Deployment Council.
"This provides NAB with the forum to provide input on product strategy and development and deployment plans," the spokesperson said. "NAB has a strong strategic relationship with Microsoft, so we can remain current and leverage Microsoft innovations to best support the bank."
NAB was one of the last Australian banks to move to Windows XP. Last year it completed the migration of 28,000 desktops from the unsupported Windows NT operating system. NAB's desktops were until recently managed by Telstra; however, it ditched the telco last year for IBM, under a deal that is set to expire in 2010.
Any future upgrade of NAB's desktop operating platform is likely to be a low priority compared to broader changes occurring within the bank. NAB last month announced it would replace incumbent CIO Michelle Tredenick, who was heading up its $1 billion core banking system overhaul and overseeing its IT offshoring efforts, which were thwarted by the financial scandal its major IT outsourcing partner Satyam recently underwent. Incoming CIO Adam Bennet is expected to start this month.
The spokesperson said NAB "welcomed" the announcement that Satyam's fellow Indian outsourcer Tech Mahindra will take a majority stake in Satyam, but added that NAB had no plans to hand over any further processes to the company.
NAB's Windows 7 tests put it ahead of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in terms of testing Microsoft's new system. CBA recently revealed it had not tested the new operating system in its production environment because Windows 7 was still in beta.
Welfare agency Centrelink is the only other large Australian organisation known to have tested the new operating system, with the agency giving an enthusiastic response to tests so far.
Other federal agencies such as the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship are yet to test Windows 7, while the Department of Defence and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service — the only major Australian organisation to adopt Vista — both claim to have no plans to migrate to Windows 7.