The nation's largest telco Telstra this week revealed it intended to upgrade its tens of thousands of desktop computers to Windows 7 and would start testing Microsoft's operating system when it was released.
(Credit: Renai LeMay/ZDNet.com.au)
Like most Australian groups the telco skipped Microsoft's Windows Vista platform and currently uses Windows XP (Service Pack 2) for its desktop standard operating environment. Telstra is one of the largest Australian organisations of any kind, with around 45,000 employees listed in its last annual report, although that number is gradually heading south.
"We have the intention to migrate to Windows 7 and propose to do formal testing once Windows 7 has been released," the telco's chief architect of Technology Architecture Strategy and Planning Clive Webber told ZDNet.com.au in an emailed statement this week.
We have the intention to migrate to Windows 7 and propose to do formal testing once Windows 7 has been released
Telstra executive Clive Webber
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, and a release candidate is expected on 5 May.
"We have not formally tested Windows 7, however, there have been a number of informal testers all providing positive feedback," Webber added. The executive said Windows XP had reached "end of life" as a product, noting Windows 7 was expected to provide improved stability, security and user experience functionality as well as lower support costs.
The comments echo those of welfare agency Centrelink earlier this month, which has also been testing Windows 7 and said early versions of the software displayed a "significant improvement over the performance and quality of Vista". Centrelink also has long-term plans to migrate to Windows 7.
Others, such as National Australia Bank, one of the last Australian banks to migrate to Windows XP (with the final migration only finished last year), have started testing Windows 7 as part of Microsoft's early adopter partner program. Commonwealth Bank of Australia has also started examining the software.
However, not all large Australian organisations are so keen; other federal departments 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 — one of the only major Australian organisations to adopt Vista — both claim to have no plans to migrate to Windows 7.