The federal Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources (DITR) has flagged plans to migrate its 2,900-strong desktop fleet to Microsoft's latest Windows Vista and Office 2007 software. But the move could still be some time away.
The department started shopping this week for one or more new hardware suppliers for that fleet for at least the next three years from 1 July. DITR intends to replace a small amount of its machines in the 2007/08 financial year, but expects to conduct a much larger hardware refresh project in FY2008/09.
"It is the department's plan to move to Microsoft Vista (business licence) and Office 2007 during the life cycle of the IT equipment supply contract," DITR wrote in associated tender documentation. The organisation is currently running Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Office 2003 on approximately 2,500 desktop and 400 laptop PCs.
DITR's plans keep it in line with many other large government departments in Australia, which have over the last year made sure future PCs purchases will be capable of running Vista. Most are, however, still sticking with Windows XP until Vista has had a chance to mature in the marketplace.
Many IT departments are also holding back until Microsoft releases Service Pack 1 for Vista. The software is expected late this year, although Microsoft has hedged in recent months about the exact date.
DITR has specified that any desktop PCs it purchases must be at minimum based on Intel's dual-core Pentium D processor, have 1GB of memory, an 80GB hard disk drive, a 17-inch monitor and integrated graphics capability -- with the potential for a Vista-capable dedicated graphics card upgrade.
The department has detailed similar specifications for laptops.
A spokesperson for DITR was not able to comment on the matter by press time.